9-10 AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

The federal government is considering giving the farmers some massive water infrastructure to settle a lawsuit over drainage problems. Poor drainage created land that's too salty for crops and led to the deaths and serious injuries of birds.

The complex deal would transfer the federal government's stake in pumps and drain pipes to some of the country's biggest farming operations. In exchange, farmers in the Westlands Water District would be responsible for disposing of toxic runoff and cleaning up thousands of acres of tainted land.

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California salmon fishermen can receive another round of federal disaster funds after another disappointing year because of declining stocks.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke formally declared California's salmon fishery a disaster last week as the state shortened Chinook fishing season ended. The previous two years of salmon fishing were canceled altogether after Chinook populations dwindled.

Federal fisheries regulators estimate salmon fishermen earned less than $3 million this year -- about 81-percent less than the average in 2003-05.

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Most of the country will see a colder-than-usual winter while summer and spring will be relatively cool and dry.

The 2011 "Old Farmer's Almanac" predicts that in the coming months, the earth will continue to see a "gradual cooling of the atmosphere… offset by any warming caused by increased greenhouse gases."

The "Old Farmer's Almanac" is also forecasting a weak La Nina pattern in the tropical pacific ocean. The west will see a mild winter with average precipitation. Meanwhile, the south will experience a cold and wet summer and the Rockies should see a mild and dry winter.

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