8/12/2011 AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

Corn prices are dropping and could hit a new low by the end of the year A huge crop combined with lower demand means markets will have to slash prices to get corn off produce shelves.

The Department of Agriculture says farmers expect 940 million bushels left over when the harvest begins this fall. The price drop should occur around December.

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The oriental fruit fly continues to plague Southern California. Two of the flies were found recently in Orange County.

This is the fourth time the State Ag Department has treated the southland for the pest. The treatment area covers 18 square miles surrounding the city of Westminster.

The oriental fruit fly targets over 230 different fruits and vegetables. The most common pathway for these pests to enter the state is by "hitchhiking" in fruits and vegetables brought back illegally by travelers returning from southern Asia.

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Plastic containers made from rice is on the horizon. Chico State University is developing rice-based packaging.

Researchers developed a method of converting rice bran and hulls into highly biodegradable plastic. Next, they plan to use the plastic to make clear drinking cups and other beverage containers.

The scientists say the plastic made from rice byproducts degrades more quickly than common, clear plastic.

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