10-18 AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

Brown says a canal or tunnel around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta would improve the quality of the water now sent to southern California and central valley farmers.

Environmentalists and many Northern California communities oppose a canal, saying it would take too much fresh water from the delta.

Brown says any canal must protect the Delta's ecosystem and must be paid for by those would benefit, not taxpayers.

Brown's opponent, Republican Meg Whitman, also supports a canal. But Whitman has been critical of Brown's failure to support a 2009 water bond that would have set aside money for dams and other water projects around the state.

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The outcome of the November election may not affect farm subsidies since those payments have had the support of both liberal and conservative lawmakers.

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Democrat Colin Peterson says it's unlikely his panel will cut the subsidies to farmers who grow crops such as corn and soybeans.

The environmental working group has been critical of the payments. The group says it's eager to see whether republicans who promise less spending will try to cut subsidies.

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A growers' organization announced last week that farmers will earn the highest raisin prices in 20 years.

The U.S. Agriculture Department says worldwide raisin supplies have tightened, in part because of a sharp drop in production in Turkey.

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The State Department of Food and Agriculture has two vacancies on the California Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee.

This advisory board makes recommendations to the state agriculture secretary on all matters pertaining to citrus pests and diseases.

Vacancies are for a Tulare area member and a Northern California area member.

Interested citrus growers should call the State Ag Department at (916) 654-0768.

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