AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

Ag experts say rice needs heat to develop. This year's crop is only at half of what it was a year ago. Farmers are worried a delayed harvest could leave more of their crops vulnerable to autumn rain.

A crop report released this week listed 85-percent of the California rice crop as in good or excellent condition.

California's pistachio crop for this year could be one of the largest in history but growers could end up with less profit.

The state's pistachio crop this season could exceed last year's output of 354-million pounds. That's according to the director of grower relations for Paramount Farms, the state's largest pistachio grower and processor.

Even though the 2010 pistachio crop may be larger, growers can expect prices to harvest their crops to be higher this year. Growers say the increase cost could be handed down to consumers at the grocery store.

Almond growers are taking steps to make sure sweepers don't pollute the Valley's air as they get ready for harvest season.

Sweepers can generate dangerous amounts of dust, which creates both an air quality problem and a safety hazard next to roads. Some growers use custom harvesters that can reduce dust from harvest activities.

Under clean orchard conditions, suction fan speed can be reduced on pickup machines to dramatically reduce dust in the field without loss of harvest efficiency.

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