Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

Nursery, packing company sue state labor board

- Two farm companies have sued the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board over its regulation that allows union representatives to enter farming companies' private property to organize workers.

No alternatives to chlorpyrifos for two key almond pests, study finds

- A team of University of California researchers and industry professionals has found that there are no real alternatives to chlorpyrifos in combatting two key almond pests. The federal government is considering banning chlor...

Researcher fosters predator dialogue

- Kimberly Rodrigues, now the director of the University of California's Hopland Research and Extension Center, is using her experience in mediating timber disputes to foster discussions between livestock producers and animal...

Cold, blustery weather could complicate almond blossom

- Cold, blustery and wet weather in California could interfere with bee activity during the almond blossom, industry officials warn.

Farm equipment sales mixed, Colusa vendors say

- Vendors at the 51st annual Colusa Farm Show say business largely depends on the commodities they're servicing. For ones that cater to growers affected by the drought, business has been slow.

Sierra water content at 130 percent of average

- California snowpack "encouraging," but still has a long way to go.

Officials, advocates promote coexistence of wolves, livestock

- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife's third workshop on its proposed wolf management plan drew about 100 people in Sacramento. Many speakers said wolves should be able to coexist with livestock.

305 bulls sell for $1.49 million at Red Bluff sale

- The Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale finished Jan. 30 with the sale of 305 bulls for nearly $1.49 million, the second highest total ever.

Global competition to push down prices paid to prune producers

- Prune prices to growers will likely drop slightly this year because of global competition, the leader of a California cooperative says.

Die-offs fluster beekeepers on eve of Calif. almond blossom

- Beekeepers across the country had another rough winter in terms of honey bee losses, tightening supplies and pushing up growers' pollination costs as the almond blossom in California is about to begin.

Thinning improves forest health but can impact wildlife, study finds

- Clearing fuels from forest floors can improve tree health and slow the spread of wildfire, but managers must also factor in projects' impacts on species that prefer a dense forest for habitat, University of California scien...

Calif. water project boosts allocations to 15 percent

- California's State Water Project has boosted expected allocations to its 29 contractors from 10 percent to 15 percent of requested deliveries.

Sierra Pacific Industries to close California sawmill

- Sierra Pacific Industries announced it is closing its 55-year-old sawmill in Arcata, Calif., because of a decrease in timber harvests in the area and a tight lumber market.

Researchers test nonlethal tools to protect livestock from predators

- The University of California's research station in Hopland, Calif., is making more use of nonlethal methods to ward off coyotes, mountain lions and other wildlife that try to prey on newborn lambs.

Water board raises water reporting requirements

- California's State Water Resources Control Board has increased reporting requirements for water right holders, putting aside requests from the California Cattlemen's Association and others for relief for some producers in r...

Calf’s killing impacts California wolf plan discussions

- The suspected depredation of a calf by wolves late last fall looms as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife gathers written comments and holds workshops on a proposed wolf management plan.

Cold nights help fruit, nut trees get needed chilling hours

- Many fruit and nut trees in California have already achieved the chilling hours -- or hours below 45 degrees -- that they'll need to have an even blossom and set a good crop, experts say.

California stop-diversion orders could be more targeted in 2016

- Curtailments of water rights in 2016 may be more targeted than in the past two years if the winter and early spring continue to be wet. The state is also moving to ease conservation mandates for some cities and towns.

Ag-themed California license plates raise funds for education

- More than 25,000 special agriculture-themed license plates have been issued, renewed or transferred in California, and fees for the plates have generated nearly $500,000 in grants for farm-related agricultural programs.

California’s Asian citrus psyllid quarantine keeps widening

- A quarantine for the Asian citrus psyllid in California keeps growing and now covers nearly one-third of the state's total land mass. Efforts to control the spread of the bug that can carry a deadly tree disease continue as...

Red Bluff Bull Sale to celebrate 75th anniversary

- The Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale will celebrate its 75th anniversary in late January with a gala, added prize money for the top bull and horse and other activities. In all, 400 bulls are entered.

Calif. rangeland growth slow despite steady winter rains

- California's rangelands have been slow to develop this winter because significant rains started when it was too cold to germinate grasses, experts say.

El Nino conditions already weakening

- While robust storms keep passing over California, sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are already starting to cool, signaling an eventual end to El Nino.

Brown’s budget includes boost for CDFA, more drought relief

- Gov. Jerry Brown's preliminary budget proposal includes a more than $70 million boost for the Department of Food and Agriculture and millions of dollars in new funding for drought relief.

Producers tout agritourism as a way to diversify farm income

- Producers touted agritourism as a way to diversify their incomes during a University of California-sponsored class. The UC's small farms program is in its fourth year of offering the classes in various communities.

After boom years, California strawberry production slips

- Strawberry production in California declined slightlly for the second straight year in 2015, as this year's acreage is expected to see a significant decline because of rising production costs and regulatory burdens.

Citrus growers dodge freezes, proceed with abundant harvest

- Citrus growers in California are proceeding with an abundant harvest after dodging several nights of near-freezing temperatures in December.

Big Calif. snowpack may not be enough yet to fill reservoirs

- An impressive start of the winter season for California's snowpack may not be enough to fill reservoirs this summer if warmer storms or temperatures come along and wipe out the gains, experts say.

2016 EcoFarm Conference to focus on water, soil health

- Maintaining healthy soils and conserving water will be key topics at the 36th annual EcoFarm Conference next month in Pacific Grove, Calif.

Group donates $25,000 for Asian citrus psyllid research

- California Citrus Mutual has donated $25,000 to researchers at California Polytechnic University-Pomona to develop a natural enemy to the Asian citrus psyllid.

Calif. storms produce above-average snowpack

- A series of storms in December has provided an above-average snowpack in Northern and Central California while dumping lots of rain in the valleys.

Workshops to discuss farming without chlorpyrifos

- The University of California is sponsoring a series of workshops to discuss with growers the proposed ban of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is used on about 60 crops in the Golden State.

Almond Board seeking candidates

- The Almond Board of California is seeking candidates to fill independent grower and handler positions on its board of directors.

Nitrogen deficiency stifles Calif. organic strawberry yields

- While organic strawberry acreage in California has grown precipitously since 2000, lower yields because of soil-borne diseases and nitrogen-deficient plants have continued to frustrate growers.

As Congress dithers, parties becoming resigned to KBRA’s demise

- As competing bills to authorize the Klamath Basin water agreements have failed to advance in Congress, parties to the agreements are becoming resigned to the pacts' demise at the end of the year.

Waiting for El Nino: Impact yet to be felt

- While persistent rainfall in California has so far come from the northern jet stream, El Nino's southern storms are expected to kick in after New Year's Day, according to federal forecasters.