Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

U.S. organic production value up 13 percent

- Consumer demand is a key factor as the value of organic production nationwide rose by 13 percent in 2015, industry insiders say.

Organic growers cheer new law reducing paperwork, fees

- Organic producers in California are pleased a new law will reduce their paperwork and fees for state registration.

Fair contest keeps youngsters involved in local beef industry

- About a dozen youngsters competed in a special class at the Tehama District Fair in Red Bluff, Calif., for calves and steers that were born and bred within the county. Local cattlemen sponsor the project to keep the youth i...

Meetings to train crew bosses on preventing spread of psyllid

- California's Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program and California Citrus Mutual are hosting a series of meetings for crew bosses on how to teach employees to prevent the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid, which can ca...

UC endowed chair to boost rice research

- The University of California and the California Rice Research Board are teaming to create a $1 million endowed chair for rice research, which will provide ongoing funding for projects to improve rice quality and boost growe...

Western Innovator: Rancher seeks solutions to region’s water worries

- Jim Morris' ranch in Etna, Calif., has been in his wife's family since the 1850s, and has for decades been involved in research projects that prmote sustainable farming.

Competition overseas spurs domestic marketing of walnuts

- With overseas markets becoming more competitive, it underscores the California Walnut Commission's desire to focus much of its energy on expanding domestic consumption of the nut, an industry leader says.

Navel orange growers expecting lighter crop, higher prices

- This year's navel orange crop in California's Central Valley is expected to be significantly smaller than last season's production, as warm summer temperatures and winter rains bolstered the 2015-2016 crop.

Groups say Calif. overtime law will hurt workers, farms

- California farm groups assert the new ag overtime bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will prompt growers to hire workers in shifts and could lead to more consolidation of farms.

Study: planting wildflowers near crop fields benefits bees

- A University of California study finds that planting strips of wildflowers adjacent to farm fields can benefit the bees that pollinate the crops.

Conference to highlight precision ag technology, business topics

- An inaugural two-day conference in November will educate growers about new precision technologies in agriculture as well as best business practices.

Growers seek reforms as flood insurance program increases rates, toughens regs

- California growers and their allies are seeking reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program that would make allowances for processing facilities and other on-farm agricultural buildings. The NFIP is set to be reauthoriz...

Walnut growers work to maximize quality in expected record crop

- California walnut growers are poised to harvest their third record crop in as many years as many try to get the highest quality they can from their orchards in response to falling prices.

Plums for prune harvest smallest in decades

- California prune producers have wrapped up their harvest of a crop that was greatly diminished because of March storms that disrupted the blossom.

Calif. strawberry production picks up after slow start

- Strawberry production in California has kept a sizzling pace this summer, bringing the industry to near striking distance of last year's totals after a slow start because of winter rains.

Rice growers urged to use pesticides wisely to avoid resistance

- University of California entomologist Larry Godfrey advises rice growers to use insecticides judiciously, mainly because of resistance to the materials that has developed among pests.

Prices stabilize as Calif. growers harvest record almond crop

- The harvest of a record almond crop in California is under way as prices have stabilized after falling by nearly half from last year's levels.

Cattlemen’s group urges ranchers to stay engaged on water regs

- California Cattlemen's Association officials are urging ranchers to stay engaged in the state's application of new water-diversion reporting and measuring rules.

UC test projects help Scott Valley rancher conserve water

- Northern California cattle, sheep and hay producer Jim Morris is working with University of California researchers on several test projects aimed at saving water -- a crucial need in the contentious Scott Valley in far nort...

Pistachio growers poised for record crop

- Pistachio growers in California are set to have a record crop after a couple of disappointing seasons caused by drought and a lack of winter chiling hours.

UC-Davis testing fertilizer that turns ‘farm-to-fork’ on its head

- Researchers at the University of California-Davis are trying out a natural fertilizer made from food waste on a newly planted almond orchard to see if it can help growers reduce nitrogen leaching while preserving crop devel...

Drought, labor costs concern table olive growers in down year

- Drought and rising labor costs are still concerns for growers as California's table olive production is expected to be 17 percent below last year's bumper crop.

Regulators prepare water diverters for stepped-up reporting rules

- Officials from the California Water Resources Control Board held a workshop and "information fair" to prepare landowners for new regulations for reporting diversions that could take effect as soon as Jan. 1, 2017, depending...

California wine industry’s economic impact growing, study finds

- The California wine industry's overall economic output has grown by 17 percent within the state and 19 percent nationwide over the last seven years, according to a report by two industry advocacy groups.

Clayton Fire burns winery, vineyards, orchards, rangelands

- The Clayton Fire has burned some vineyards, walnut orchards and grazing fire in southern Lake County, Calif., but has so far spared the county's main agricultural areas.

Calif. pear harvest enters final stages

- California pear growers are nearing the end of their harvest, as fire blight and other factors have led to a lighter crop this year.

Group receives $50,000 grant to coordinate olive oil research

- A Clovis, Calif.-based group has received a $50,000 specialty crop grant from the USDA to coordinate crop research on olive oil, whose domestic production has nearly tripled in the last decade.

Fresno County’s production value drops 6 percent during drought

- Fresno County's agricultural production dropped more than 6 percent in value in 2015, according to the county's annual crop report, as drought and other factors took their toll on farms.

Parties keep up pressure as Klamath dam removal proceeds

- Legal actions by two tribes over flows in the Klamath River lend a sense of urgency to plans to remove four dams from the river, even as political opposition to their removal remains vocal.

Drought, markets prompt declines in Calif. orange acreage

- Navel and Valencia orange acreage in California declined slightly from 2014 to 2015, continuing a trend since 2010 that has been driven by drought and market forces. However, acreage for mandarins and some other varieties i...

Almond board videos provide tips on controlling dust

- The Almond Board of California has released a series of videos instructing growers and farmworkers on how to control dust during harvest. It's the latest step in the board's push to minimize dust as poor air quality in the ...

Farmers, regulators work through growing pains in California’s new medical pot law

- Representatives from California's fledgling legal cannabis industry urged state regulators not to be too restrictive in controlling distribution and other facets of the industry. The state Board of Food and Agriculture was ...

Heat wave in Central Valley impacts fruit, nut crops

- Consecutive afternoons of triple-digit temperatures in California's Central Valley have caused damage to some crops and hastened the ripening and harvests of others.