AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif. Farmers say most Americans don't want jobs such as cutting cabbage because the work is seasonal, physically tough, out in the elements and often in remote areas.

Some farmers want the federal government to make it easier for them to get qualified, legal foreign workers. That includes passing an "Ag Jobs" bill allowing farm workers to get some kind of legal status and simplifying a visa program for temporary workers.

But the center for immigration studies, which advocates tougher immigration laws, thinks the problem is farmers are addicted to cheap labor.

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Recent rains have kept soil moist in the South Valley.

Tulare county agricultural commissioner reports that early planted wheat, oats and barley fields are maturing well and some fields are being cut and baled. Alfalfa is also being processed and early planted field corn is progressing. Cotton is up and growing well as a result of conducive warm weather conditions. Thinning of grape vineyards has started as well as late season varieties of plum, peach and nectarine

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Farmers markets have become testing grounds for growing a small business

Farmers markets are a low cost way for growers to see whether they have a viable concept. But it can be surprisingly difficult to get into a market.

The L.A. Times reports waiting lists can be a year or more, depending on the market. Farmers have a better shot if they offer unusual varieties.

California is one of the few states that requires farmers markets to be state certified and farmers can only sell their own local products.

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