Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

50th Colusa Farm Show kicks off event-filled week

- The 50th annual Colusa Farm Show will be held next week, kicking off a busy week that also includes the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference and the Klamath Bull and Horse Sale.

Ridge’s return brings another record-setting dry spell

- After an abundant start to the wet season in California, a stubborn high-pressure ridge returned off the coast in January, sending storms on a detour to the north. As such, some areas saw record low amounts of rainfall for ...

Water panel begins process of considering bond projects

- The California Water Commission is beginning the lengthy process of deciding which projects will be funded under the water storage portion of the $7.5 billion water bond passed by the state's voters in November.

Study rebuts Canada’s claim of economic harm from COOL

- A National Farmers Union-backed economic study asserts the actual impacts to Canada's and Mexico's cattle industries from the U.S. mandatory country-of-origin meat labeling rule appear negligible. The Auburn University stud...

Organizers tout success of Fresno Food Expo

- Organizers say the Fresno Food Expo, which is now in its fifth year, has been crucial in helping food producers in the San Joaquin Valley reach buyers and grow their operations.

Cage law blamed for skyrocketing egg prices in Calif.

- Egg prices are skyrocketing in California, as a dozen eggs is expected to cost as much as 90 cents more by next week. The new cage requirements of Proposition 2 is seen as the main driver of the increase.

Calif. strawberry acreage to decline slightly in 2015

- Planted acres of strawberries in California are expected to decline again slightly in 2015, as water issues a higher yield-producing new varieties are perhaps contributing to the downward trend.

Chloropicrin controls will add to growers’ costs, group says

- New state restrictions on the use of chloropicrin, a powerful soil fumigant, could add costs to growers, the California Strawberry Commission contends.

In search of the perfect sweet potato

- University of California Cooperative Extension advisor Scott Stoddard has spent nearly 17 years trying to help develop a sweet potato that is both visually appealing and stores well. He said the quest has been "sort of like...

Calif. ranchers grapple with proposed grazing regs

- California ranchers say the State Water Resources Control Board's plan to regulate grazing near streams is unnecessary and that the board hasn't considered measures that cattle producers have already taken to protect water ...

Calif. boosts water allocations but warns of continued drought

- California's State Water Project boosted its anticipated water deliveries to contractors from 10 percent to 15 percent of requested amounts, but officials warn the drought is still severe and drastic measures could still be...

Bull shortage may help receipts at annual Red Bluff sale

- Entrants are down as California enters its fourth year of drought, but good prices may help the 74th annual Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale top the $1 million mark in bull receipts for the fifth straight year.

New CCA president preps for fight over grazing rights

- Billy Flournoy, a fourth-generation cow-calf operator from Likely, Calif., and the new president of the California Cattlemen's Association, expects fights over grazing rights to be among his highest priorities in his two-ye...

Citrus disease in China could prompt more imports from Calif.

- Citrus greening in China has caused as much as a 10 percent drop in production of oranges in that country, creating an opportunity for California citrus to regain a foothold on the market after shipments from the Golden Sta...

Snowpack, reservoir levels to determine water allocations

- Runoff from the December storms is still trickling into California's reservoirs, but snowpack could be the key to determining how much water is allocated to farmers this spring and summer.

Commission offers scholarships to field workers

- For the 30th year, the California Table Grape Commission is giving out scholarships to the families of field workers. It's one of several grant programs the commodity group offers.

Table grape harvest ends with second largest crop in history

- California table grape growers have wrapped up their harvests with what will likely be the second-largest crop in history. The relatively big crop comes despite drought-related water shutoffs that forced many growers to rel...

California citrus growers avert frost damage

- California citrus growers appear to have averted frost damage from a cold snap that pushed nighttime lows into the 20s around New Year's. About a quarter of the state's navel orange crop has been harvested.

Warm December storms of little help to Calif. snowpack

- A California snow survey on Dec. 30 found only half the average snow water content for the date statewide, as snow levels remained high amid a series of warm storms in December.

