WASHINGTON (AP) _ Exports of U.S. horticultural products in February totaled $500.9 million, 27 percent more than the same month a year earlier.

The biggest increases were in exports of fresh oranges, apples, pears, almonds, processed tomato products and hops, the Agriculture Department said in a report this month. The only decrease was in the dried fruit category.

For the first five months of fiscal 1992, the total value of U.S. horticultural exports was $2.5 billion - 15 percent over the same period last fiscal year. All commodity groups registered export gains during this period.

French imports of U.S. wines were up 28 percent in volume for the period, to 418,258 liters, as well as up 28 percent in value, to $1.8 million. French imports of U.S. wines have grown 42 percent in both volume and value since 1988.

U.S. exports of fresh strawberries in 1991 totaled 43,189 metric tons, up 11 percent from 1990. Canada accounted for 84 percent of the total, making it the largest market. Strawberry exports to Japan, the second leading market, increased by 8 percent in 1991.

Exports of frozen strawberries in 1991 totaled 11,839 tons, down 20 percent from a year earlier. ''This reduction was due largely to a decline in U.S. shipments to Japan,'' the report said.

Canned fruit exports totaled $54.6 million in 1991, a 29 percent increase from 1990. Larger sales to Canada and Japan accounted for 60 percent of the total increase.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Milk producers who reduced their marketing in 1991 were refunded $23.164 million, according to the Commodity Credit Corporation.

Under the 1990 farm bill, dairy farmers were assessed 5 cents per hundredweight (or hundred pounds) of milk marketed in calendar year 1991. A producer who did not market more milk in 1991 than in 1990 was eligible for a total refund of the assessment.

The refund had to be claimed by March 16.

Eligible producers filed 47,805 applications and claimed refunds of $23.164 million based on reduced milk marketings of 4.6 billion pounds, said Keith Bjerke, executive vice president of the Commodity Credit Corporation.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Agriculture Department is seeking nominations to fill nine member and nine alternate positions on the American Egg Board for the 1993-94 term.

The 18-member board administers the producer-sponsored research, consumer education and promotion program designed to strengthen the egg industry's position in the marketplace.

Daniel D. Haley, administrator of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, said 39 producer groups are certified to submit nominations for the board. Two-year terms for nine current board members and their alternates expire at the end of 1992. Half the board membership is replaced each year.