As we look ahead to a New Year, it promises to be a busy one for the Oregon agriculture industry. That according to Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Alexis Taylor. She said while trade remains a concern, that front has improved for Oregon farmer year over year.
“The U.S. and Japan negotiated what they’re calling a first phase tariff. Japan is our number one food and Ag market and so that’s a really positive sign. When I was in Japan we heard very positive things from both our exporters, but also importers in the country. Trade with Canada and Mexico remain strong for Oregon products.”
Taylor noted while Mexico is Oregon’s #8 overall market, it is tops when it comes to fresh produce. She said a lot of Oregon potatoes and pears and shipped south of the border. And when it comes to China, Taylor says a wait and see attitude will be pivotal. In the coming year, she says ODA is looking at trade missions to Taiwan, Singapore as well as Iowa.
Speaking of the year ahead, Taylor says one of the big issues, on the state level, is what they’re calling the “100 year water vision for Oregon”. She said the goal of the projects is determining how the state ensure clean and abundant water for people, the economy and the environment.
“What types of strategic investments will result in natural and built water systems that are resilient across the state. It’s been a big focus. We’re going to have some budget asks from various state natural resource agencies in the upcoming 2020 short session, we at ODA will have several of them, which we will continue to prioritize and invest in our Ag quality program.”
Taylor said water dynamics in Oregon are changing, so it’s important farmers and the entire community is proactive. She added hemp will also be a big issue for the Oregon farm community in the coming year.
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