8/1/2011 AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

Drought in parts of the country is contributing to the smallest hay crop in more than a century. Many dairy producers use alfalfa hay to keep their cows producing milk, but the hay has soared in price more than 50 percent in the past year.

The U.S.D.A. says in Merced County, the price for supreme alfalfa hay is hovering at $275 to $285 a ton.

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Beekeeping is thriving in cities across the nation as young hobbyists and green business owners start hives.

The surge in interest in beekeeping has been good for bees since large commercial beekeeping operations are still troubled by bee die-offs.

Experts believe city bees have a leg up on country bees because of a longer nectar flow. People plant flowers that bloom from spring to fall, and some follow organic gardening practices.

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