Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

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.

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...