Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

Superior Farms’ lamb sliders a hit at the ballpark

- Superior Farms, the nation's largest lamb processor, is raising awareness about the meat by having it featured at San Francisco Giants and Sacramento River Cats baseball games. Lamb sliders are a hit with fans, a stadium of...

California grape acreage remains steady, survey finds

- Grape acreage in California remained fairly steady in 2014 despite drought conditions that caused a drop in yields, according to a survey by the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

New trade deals to bolster access to Mexico, Peru

- Recently announced trade deals with Mexico and Peru will improve U.S. livestock producers' access to those two markets, industry insiders say.

Favorable spring weather pushes crops in California

- Warm late winter and early spring temperatures in California have prompted a quick development of many crops, as many fruits and vegetables are coming in earlier than usual.

Nurseries given tips on preventing spread of citrus psyllid

- A California agency is urging nurseries to take steps to prevent the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid, which can carry a disease that could devastate the citrus industry. The effort comes as the USDA has offered another $...

Farm Bureau chief assails ag water ‘misinformation’

- California Farm Bureau Federation president Paul Wenger told a water forum gathering that the notion that farmers use 80 percent of the state's water is misleading, and said the state should make better use of water from st...

Calif. authorities won’t dictate crops, irrigation amid drought

- California authorities have no plans to mandate further water conservation efforts on farms even as political pressure mounts from urban residents feeling the effects of Gov. Jerry Brown's order to cut their water use by 25...

Water board shutoff orders could include senior right holders

- California's State Water Resources Control Board has sent warning letters to thousands of water right holders throughout the state that stop-diversion orders are imminent in key watersheds because of the drought.

Observation, timely treatments urged to prevent sticky cotton

- Keeping an eye out for whitefly invasions and knowing how and when to use pesticides are keys for growers in combatting sticky cotton, which can cause havoc in mills and damage a growing area's reputation, University of Cal...

Officials deflect criticism that water plan spares ag

- Gov. Jerry Brown's April 1 executive order boosts reporting requirements for agricultural water users and mandates that water districts submit detailed drought plans. State officials deflect criticism that farmers weren't o...

Rice growers to plant crop despite water-purchase offers

- Rice growers in California are expected to plant 408,000 acres this year -- only a slight decrease considering the lingering water uncertainties in a fourth straight year of drought and an offer by urban districts to purcha...

Water uncertainties remain for many California growers

- U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials are still in discussions with senior rights holders along the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers as to the amount and timing of their water deliveries. The settlement contractors are supp...

Report calls for better data to plan for droughts

- A new report from the California Department of Water Resources suggests improvements are needed in measuring groundwater conditions and predicting whether the next season will be wet or dry.

Warm, dry weather pushes strawberry season

- California strawberry production is off to a fast start in 2015 because of warm afternoons and a lack of rainfall in the state's prime growing regions. The peak season is arriving about a month earlier than usual.

Congress in no hurry to pass meat-labeling fix

- Congress is apparently waiting for the outcome of the U.S.' appeal of a World Trade Organization ruling against its mandatory meat-labeling rule before crafting a bill to avert potential trade sanctions by Canada and Mexico...

Bill touts workers’ rights in light of Gerawan dispute

- A bill in the California Legislature would give farmworkers access to Agricultural Labor Relations Board contract mediation hearings and require the ALRB to nullify contracts when the union disappears for more than three ye...

UCLA study suggests walnuts can improve cognitive ability

- New research from the University of California-Los Angeles suggests that a daily diet of walnuts can improve cognitive function in adults of all ages.

Board notices signal another year of irrigation shutoffs

- Ranchers along the Mill, Deer and Antelope creeks in northern California have been notified they could again receive water-shutoff notices at times this year to accommodate migrating fish. Last year they were among the firs...

Farm groups offer tepid praise to Brown’s drought package

- Gov. Jerry Brown and top California lawmakers have proposed a pair of bills accelerating nearly $1 billion in spending for drought relief projects. The proposal was mostly praised by farm groups such as the California Farm ...

Water agency seeks input on Calif. groundwater plan

- The California Department of Water Resources is taking public comments through June 1 on its strategic plan for implementing a series of bills giving the state more control over groundwater use.

More rain needed as rangelands enter peak growing season

- More rain in California is needed as forage grasses enter their peak growing season, but federal forecasters predict drier-than-normal conditions over the next few weeks.

Smaller wine grape crop makes for better flavor, vintners say

- California's wine industry isn't concerned about a 12 percent drop in tonnage from last year's crush because it followed three years of record crops, and with the lighter yields come better flavor.

Drought hastens decline of Valencia orange production

- Valencia orange producers in California are expecting a 20-million-carton crop this season, as a decline in production since 2000 is being accelerated because of the drought.

Cattlemen plot strategy to fight Calif. grazing regulations

- The California Cattlemen's Association is preparing to fight a proposed set of grazing regulations being developed by the State Water Quality Control Board.

McDonald’s policy propels changes in chicken production

- The broiler chicken industry is phasing out all but the most critical uses of antibiotics as companies such as McDonald's signal they plan to source chickens that were raised without the drugs.

College dean speaks out to keep cattle industry viable

- David Daley, a rancher and interim dean at the California State University-Chico College of Agriculture, says he's "still a student" who's learning about various issues affecting the cattle industry. But he's been a teacher...

Expert: Cleanliness, good hygiene key to food safety

- Good hygiene and cleanliness of equipment are keys to success for small farms in complying with the Food Safety Modernization Act, a University of California Cooperative Extension told growers in a workshop in Redding, Calif.

Advisers honored as pioneers of rangeland water quality

- Two University of California Cooperative Extension livestock advisers on the Golden State's northern coast were recognized recently for their work in helping ranchers protect rangeland water quality.

Calif. manual survey shows 5 percent of normal snowpack

- The California Department of Water Resources found little snow water content in its third manual snow survey of the season March 3 despite weekend storms that dumped 12 to 18 inches of snow in parts of the Sierra Nevada.

Calif.’s State Water Project boosts allocation to 20 percent

- California's State Water Project increased its anticipated deliveries from 15 percent to 20 percent of requested supplies as early-season storms enabled the state to send water to storage south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin...

Bill aims to speed completion of Sites Reservoir study

- A bill in Congress aims to expedite the completion of the proposed Sites Reservoir in Northern California, which has been identified for possible funding under the $7.5 billion state water bond passed by voters in November.

Calif. farms to go without federal water again in 2015

- The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has made its initial allocation of Central Valley Project water for 2015, announcing that agricultural users without senior water rights will likely get no water again this year. Thousands of ...

Study suggests onion seed producers should limit pesticides

- A University of California study has found that insecticide applications too close to the onion bloom appear to repel the honeybees that are crucial to seed production. Farms in the southern Sacramento Valley provide the se...

Antibiotic resistance, better vaccines change livestock practices

- Spurred by a crisis of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, new restrictions on the use of the drugs in livestock are causing producers to find new ways to care for their animals.

Tehama District Fair considers moving back to summer

- The Tehama District Fair in Red Bluff, Calif., may change its dates from September to July. It is the latest of many fairs that have considered or implemented date changes to boost attendance or accommodate changing school ...

Hives appear OK after quick, robust almond bloom

- With the almond blossom in California nearly complete, there have as yet been no reports of widespread bee die-offs, an expert says.