AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif. Valley farmers have struck a compromise over how to manage pumping limits on the San Joaquin Delta.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Wednesday night that all sides have agreed to stick with current water restrictions on state and federal projects tied to the delta. The compromise lasts through the end of the month.

The negotiations came after a federal judge's ruling last month that water officials had to consider humans along with the delta smelt in limiting water use.

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A proposal to give California farm workers overtime pay after eight hours of work is moving forward.

An assembly committee passed the bill Wednesday. It would give farm workers the same overtime benefits as other hourly employees.

Right now, California is the only state in the country which provides overtime for farm workers after 10-hours a day or 60-hours a week.

Opponents of the bill argue the requirements could cause more farms to establish operations in other countries. The full assembly is scheduled to vote at a later date.

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Asparagus growers have finished their harvest in the Delta and most other parts of the state.

The California Asparagus Commission says at this point, the season's crop looks good. Cooler weather kept vegetable quality high and pest pressure low. Demand was also good, which should provide farmers incentive to maintain their acreage.

California asparagus acreage has declined in recent years as farmers reacted to low prices. But the state still leads the nation in asparagus production.

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A Hanford dairy farmer will be among a panel of experts from across the nation examining competition in the dairy industry. Joaquin Contente is also president of the California Farmers Union.

The Fresno Business Journal reports, he'll join seven other panelists Friday in Wisconsin discussing changes and challenges in the industry.

The dairy industry has suffered from record low milk prices over the last few years. Producers have lost more than $12-billion since last June.

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