AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

Committee chairman, Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas says the farm bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation congress considers. Lincoln has called for more creativity and policies that help farmers and ranchers meet the needs of a planet.

A mild spring slowed the development of the state's almond crop.

The Modesto Bee reports crop projections will be released Thursday at the Almond Board of California headquarters. The estimate is closely watched because of its effect on prices for almonds.

An initial estimate last month put the almond harvest at over 1.5 billion pounds. The second and final projection will be based on measurements of a sampling of nuts.

Almonds are the number-two farm product in the Northern San Joaquin Valley right behind milk.

You will soon be seeing a new kind of apricot in supermarkets.

The California Farm Bureau tells us a farmer has developed a new variety of the fruit. The "candycot" grew out of varieties collected from Central Asia. It took 15-years of seed collecting and breeding to develop the fruit.

Candycots are available now through about mid-July. The farmer says he plans to expand production in future years.

New research is good news for Valley olive growers.

Scientists have learned that eating virgin olive oil actually turns down certain human genes that are linked to diseases. The researchers found that 79 genes are turned down when volunteers ate experimental breakfasts containing virgin olive oil.

Researchers say the results shed light on a molecular basis for reduced heart disease among people living in Mediterranean countries, where people use a lot of olive oil.

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