6/29/2011 AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

Ranchers in Texas, Oklahoma and other states are reducing their herds because of drought. People in the California cattle business say they expect markets to become more volatile in coming months.

Record heat in the corn belt has affected feed prices. The Midwest weather could also affect markets for California-grown rice.

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The north coast grape harvest is underway. It's running a couple of weeks late.

Harvest of grapes for sparkling wines began last week, with other varieties due to be picked starting in mid-September. The north coast harvest will likely extend into mid to late October.

Crop forecasters estimate California farmers will harvest nearly three and half million tons of wine grapes this season. That's down six percent from a year ago.

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Local farmers are rallying Monday night, calling for Congressman Jim Costa to support a Fair Farm Bill.

The event is part of a nationwide road trip by the group "Food And Water Watch". It wants to educate people about how the federal farm bill impacts everyone.

Monday's rally begins at 6 p.m. at Whole Farms on Monroe Avenue in Fresno.

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