Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

Tomato growers peg crop at record 14 million tons

- California processing tomato growers expect to meet contracts for a record 14-million-ton crop. Good weather during crop development and having more acres planted than originally expected enabled growers to meet the goal.

Adverse weather hampers Calif. olive oil production

- California olive oil producers are hoping to match last year's mark of 3.5 million gallons after adverse weather affected crop development. Production had been increasing dramatically in recent years.

Rice growers wrap up drought-diminished harvest

- California rice farmers are wrapping up their harvest of a crop that's expected to be 23 percent smaller than last year's. Good yields on many of the acres that were planted will help make up at least a small part of the lo...

Rain damage, water shortage hamper pumpkin crop

- A few rain-damaged pumpkins in northern areas and water shortages in the San Joaquin Valley put a blemish on what has otherwise been a decent pumpkin crop in California, growers say.

New guidelines aim to prevent bee die-offs

- An industry group has suggested best-management practices to protect bees from pesticides during the almond blossom. Bee experts are lauding the effort, which follows a massive bee die-off at the end of the bloom earlier th...

Even normal rain won’t end Calif. drought, expert says

- California will likely remain in a drought this winter even if most areas receive normal rainfall, according to an expert from the federal Climate Prediction Center. The center issued its annual winter outlook, which predic...

$7.5 billion question faces California water users

- Under California's proposed $7.5 billion water bond, it could take years before growers see any water from new storage projects, if they ever do. But farm groups say the measure would still provide a boost to existing water...

UC course teaches about on-farm conservation

- The University of California Cooperative Extension is offering an online course that aims to foster understanding among food safety professionals of certain conservation measures taken on the farm.

Calif. weather outlook still dry, but surprises may loom

- Forecasters still maintain that any El Nino that develops in California this winter will be weak, but a series of storms this week have suggested that occasional, pleasant surprises could be in store for the state.

Agency: Grazing compatible with protected bird

- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials say protections for the yellow-billed cuckoo will be compatible with good grazing practices.

Gov. Brown vetoes antibiotics, farm labor bills

- California Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed bills that would have given new voluntary federal standards for antibiotic use in livestock the force of law in the Golden State and made a farm labor mediator's decision immediately i...

No more storms on horizon for California

- After last week's impressive rainstorm in Northern California, October is expected to remain mostly dry, according to forecasters.

Calif. strawberry crop on pace for record

- With its peak season drawing to a close, strawberry production in California is still on a pace for its eighth record-setting year in the last nine seasons.

Couple teaches fourth-graders about Boer goats

- A Boer goat demonstration was among more than a half-dozen lessons that Northern California fourth-graders received during an agricultural education day Sept. 24 at the fairgrounds in Anderson, Calif.

Air monitoring finds low pesticide levels in Calif.

- Air monitoring in three California agricultural communities has found pesticide residue at levels far below those that would cause health concerns, a state agency has announced.

Heart-health studies boost almonds’ popularity

- Almond experts attribute much of the rising popularity of their commodity among consumers to health studies like one recently published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Harvest of big walnut crop under way in California

- The harvest of early walnut varieties is under way in California, and growers are expecting a record overall crop.

Growers, scientists tout GMOs in Calif. media tour

- A group of growers and scientists is in California this week touting the benefits of genetically modified crops.

Growers await methyl bromide alternative

- Agricultural industry leaders are happy to see the development of fluensulfone, a non-fumigant alternative to methyl bromide approved for controlling nematodes. But it could be awhile before the product is used in the field...

NASS defends bullish Calif. crop estimates

- A National Agrcultural Statistics Service official in California is defending the agency's crop estimates after California Citrus Mutual became the latest of several commodity organizations to say that NASS projection for t...

Gov. Brown signs Calif. groundwater bills

- Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a package of legislation giving the state sweeping new controls over groundwater use in California. The bills set deadlines for establishing and implementing management plans in various groundwat...

Tribe protests plans to raise dam

- Indians in California are protesting plans to raise the dam at Shasta Reservoir.

Record walnut crop expected despite drought

- While the drought is taking its toll on other nut crops, a government agency expects California walnut growers to enjoy a record crop in 2014.

Farm groups hope waters bill impacts EPA rule

- Farm groups realize a bill to stop the federal government from imposing new regulations on internal waters of the United States likely won't advance in the Senate, but they hope its passage in the House of Representatives w...

UC-Davis researcher watch flight of walnut pest

- Researchers at the University of California-Davis have been watching flight patterns of the walnut twig beetle to determine how to best use synthetic pheromones to disrupt the pest's mating. The beetle combines with a fungu...

Forecasters still anticipate weak El Nino

- The federal Climate Prediction Center still expects weak El Nino conditions to develop this winter, but "it's anyone's guess" whether the phonemenon will bring more or less rainfall than normal to northern and central Calif...

Water bond opponents attack money for dams

- Opponents of California's $7.5 million water bond proposal announced their presence by unveiling a poll claiming to show soft support for the measure negotiated by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature.

Almond growers turn to groundwater amid drought

- A state survey has found that many almond growers in California are using more groundwater than usual because of a lack of surface water amid the drought. Some growers have taken out trees or delayed planting.

Drought expected to push down pistachio crop

- As harvest is under way in California's San Joaquin Valley, this year's pistachio crop is about 15 percent smaller than last year's because of the drought and other factors. Growers have already been struggling to meet burg...

NASS still predicts record tomato crop

- The National Agricultural Statistics Service is maintaining its prediction of a record 14-million-ton processing tomato crop in California.

Growers say groundwater bills would bring uncertainty

- California growers and farm groups are concerned that a package of groundwater bills sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for approval will bring uncertainty to their operations and perhaps spark litigation.

Calif. to cool off gradually in September

- Temperatures in northern and central California are expected to cool off gradually in September, but forecasters say no significant rain is yet on the horizon.

Calif. antibiotics bill awaits Brown’s approval

- A bill that would write the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's new guidelines for antibiotic use in livestock into California law is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown's approval.

Yields vary as Calif. stone fruit harvests near end

- As the harvests of stone fruit in California are wrapping up, growers say the quality of the fruit is excellent but some varieties' yields are down. The picking of other summer fruit is ongoing.

Groups shun lawsuit despite own Hetch Hetchy concerns

- Environmentalists mostly pan a group's lawsuit claiming San Francisco is given a pass by resource agencies in its operation of Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park. But green groups themselves have no love for t...

Prolonged bloom leads to varied prune yields

- The harvest of plums for prunes is under way in California. Growers anticipate a larger crop than last year, but a prolonged blossom this spring has apparently led to varied yields.