10-27 AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

The Stockton Record reports, it's a particular problem for late wine grape varieties and tomatoes, which are susceptible to mold and fungus fostered by damp conditions.

But any crops that do best in dry conditions took a hit. Those include almonds, walnuts, cut hay, beans, grain corn, and rice.

Experts say some fields and orchards are still too muddy to support the weight of workers and equipment. Farmers are waiting to see if the ground firms up before Friday, when more rain is expected.

South Valley cotton growers are also trying to keep ahead of the rain.

The Visalia Times Delta reports, the past storm dropped just enough rain to interfere with the cotton harvest.

Cotton needs to be picked dry and farmers are trying to get much of it harvested before the next storm. Upland cotton producers will receive a final counter-cyclical payment of 1.68-cents per pound for their 2009 crop. Producers who accepted a partial payment of 1.3-cents per pound in March 2010 will receive the difference between the final rate and the partial payment.

The 2009 marketing year average price for upland cotton was 62.9-cents per pound.

A meat industry lobbying group is coming out against a proposed federal rule it claims could raise meat prices for customers and destroy 104,000 jobs.

A proposed Agriculture Department anti-trust rule would bar meatpackers from discriminating between cattle producers when purchasing product. It also would limit the amount of personal investment that poultry companies require from their farmers.

Some ranchers and chicken farmers say the rule is needed to give them more bargaining power with meat companies.

The American Meat Institute represents companies such as Tyson Foods and Pilgrim's Pride. It commissioned a study of the rule. It shows meat prices could rise by 3.33-percent if the rule is passed.

Area farmers can learn more about current local issues at a Coffee Talk.

Coffee talk is an informal setting to share information. It's being hosted by the Fresno County Farm Bureau Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. the Blossom Trail Cafe in Sanger.

Special guest speakers are District 5 Supervisor Debbie Poochigian and Fresno County Sheriff's Detective Ken Brookman.

To R.S.V.P., contact the Fresno County Farm Bureau at 559-237-0263.

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