Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

Drought reports prompt farm groups to push state for solutions

- New reports from Fresno County and the University of California paint a bleak picture of the future of agriculture in the Central Valley, prompting farm groups to call for more solutions from state leaders.

House Democrats push for vote on forest bill

- Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are circulating a discharge petition to force a floor vote on a bill that would require money to be retained in wildfire disaster budgets for forest management.

Researcher to take over for UC bee expert

- On Sept. 1, Elina Lastro Nino will step into the shoes of the retiring Eric Mussen, a nearly 38-year extension apiculturist at the University of California-Davis. Nino has her own extensive background in honey bee research.

Promotion aims to boost confidence in Calf. cantaloupes

- The California Cantaloupe Advisory Board is using a sweepstakes promotion to encourage consumers to eat more of the melon. The cantaloupe industry is still rebounding from a listeria outbreak from a Colorado farm in 2011 th...

UC seeks public input on extension positions

- The University of California is seeking input from farmers and other members of the public about which of 123 proposed Cooperative Extension positions it should fill in the coming year.

Gerawan attorney says pay hike unrelated to union fight

- The embattled Gerawan Farming in Fresno recently hiked its workers' base pay from $10 to $11 an hour. The company's attorney says the raise was unrelated to Gerawan's battles with the United Farm Workers.

Water board to use ‘light touch’ on urban water regs

- California's State Water Resources Control Board is set to adopt fines for urban dwellers who waste water outdoors, but the regulations would only apply in communities that don't already have conservation plans in place and...

Calif. official rebuffs call to reconsider water regs

- The chairwoman of the California State Water Resources Control Board has rebuffed a state senator's request to reconsider ramped-up enforcement of stop-diversion orders issued to water rights holders.

California strawberry production still on record pace

- California strawberry production is still on a pace to set another record this year despite drought conditions and a drop in acreage.

Summer to heat up throughout West

- Summer temperatures are likely to be hotter than normal throughout the West in July as a high-pressure ridge is expected to persist over the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Advocates push bill to make ag ed funds permanent

- Though the California Legislature restored about $4.1 million for an agricultural education program in the state budget, backers of the program are pushing for a bill to effectively make the funding permanent.

Harvest of Valencias, other summer fruit proceeding

- The harvest of valencia oranges is ongoing as growers have finished picking a freeze-damaged navel crop. Valencias are among many summer fruits now hitting the market in California.

Calif. water board to crack down on urban waste

- As many California farms grapple with little or no water this summer, the state may be about to crack down on urban water users' wasteful practices.

California officials defend senior water rights holders

- California water officials say senior rights holders don't have an unlimited supply of water but must adhere to specific diversion amounts at specific times. Their comments come as the State Water Resources Control Board is...

UC working to replace ranks in wake of retirements

- As another wave of retirements is set to hit the University of California Cooperative Extension, officials say they're working diligently to try to replenish their crop of advisors and specialists.

Asian citrus psyllid quarantines expanded

- Despite recent expansions of a quarantine area in Tulare County, state and industry officials maintain hope they're keeping the Asian citrus psyllid under control in California's Central Valley.

Farm groups to stay on Calif. wolf planning panel

- The California Farm Bureau Federation and California Cattlemen's Association will remain on a panel planning for the gray wolf's arrival in California, though the animal's listing under the state Endangered Species Act may ...

USDA official visits California to discuss drought

- Ann Mills, the USDA's point person on drought resilience, was visiting California this week to talk with farmers and state decision-makers about drought response.

Hong Kong fully opens market to U.S. beef

- Hong Kong has fully reopened its market to U.S. beef more than 10 years after it was closed because of the detection of mad cow disease here. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association asserts the decision proves U.S. safegu...

Prune acreage, production may be reaching plateau

- With prices spiking and with this year's crop expected to be slightly better than last year's, prune producers are optimistic that the decline in their crop in California may be about to end.

Calif. drought raises difficulties for fair entrants

- Students who brought animals to the Shasta District Fair in Anderson, Calif, said it was more difficult to get them ready because of higher feed costs and other conditions related to the drought.

Calif. senior rights holders could be next to lose water

- As junior water rights holders throughout California's Central Valley have received stop-diversion orders because of the drought, holders of senior and riparian rights fear they could be next.

State to streamline recycled water permits

- California's State Water Resources Control Board issued an order to streamline the permit process for using recycled water to irrigate crops. However, the extent to which the order will help parched farms this summer is unc...

Research aims to bolster strawberry production

- California researchers are involved in more than a dozen ongoing studies to bolster strawberry production without the use of fumigants such as methyl bromide, which is being phased out by the federal government.

Farm groups may leave wolf panel after listing

- The California Farm Bureau Federation and California Cattlemen's Association may walk away from a wolf management working group after a state commission voted to list the animal as endangered.

Low turnout in Calif. primary empowers rural voters

- The low overall turnout in California's primary election on June 3 enabled rural voters to flex a little political muscle. Rural voters gave Republicans a modicum of life in the Democrat-dominated state.

Commission votes to add wolf to endangered list

- A divided California Fish and Game Commission voted June 4 to list the gray wolf as endangered in the state, disregarding state scientists' recommendations to wait because there are no known wolf populations yet established...

Klamath pact signers urge authorization bill’s passage

- Recent signers of a water-sharing agreement for the Upper Klamath Basin urged a U.S. Senate subcommittee on June 3 to push for passage of a bill authorizing a package of proposed Klamath Basin fixes, including the removal o...

California tomato growers hope for rebound

- California processing tomato growers are expecting a better crop than last year, when curly top virus caused many of them to have to replant. However, much will hinge on the availability of water from wells.

More stop-diversion orders issued in California

- Junior water rights holders in the San Joaquin River watershed are the latest to receive stop-diversion orders because of California's drought. Sacramento Valley farms and water districts have also received notices.

Researcher aims to boost Calif. wheat output

- Researchers are working to stem the decline in California wheat production.

California gears for hotter-than-normal summer

- The federal Climate Prediction Center is envisioning a hotter-than-normal summer throughout the West, presenting an additional challenge for California farmers already struggling because of the drought.

California walnut acreage continues upward trend

- Walnut acreage in California was up as of the most recent harvest, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The increase continued a trend in recent years as the crop has remained lucrative.