AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

Many nurseries watched sales drop during the construction slump and the recession. But now, consumers are back to buying colorful plants to beautify their yards.

Demand for native and drought resistant plants is increasing and many in the nursery business think that trend will continue. California leads the nation in the production of nursery plants.

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California olive growers are expecting a near record crop this year.

The California Olive Committee estimates farmers will pick almost 92-million tons of olives. That would be four times the amount harvested last year, which was the second lowest production in history.

Growers say olive trees bear heavier crops every other year, but the swing in production from last year to this year is unusually strong. The olives counted by the committee will be used as "table olives."

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A mild summer for California is putting the state's rice crop behind schedule.

Ag experts say rice needs heat to develop. This year's crop is only at half of what it was at 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.

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