AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

The farm workers will be led by State Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez of Shafter and United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez. They will hand deliver Florez's bill providing overtime pay for field laborers to Governor Schwarzenegger during a state capitol observance at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning.

The bill will allow for overtime pay after a 40 hour work week. The governor will have 12 days to veto or sign the legislation, or let it become law without his signature.

Farmers should have no problem using their ATV's at work.

The governor signed a bill to allow all-terrain vehicles used in agriculture on public roads. The new law classifies ATV's as farm implements which allows them to be driven on public roads while used in agriculture. It would be exempt from road-vehicle requirements like windshields and headlights, and its operator doesn't need a driver's license. It is, however, limited to one mile at a time on the road.

California's Central Valley Water Board is proposing a more centralized system for monitoring the quality of ground water used by farmers. It's calling for a valley-wide management plan that ties together local efforts to watch over ground-water quality.

Unlike most western states, California does not regulate or monitor ground water. Each county is responsible for its own monitoring.

The board says having a centralized plan is needed because the drought has caused spikes in ground-water use the past three years. The agency will take public comment through August 9th.

Weather has delayed California's fig crop but it promises to be a good one.

The cool spring caused the fig harvest to start a bit late this year. Shoppers should find plenty of fresh figs in stores through mid-December.

The State Farm Bureau reports, nearly 12-million pounds of figs are expected to be harvested this year, and the quality is reported as excellent.

California is the leading fig-producing state in the nation. The state's Fig Advisory Board says the soil and climate here are ideal for growing the fruit.

California's navel orange harvest is continuing later into the summer than usual. It's another sign of this year's better than average crop.

Capitol Press reports, California Citrus Mutual in Exeter expects some large growers to move fruit through the end of July. Citrus Mutual has been predicting for weeks that this could be among the best years ever for California navels.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service projected at the start of the season that 80-million cartons would be produced this season.

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