Cattle groups fear new guidelines may shun red meat

- Cattle groups are concerned that the federal government's updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans may call for consumers to eat less red meat. A committee has been working on revisions to the guidelines, which are updated ...

NASS to survey organic producers across U.S.

- The USDA is conducting a survey of organic producers across the United States as a follow-up to the 2012 Census of Agriculture.

Rain sets Calif. strawberries behind 2013 pace

- Strawberry production in California appeared likely to fall just short of another record year in 2014, as rain in the past few weeks has dampened yields.

Abundant Calif. rain aids rangelands, fills stock ponds

- All the rain that's fallen on California is doing wonders for rangelands, but livestock producers are still relying on supplemental feed. Much more rain will be needed for ranchers to start replacing animals that were sold ...

Schools’ move to antibiotic-free chicken could impact industry

- Advocates for antibiotic-free chicken hope a recent decision by Los Angeles and other big-city school districts to try to procure only chicken that haven't been treated with antibiotics will encourage the industry to change...

Forecasters now predict wet winter in California

- The federal Climate Prediction Center now foresees a wet winter throughout California, particularly in areas south of Sacramento, as a result of a weak El Nino combining with the state's normal wet season. The updated progn...

NASS to send economic surveys to agricultural landowners

- The National Agricultural Statistics Service is sending out more than 6,000 surveys to agricultural landowners throughout the West to gather more information about the economics of farming. The surveys are a follow-up to th...

EcoFarm 2015 to focus on climate change, food safety

- Registration is being taken for the 2015 EcoFarm Conference, one of the West's largest gatherings for organic and environmentally concious producers. The Jan. 21-24 event in Pacific Grove, Calif., will include talks on clim...

Rice ‘strawlage’ researchers, growers working out the kinks

- Ranchers, rice growers and University of California Cooperative Extension researchers are still fine-tuning their methods for preparing rice straw for use as an affordable cattle feed. The use of "rice strawlage" has been p...

Farms weather historic storm’s high winds, big rains

- Farms in California's Central Valley have appeared to make it through one of the most severe storms in years without sustaining damage. No significant toppling of trees were reported despite the high winds, although one far...

Study: Almond industry contributes $21.5 billion to economy

- Almond production in California generates more than 100,000 jobs and directly and indirectly contributes more than $21.5 billion a year to the state's economy, according to a study by the University of California-Davis.

Calif. bill would regulate, track antibiotic use in livestock

- The California state lawmaker whose antibiotics bill was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this year has introduced new legislation that would bar the sale of the drugs for livestock without a prescription and set up judic...

House passes GOP drought bill despite Dems’ opposition

- Despite opposition from Democrats, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill by Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., that would allow more water to be pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta during storms to provi...

New Calif. drought relief bill faces opposition

- A new drought-relief bill a California congressman has proposed to make the most out of this summer's negotiations with U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has itself encountered opposition from Democrats in the House of Representat...

Impressive California storms not a harbinger of El Nino

- The storm track has set its sights on California this month, but the state still only faces about a two-thirds chance that El Nino conditions will develop, bringing a potential of wet weather in January and February.

Drought makes for lighter almond crop

- The harvests of almonds and other tree nuts are mostly wrapped up in California. Drought has taken its toll on almond sizes and weights, producing a crop that's estimated to be 7 percent to 8 percent lighter than last year's.

California water contractors to get 10 percent of requests

- California's Department of Water Resources has announced an initial allocation of 10 percent of requested deliveries to its State Water Project contractors.

Group: Strawberries to be methyl bromide-free by 2016

- California's strawberry industry will be methyl bromide-free by 2016, a state commodity group asserts. The fumigant is now used on only about 8 percent of the state's strawberry acreage.

U.S. appeal at WTO gives Congress time to fix COOL

- The U.S. has filed an appeal of the World Trade Organization's second ruling against its country-of-origin meat-labeling regulation, which will give Congress time to amend or repeal the rule in the coming months.