AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif. PG&E wants to increase rates that could bring double-digit jumps in electricity costs for farmers and ranchers.

The utility is proposing a revenue increase of more than one-billion dollars for 2011, with additional increases the next two years. The size of the rate increase could vary based on how they are divided among electric users. The California Farm Bureau reports, the average agricultural rates could increase between 13.5 percent and 19 percent.

PG&E claims the increases are necessary to cover costs and to pay for substantial upgrades to its infrastructure.

The California Public Utilities Commission has a public hearing May 26th at Hugh M. Burns state building auditorium on the Mariposa Mall at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Blueberry growers say their harvest is late, this year.

Farmers in San Diego and Kern Counties have been able to market blueberries since last month. However, farmers farther north in the San Joaquin Valley had to delay their harvest because of colder weather. The California Blueberry Commission says harvest is about two weeks behind average.

Growers are hoping warmer temperatures forecasted for this week will allow them to harvest larger quantities of fruit later this week.

The Fresno County Fruit Trail opens Monday.

Opening ceremonies are at 10 Monday morning at Circle K Ranch at 8640 East Manning Avenue in Selma. The fruit trail is a self-guided tour through the Central Valley's agriculture heartland.

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