9-6 AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

The federal government has declared a natural disaster area in the California-Oregon border region because of drought.

Farmers and ranchers in Siskiyou County and nine other counties on California and Oregon border can get low-interest federal loans.

The region produces onions, potatoes and grains, among other crops.

A combination of drought and the diversion of water to help federally protected salmon and a sucker fish species have led to a steep drop in water to more than one-thousand farms.

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Yields from California hay fields have been lower this year. A hay market analyst says the cool spring slowed crop development.

In recent weeks, an unusual weather pattern of hot midweek temperatures and cool weekends has also affected the hay harvest.

California farmers grow hay to feed to dairy cows and other livestock. Farmers say demand for hay has been good and prices have been higher.

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It's now possible to find California-grown mangos in stores, and farmers say they're harvesting a larger crop.

Most commercially grown California mangos come from southeastern California, near the Salton Sea.

Growers say cooler weather delayed their harvest but helped improve the fruit's quality.

Farmers export much of their harvest to Japan but also sell mangos domestically to specialty stores and supermarkets.

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Deaths from tractor rollovers have been dropping in the U.S. as farmers buy new tractors or upgrade older ones with roll bars, reinforced cabs and seat belts.

Tractor rollovers have long been the leading cause of death on U.S. farms. But a study published last year found that rollover deaths fell 28 percent over the past two decades.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, says it's partly because many farmers upgraded their equipment during a flush period in agriculture from 2004 to 2007.

He says it's not clear yet how the recession might have affected that trend.

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