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Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

Pesticides, malnutrition blamed for massive bee die-off

- A University of California-Davis expert urges bee producers to remove their hives from almond orchards earlier to avoid die-offs like one that occurred at the end of this year's almond blossom.

Prices soar as drought stifles hay production

- Overall hay yields in California are expected to be down by more than 20 percent this year as the drought diminishes growers' ability to irrigate. The anticipated shortage is pushing hay prices higher.

Chico State ag alumnus helps promote university

- A California State University-Chico graduate with a degree in animal science, Sarah DeForest is helping the university gain funding and students as the College of Agriculture's advancement director. She and others want to p...

Calif. Extension events to mark service’s centennial

- The University of California Cooperative Extension will celebrate the 100th anniversary of agricultural extension services nationwide on May 8 by holding open houses at many UCCE offices and by inviting Californians to take...

No water for ag despite recent Calif. storms

- State and federal water agencies unveiled a comprehensive drought management plan for California on April 9 but didn't increase allocations for agriculture. They said new allocations could be made in the next couple of week...

Brewers, ranchers fret over new regs

- Brewers and cattle groups have expressed concerns that a provision in the Food Safety Modernization Act could place spent grains from breweries under the same handling and reporting requirements as other animal feed, even t...

Chico State students teach kids about ag

- Students at California State University-Chico taught young elementary school children about different aspects of agriculture during their annual Ag Day at the university farm.

Droughts in California are nothing new, expert says

- While California is enduring one of the worst droughts in its history, drought in the Golden State isn't new, an expert says. The state has endured dry periods that lasted longer than a century, and the past 150 years have ...

California storms provide little relief from drought

- While recent storms enabled state and federal water agencies to temporarily increase pumping south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a statewide snowpack level of only 32 percent of normal on April 1 promised a glo...

Young cattlemen to use fun run to promote beef

- A young cattlemen's group at California State University-Chico is looking for sponsors to help put on an April 26 fun run and walk to promote heart health through consuming beef.

Appeals court declines to halt meat COOL rule

- A federal appeals court dealt another setback for opponents of mandatory country-of-origin labeling, agreeing with a lower court that the rule likely doesn't violate the First Amendment or cause irreparable harm to the meat...

Growers to vote on walnut board’s marketing order

- Walnut growers in California will vote in the coming weeks on whether to continue the federal marketing order for the California Walnut Board, which handles production research and other projects.

Cattlemen sound off as gray wolf listing decision looms

- The California Cattlemen's Association is urging members to voice their opinions as the state Fish and Game Commission is set to consider a petition to list the gray wolf as threatened during its April 16 meeting in Ventura.

Loblolly pine genome a boost for paper products industry

- Scientists have mapped the genome of the loblolly pine, which is the source of most American paper products. Among the project's benefits, scientists found the genes that can determine pathogen resistance.

State, federal agencies seek to boost water for ag

- California and U.S. water agencies say they're working together to make more water available for agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley. An order was issued March 18 to provide more flexibility in pumping from the Sacramento...

California lawmakers, students rally for ag ed funding

- Dozens of California legislators and hundreds of FFA students are fighting for funding for the Agricultural Education Incentive Grant program, which Gov. Jerry Brown proposed to cut in his January preliminary budget.

Free beef-quality training offered through mid-April

- A leading pharmaceutical firm and a Midwestern university are sponsoring free Beef Quality Assurance certification training for cattle producers through April 15.

Lawmakers unveil bill to build new California reservoir

- California Reps. John Garamendi, a Democrat, and Doug LaMalfa, a Republican, have introduced legislation to study and build the long-discussed Sites Reservoir in Northern California.

Drought to cause drop in rice plantings

- Drought will likely lead to fewer acres of rice planted this season in California's Sacramento Valley, which could impact the economies of rice-dependent communities.

Ranchers grudgingly accept Klamath water-sharing pact

- Many ranchers in Oregon's Upper Klamath Basin appear to grudgingly accept a water-sharing agreement with the Klamath Tribes that has resulted from months of talks. If the deal is approved by most ranchers and tribal members...

Valencia volume above average despite December freeze

- Valencia orange trees in California's Central Valley are showing good volume despite the December freeze, according to a government survey of growers.

California grape crush, wine exports set records

- California's grape crush set another tonnage record in 2013, while the Golden State's wine crop established its own record for exports.

Gov. Brown asked to reconsider zero-water allocations

- A California state senator has asked Gov. Jerry Brown to consider alternatives to the State Water Project's zero-water allocation for agriculture, which he said would be devastating to farmers and the economy.

Agency urges livestock producers to record drought losses

- The USDA's Farm Service Agency is urging California livestock and dairy producers to keep good records of drought-related losses so they can apply for aid under the new Farm Bill.

USDA initiative to bolster small, mid-sized farms

- The USDA has announced a sweeping range of initiatives to help the small and mid-sized farmer after the preliminary Census of Agriculture showed declines in all farms except those with 1,000 acres of more.

Students learning to be pest control advisers

- Students at Shasta College in Redding, Calif., are enrolled in a new 42-unit program to receive their state certification as pest control advisers. California will need to replenish its corps of public and private advisers,...

Minorities find opportunity in agriculture

- Ethnic diversity is increasing within the American farming population, according to the latest Census of Agriculture.

Bees finishing almond bloom, looking for other food

- Bee colonies entered the almond blossom in California in relatively good health, but they'll be looking for other food once the blossom is over. And there isn't much around because of the drought.

California’s wet February encourages farmers

- February brought much-needed rain to California's farms and ranches, and March may bring more. But officials caution the water content in snowpack is still far below what will be needed this summer.

Beef Checkoff popularity reaches 21-year high

- A producer survey has found the popularity of Beef Checkoff programs is at a 21-year high at 78 percent.

Warm weather ignites California almond blossom

- A stretch of warm and dry weather in California's Central Valley has facilitated a vibrant almond blossom, signaling that spring is on its way.

Cleanliness key as safety regs loom, expert says

- A food safety expert advised prune producers to stress cleanliness and good record-keeping as new federal produce safety rules loom.

No federal water for most California irrigators

- California farmers will get no federal water from the government's initial allocations this year.

Students get career ideas at Chico State fair

- Hundreds of students and alumni at California State University-Chico gathered job and career ideas at the College of Agriculture's annual Career and Internship Fair Feb. 19 at the university farm.

Drought management decisions have consequences

- Northern California rancher Wally Roney encouraged other ranchers during a recent workshop to consider the consequences of decisions they'll make to keep their operations afloat during California's historic drought.