8/8/2011 AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

Free assistance is being offered to farmers wanting to file a claim in the $760-million "Keepseagle Class Action Settlement". The settlement resolves a lawsuit claiming the U.S. Department of Agriculture discriminated against Native Americans in farm loan applications and servicing.

Meetings to file claims are being held Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express off Herndon and Motel Drive in Northwest Fresno.

A drought is forcing cattle ranchers in Texas and Oklahoma to sell off their herds.

The country's top two beef producers have been dealing with triple digit heat. The existing pastures are not enough to sustain large herds.

The nation's beef cattle inventory is already at its lowest since 1958. Some cows are being sold to cattlemen in states with more pasture, but most of the animals are going to slaughter.

People are lining up at specialty markets to buy the milk and now pressure is increasing for producers.

The recent raw milk survey from the National Association of State Departments Of Agriculture says five states have adopted stricter standards to regulate bacteria counts.

Raw milk enthusiasts say pasteurization destroys nutrients. Federal health officials say raw milk can cause disease or death.

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