AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif. The American Farm Bureau reports meat and poultry producers are coming through a two-year period where they consistently lost money. Ranchers are now seeing a profit thanks to an improving economy.

The U.S.D.A. projects pork and chicken production will increase next year. Beef production is predicted to decline because of tighter supplies of cattle.

The U.S.D.A. says it takes cattle producers at least two years to have their livestock ready for market.

Some western farmers are being paid to flood their fields to help migratory shorebirds and improve the land.

The Nature Conservancy says early studies of the efforts near Seattle, Southern Oregon and Northern California have been positive. Hundreds of birds have fattened up in the soggy fields.

Ecologists say soil tests show increased nutrients that should pay off for farmers when the land is drained in a few years.

Wineries across the country are worried about a bill in congress that could change the way they ship wine directly to customers.

The bill would reinforce states' rights to regulate alcohol sales. It would also make it harder to sue to overturn state alcohol laws.

Wholesale distributors proposed the bill, saying it will ensure states control sales. But wineries and wine drinkers say it could prevent people from buying directly from wineries and having it shipped to their homes.

You might not be thinking about Christmas now, but tree growers are already getting ready for the holiday.

The California Christmas Tree Association has been analyzing last year's sales trends and noticed a change in sales patterns. They found shoppers bought more Douglas Fir trees than Monterey Pines, which had been the favorite for several years.

The association says overall Christmas tree sales last year kept pace with the previous season.

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