Dec. 19 AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

Olive farmers expected a smaller crop because olive trees often alternate between years of large and small production. Then weather problems cut the crop even further.

Some smaller-scale olive oil producers describe their harvest as a scavenger hunt.

Ag expers say the maturation of new olive trees may help prevent a sharp drop in overall California olive oil production.

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Farmers are reaping the fruits of technology these days, as they replace manual labor with machines.

A study by the U.S. Agriculture Department showed american farmers have increased their productivity during the past three decades.

Researchers say farmers were able to do that while using less land and less manpower.

Labor usage decreased by about one-third, and acreage designated to farming in the U.S. has dropped by three percent since the early 1980s.

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