Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

EcoFarm 2015 to focus on climate change, food safety

- Registration is being taken for the 2015 EcoFarm Conference, one of the West's largest gatherings for organic and environmentally concious producers. The Jan. 21-24 event in Pacific Grove, Calif., will include talks on clim...

Rice ‘strawlage’ researchers, growers working out the kinks

- Ranchers, rice growers and University of California Cooperative Extension researchers are still fine-tuning their methods for preparing rice straw for use as an affordable cattle feed. The use of "rice strawlage" has been p...

Farms weather historic storm’s high winds, big rains

- Farms in California's Central Valley have appeared to make it through one of the most severe storms in years without sustaining damage. No significant toppling of trees were reported despite the high winds, although one far...

Study: Almond industry contributes $21.5 billion to economy

- Almond production in California generates more than 100,000 jobs and directly and indirectly contributes more than $21.5 billion a year to the state's economy, according to a study by the University of California-Davis.

Calif. bill would regulate, track antibiotic use in livestock

- The California state lawmaker whose antibiotics bill was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this year has introduced new legislation that would bar the sale of the drugs for livestock without a prescription and set up judic...

House passes GOP drought bill despite Dems’ opposition

- Despite opposition from Democrats, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill by Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., that would allow more water to be pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta during storms to provi...

New Calif. drought relief bill faces opposition

- A new drought-relief bill a California congressman has proposed to make the most out of this summer's negotiations with U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has itself encountered opposition from Democrats in the House of Representat...

Impressive California storms not a harbinger of El Nino

- The storm track has set its sights on California this month, but the state still only faces about a two-thirds chance that El Nino conditions will develop, bringing a potential of wet weather in January and February.

Drought makes for lighter almond crop

- The harvests of almonds and other tree nuts are mostly wrapped up in California. Drought has taken its toll on almond sizes and weights, producing a crop that's estimated to be 7 percent to 8 percent lighter than last year's.

California water contractors to get 10 percent of requests

- California's Department of Water Resources has announced an initial allocation of 10 percent of requested deliveries to its State Water Project contractors.

Group: Strawberries to be methyl bromide-free by 2016

- California's strawberry industry will be methyl bromide-free by 2016, a state commodity group asserts. The fumigant is now used on only about 8 percent of the state's strawberry acreage.

U.S. appeal at WTO gives Congress time to fix COOL

- The U.S. has filed an appeal of the World Trade Organization's second ruling against its country-of-origin meat-labeling regulation, which will give Congress time to amend or repeal the rule in the coming months.

Talks with water districts to focus on BDCP funding

- California's Department of Water Resources is inviting the public to sit in on negotiations with water districts over funding for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. The talks would amend the water supply contracts of district...

Researchers find almond snacks curb appetite at meals

- New research has found that eating almonds as a snack in the morning can curb a consumer's appetite throughout the day, making it less likely he or she will overeat at lunch at lunch and dinner.

New water rule raises property-rights concerns

- As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency begins examining the more than 13,000 comments on its proposed "Waters of the U.S." rule, some landowners fear having to obtain costly permits because of rain runoff or other issu...

Wet December on tap for California

- Californians can expect a wetter-than-normal December throughout the state, according to the National Weather Service. After that, weak El Nino conditions are expected to boost precipitation south of Sacramento.

Calif. navel oranges small but flavorful

- As the holiday season approaches, navel oranges from California are smaller than usual because of the drought. But their sugar contents and utilization rates are high, industry insiders say.

Sacramento, Shasta Farm Bureaus recognized for innovation

- The Sacramento and Shasta county Farm Bureaus in California are among 24 local offices nationwide that will be recognized for innovative projects during the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual convention in January.

Researcher: Climate talks should focus on solutions

- An Iowa State University sociology professor who examined differences in opinion between climate scientists and farmers about climate change advises the scientists to focus more on on-farm solutions in their conversations ...

Researcher helps ranchers deal with drought

- A University of California Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources farm advisor since 1988, Larry Forero has recently been helping ranchers maximize their irrigation efficiency as state regulators are taking a...

Delta tunnels the next big water fight in Calif.

- Now that California's Proposition 1 has passed, some activists who fought the state's water bond have turned their attention to Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed tunnels that would bypass the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

FWS reopens comments on cuckoo critical habitat

- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has opened a second 60-day public comment period on its proposed critical habitat for the yellow-billed cuckoo.

Ranchers taking variety of steps to cope with drought

- California ranchers are taking a variety of measures to cope with the ongoing drought, including reducing herd sizes and weaning early, according to an intensive study by the University of California-Davis. Ranchers need to...

Drought Monitor authors encourage growers’ input

- Authors of the U.S. Drought Monitor encourage growers and others to submit information about how the drought is affecting them so that the weekly maps can be more accurate.

Eighth-graders look to future at Calif. career fair

- Nearly 800 eighth-graders from throughout Tehama County, Calif., attended a career fair that included an agriculture building with presentations from colleges, public works and pest control agencies, nut farms and forestry ...

Calif. water bond battles turn to implementation

- Two-thirds of California voters approved Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion water bond, but backers and opponents say their battles will continue over its implementation.

Grants help Calif. schools plant, expand gardens

- The Western Growers Foundation and California Department of Education have handed out $150,000 in grants to 100 schools statewide for on-campus garden projects in a push to get children to eat more fruits and vegetables and...

COOL wins in court, but still at odds with WTO

- An appellate court's denial last week of plaintiffs' request to rehear their lawsuit against the country-of-origin meat-labeling rule highlights a clash of sorts between law and politics, as international pressure to amend ...

UC extension urged to use social media, partnerships

- A University of California-Davis water policy expert asserts the Cooperative Extension should make better use of social media and partnerships with outside groups. Mark Lubell's conclusions come after studying 10 years of s...

SPI mill tour touts environmental stewardship

- Visitors who toured Sierra Pacific Industries' sawmill in Anderson, Calif., were taught how the plant takes measures to protect the environment. The mill was the first stop in a day-long bus tour of area agricultural operat...

Water plan calls for conservation measures on farms

- The California Department of Water Resources has released an updated state water plan with about 350 recommendations, more than 50 of which have to do with agriculture.

Periodic storms may continue in Northern Calif.

- A persistent parade of storm clouds has spritzed Northern California while areas south of Sacramento remained dry. The pattern is expected to continue at least until early November, even as El Nino conditions are anticipate...

House Dems again seek vote on wildfire bill

- U.S. Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., has been joined by House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi in calling for Speaker John Boehner to schedule a vote on a bill that would protect forest management in the fed...

Confusion over drought maps prompts UC workshop

- A drought workshop offered by the University of California-Davis on Nov. 7 will include information about how climatologists can put together the U.S. Drought Monitor, which can affect ranchers' disaster relief payments.

Tomato growers peg crop at record 14 million tons

- California processing tomato growers expect to meet contracts for a record 14-million-ton crop. Good weather during crop development and having more acres planted than originally expected enabled growers to meet the goal.

Adverse weather hampers Calif. olive oil production

- California olive oil producers are hoping to match last year's mark of 3.5 million gallons after adverse weather affected crop development. Production had been increasing dramatically in recent years.

Rice growers wrap up drought-diminished harvest

- California rice farmers are wrapping up their harvest of a crop that's expected to be 23 percent smaller than last year's. Good yields on many of the acres that were planted will help make up at least a small part of the lo...

Rain damage, water shortage hamper pumpkin crop

- A few rain-damaged pumpkins in northern areas and water shortages in the San Joaquin Valley put a blemish on what has otherwise been a decent pumpkin crop in California, growers say.