9-13 AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

The issue has received more attention since two huge Iowa farms acknowledged some of their eggs were contaminated with salmonella and ordered the recall. As many as 1,500 people have become ill in the outbreak, the largest blamed on a single strain of salmonella.

Groups such as the humane society of the United States argue that giant farms that cage hens are inherently more risky for food safety. They cite European studies that say salmonella is more commonly found on big egg-laying farms.

Others say such studies aren't necessarily applicable to U.S. operations.

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A pre-harvest estimate of the California walnut crop says farmers could produce record volumes this year. Government forecasters said the state's walnut production could rise 17 percent, to 510,000 tons.

The forecast says favorable weather throughout the season is benefiting the walnut crop.

Farmers agree they have a good-sized crop, but want to wait until after the harvest to see if it meets the estimate.

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Harvest of early wine grape varieties is reaching its end in the San Joaquin Valley.

Grapes are among the crops that have been slowed by cooler temperatures this summer. Farmers say crops appear to be lighter, allowing grapes to gain sugar faster when warm weather comes.

Along the coast, some farmers trimmed grape leaves to allow the sun to shine directly on grape clusters. But a sudden spike in temperatures resulted in sunburn on some of the exposed grapes.

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The Young Farmers and Ranchers Group will be meeting next week. Members will vote for a county chair for the chapter.

The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 21st from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more information or to R.S.V.P. by September 17th, contact Kristen Avery at 979-220-7438.

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