Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

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.

Ag students ponder opportunities at Chico State career fair

- About 300 agriculture students from California State University-Chico and nearby community colleges met with representatives from 38 ag-related companies Feb. 18 at a career and internship fair at the university farm. It wa...

Weather service predicts wet March in California

- Northern California could be in for a wet march after a series of strong mid-February storms punctuated an otherwise dry start to 2015.

Research unlocks clues about powdery mildew in wine grapes

- University of California-Davis researchers have mapped the genome of the pathogen that causes grape powdery mildew, one of the most destructive ailments to affect wine grapes. Their work could help growers become more effic...

Group seeks to boost donations of farm goods to food banks

- The California Department of Food and Agriculture is teaming with the California Association of Food Banks to encourage donations of at least 200 million pounds of fresh farm goods to local food banks in 2015.

California ag exports imperiled by ports slowdown

- The citrus, almond and other California agricultural industries complain that the slowdown at West Coast ports is causing fruit to rot on the docks, truck drivers to increase fees and overseas customers to cancel orders bec...

Company plays key role in shaping timber, citrus industries

- The Southern California-based Fruit Growers Supply Co. has played a key role in shaping two industries, as the farmers' cooperative got into the lumber business in the early 1900s to produce cheaper shipping boxes for its c...

Fire safety a top priority at logging sites, companies say

- Foot patrols and detailed weather reports are just a few of the many safety precautions that are now employed at logging sites, company officials said during a Sierra Cascade Logging Conference workshop.

USDA announces $30 million to combat citrus greening

- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $30 million in specialty-crops funding for prevention and research into huanglongbing, a tree disease that causes citrus greening. The money includes more than $4.5 million t...

Patriotic orchard shuttle honors U.S. troops, veterans

- A Yuba City, Calif.-based company that last year wowed farm show attendees with a hot pink tree shaker for breast cancer awareness decided this year to decorate an orchard shuttle with patriotic designs to honor U.S. troops...

Business still brisk for Calif. large-equipment vendors

- Large-equipment vendors at the Colusa Farm Show say their business has remained brisk despite the drought and a slowdown in heavy-machinery sales in other parts of the country. The success of California's specialty crops, i...

Pistachio growers fret over warm nights, dry conditions

- California pistachio growers are concerned about a lack of nighttime chill hours and a lack of water, both of which diminished last year's crop.

Stock dogs face stiff competition at Red Bluff sale

- Working ranch dogs face stiff competition at the Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale, which has gained a reputation among breeders as one of the top dog trials and sales on the West Coast.

Red Bluff bull sale nets record $1.56 million for 236 bulls

- A veritable bull shortage in California pushed total bull receipts at the Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale to a record $1.56 million.

Low snow readings bring sense of doom to Calif. growers

- Meager results from the season's second manual snow survey in California reinforce a sense of doom for farmers who realize that drought conditions and their associated water shutoffs will likely be at least as severe this y...

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.