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Audio ActualityPossibility of a temporary worker program being passed
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» September 26, 2006 «
In its rush to adjourn before the November election, Congress may have another chance to consider a temporary-worker program for farm jobs. Known as the "AgJobs" proposal, the program could be attached to other immigration bills due for debate this week. The program would allow immigrants to enter the U.S. legally to work on farms. A California Farm Bureau spokesman says farmers have made a strong case that the program is needed to ease worker shortages.
Signs point to a larger wheat crop in California this fall. The California Wheat Commission says prices have been strong, and crops in the Southern Hemisphere apparently will yield less grain than average. Farmers who have not planted wheat in California for several years have expressed interest. Sacramento Valley farmers will start planting next month, San Joaquin Valley farmers in November and Imperial Valley farmers will start planting wheat in January.
Low prices for eggs mean that California farms will likely reduce their production. The prices farmers earn for eggs have increased slightly, and that trend is expected to continue for the rest of the year. But analysts say farmers continue to lose money on eggs and the higher prices likely won–t erase that deficit. As a result, farmers have not been buying as many new egg-laying hens. Orders for "replacement hens" have dropped about 10 percent
Fall squash is now coming into season. Farmers say varieties such as acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash are now being sent to market. Although harvest began a little later than average, growers say the quality has been excellent. Farmers say they expect to be harvesting squash until at least November. Some consumers use hard fall squash as decorations, as well as for eating.Top