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    Sneeze fest: Willamette Valley hits ‘heart of the grass pollen season’

    By Zach Urness, Salem Statesman Journal,


    The Willamette Valley has reached the heart of sneeze season.

    Grass pollen levels spiked Wednesday to 675 particles per cubic meter of air, the highest of the season, according to Oregon Allergy Associates in Eugene.

    “We are now in the very heart of the grass pollen season which has been amplified by the sunny and warmer weather,” OAA director Kraig Jacobson said. “Grass pollen stayed in the very high range at 675 and there continues to be the likelihood of even higher counts while the weather remains in this pattern.”

    For reference, 200 is considered "very high" nationwide.

    The levels are so high that even people with no grass pollen allergy are impacted by clogged noses, burning eyes and other allergy symptoms.

    Grass pollen levels are at their worst during extended sunny and dry spells in the weather.

    Thousands of acres of commercial grass are grown in the Willamette Valley for seed. Oregon supplies about 75% of all of the grass seed produced in the world.

    The grass pollen season typically hits its peak in mid-June followed by a slow wind-down and end around July 4.

    Zach Urness has been an outdoors reporter in Oregon for 16 years and is host of the Explore Oregon Podcast . Urness is the author of “ Best Hikes with Kids: Oregon ” and “ Hiking Southern Oregon .” He can be reached at or (503) 399-6801. Find him on X at @ZachsORoutdoors.

    This article originally appeared on Salem Statesman Journal: Sneeze fest: Willamette Valley hits ‘heart of the grass pollen season’

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