AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif. A New York senator wants the federal government to help apple farmers nationwide convert some of their acreage to growing different types of apples.

Senator Charles Schumer says his bill would provide $20-million for apple farmers to switch to new varieties that Canadian growers are already supplying at eight times the price of traditional apples.

The grants and low-cost loans through the agriculture department would help pay for new plantings in November. It would also make up for lost revenue during the three years of growth needed before the fruit can be picked.

Safety specialists say it's time for farmers and other outdoor employers to brush up on the state's heat illness prevention standard.

People who are working in the heat need to drink four 8 ounce glasses of water per hour, including at the start of the shift. That means employers must provide two or more gallons of water for each person who works an 8 hour day.

Workers must have access to shaded areas for five-minute recovery periods. Supervisors and employees must know how to recognize heat illness and be trained in the proper measures to protect themselves and their co-workers.

The California Farm Bureau tells us OSHA is providing heat illness prevention training sessions through June.

Ag students at Fresno State will soon be studying in more comfortable classrooms.

The collegiate online reports, upgrades to the agricultural science building's air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems started earlier this month. It's affecting some offices and classrooms until the fall.

33 offices, two computer labs and 12 classrooms are being moved to alternate locations. The building was constructed in 1953 and is one of four original buildings on campus.

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