California Melon Demand/Challenges and Oregon Adopts Ag Heat Rules
**While the demand for California-grown melons is high, farmers say getting those melons to consumers has faced multiple challenges this season.
These include a statewide drought impeding water deliveries; excessive heat reducing yields; a shortage of skilled on-farm employees and truck drivers; and a shortage in supplies such as pallets, bins and cardboard.
The San Joaquin and Imperial Valley’s provide 75% of the nation’s commercially grown melons.
**In the wake of a heat wave blamed for the death of a farmworker, Oregon has now adopted an emergency rule that guarantees workers rest breaks in the shade and plenty of cool water to drink during hot weather.
www.agriculture.com reports, farmworker advocates called for the passage of federal protections against heat stress on the job.
Aside from Oregon, only California, Washington State, and Minnesota have heat illness standards. California was the first, in 2006.
**Large numbers of pigs are again dying from African swine fever in China's top hog-producing province, raising concerns it could spread further across the south and slow China's pork production recovery.
According to www.agweb.com, the deadly virus wiped out about half of China's huge pig herd in 2018 and 2019.
China rapidly rebuilt much of the lost stock last year, but there have been fresh outbreaks in northern China this year, and more ASF strains.