Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

Almond board funds UC orchard recycling research

- The Almond Board of California has given a $145,000 grant to the University of California to continue research on grounding up whole almond orchards and putting the material back into the ground to help soil quality.

Fresh fruit organization’s Bedwell moves to leadership foundation

- Barry Bedwell, president of the California Fresh Fruit Association since 2003, is moving to lead the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation beginning in August.

Researcher: Environmental analysis crucial as pot laws liberalize

- Researchers who identified more than 4,000 cannabis grow sites in the mountains of northwestern California szay much attention will need to be paid to pot production's environmental impacts as marijuana laws liberalizze acr...

New UC citrus-funded lab to tackle huanglongbing

- A new high-security laboratory funded by the citrus industry is being built near the University of California-Riverside to study the pathogen that causes the deadly tree disease huanglongbing.

Volume of dead trees could make removal difficult, company official says

- U.S. Forest Service aerial surveys have identified a record 66 million dead trees in Southern Sierra Nevada forests. The sheer volume of dead and dying trees could make their removal difficult.

Bill to change Calif. ag overtime law revived — again

- A bill to reduce the hours a California farmworker has to work to receive overtime pay has been revived after having been defeated earlier this month. The author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, inserted the language into an...

Soap sales help 4-H member raise money for projects

- 4-H member Madeline Evans, 12, started using goat's milk to make soap last year and has raised more than $1,000 to put back into her projects.

Bill would remove population targets for predator fish in Delta

- A bill by U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., seeks to remove fish population requirements for striped bass in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The bass are a non-native predator fish that are known to feed on endangere...

California berry production gaining after slow start

- Production of strawberries and other berries in California are making gains after getting off to a slow start because of winter rains.

More overhead irrigation expected in California

- University of California researchers believe there could be an upsurge in field crop producers' use of overhead irrigation systems, which are becoming nearly as efficient as drip systems and are cheaper to operate and maint...

Groups petition state to address predatory fish in Delta

- The California Farm Bureau Federation and Western Growers have joined water agencies and conservation groups in petitioning the state Fish and Game Commission to ease fishing controls on non-native bass that are feeding on ...

Winter chill pushes apricot yields up slightly

- Growers say apricot yields in California are up slightly from last year. Harvest is expected to continue through the end of this month.

Ag’s share of NE California economy grows despite drought

- Agriculture's share of overall economic activity in Northeastern California increased in 2014 despite the drought, according to a California State University-Chico study.

Water board to refine enforcement procedures after ruling

- California water regulators will re-examine how they determine water rights violations after the State Water Resources Control Board dismissed a proposed $1.5 million fine against the Byron Bethany Irrigation District becau...

Farm groups relieved as ag overtime bill dies in Assembly

- A bill that would have ended agricultural exceptions to California's overtime laws failed to make it out of the Assembly before a deadline to advance legislation from its originating chamber.

Water, labor in focus as presidential hopefuls stump in California

- Water policy and the plight of farmworkers have been a key focus as the three remaining active presidential candidates stumped for votes in California in the weeks leading up to the state's June 7 primary.

After storms, 2016 prune crop could be smallest on record

- Prune producers in California are expecting yields of less than half of what they were last year after cold, wet and windy weather in March spoiled the blossom. Federal officials say this could be the smallest prune crop in...

Local-food push fuels egg production boom in Nevada

- Nevada's egg and poultry production value has tripled since 2010, but producers say the boom is the result of a burgeoning local food movement and not California's voter-approved minimum cage sizes.

Grower: Farmers should join forces, negotiate higher prices

- A grain producer in Northern California says producers should band together to negotiate better prices from buyers. He says growers' inability to gain pricing "parity" is threatening the nation's long-term food security.

Calif. walnut acreage, tree sales jumped in 2015

- California's overall walnut acreage in 2015 was up 12 percent from 2013 levels, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Nursery sales of walnut trees have also increased.

Protecting crops naturally

- Dani Lightle, a University of California Cooperative Extension orchard crop adviser in Orland, was a science enthusiast as a youngster but far removed from agriculture. Now she's helping growers find natural means to ward o...

Rice growers wrap up near-normal planting season

- Northern California rice growers are wrapping up their planting season as spring rains enabled them to plant close to 500,000 acres, a significant increase from last year.

Mechanical harvests of raisin grapes increase dramatically

- About 28 percent of California's raisin grape acreage was harvested mechanically last season, up dramatically from two years ago, and experts think machine harvests will keep increasing as labor costs rise.

California ag groups give more than $746,000 in scholarships


ANDERSON, Calif. — Two agricultural groups are handing out hundreds of scholarships worth more than $746,000 this spring.

The Sierra Pacific Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded by Sierra Pacific...

Dairy lessons highlight annual ag awareness day


YREKA, Calif. — Teams of elementary-school students waited eagerly for their turns in a contest to see who could fill buckets with milk the fastest.

They were “milking” a faux cow hosted by loc...

Calif. almond yields to increase 6 percent in 2016, survey says


ORLAND, Calif. — Almond growers in California expect to produce a 2 billion pound crop this year, a nearly 6 percent increase from 2015, according to a government report.

The National Agricultural Statistics...

Brown’s budget revision leaves CDFA, drought funding intact


SACRAMENTO — In his annual May budget revision, Gov. Jerry Brown kept the Department of Food and Agriculture’s nearly $80.7 million general-fund allocation intact even though overall revenue has fallen shor...

California to strengthen Asian citrus psyllid quarantine


SACRAMENTO — As Asian citrus psyllids are beginning to show up regularly in California’s prime citrus-growing region, state officials may strengthen the quarantine that’s been in place to guard again...

Strawberry production lags way behind, but industry isn’t worried


WATSONVILLE, Calif. — Strawberry production in California is way behind the pace of the last two years, but industry insiders aren’t too worried about ending up with a failed crop.

As of April 30, 42....

Brown seeks to cement reporting regs for smaller irrigation districts


SACRAMENTO — A far-reaching new drought-related executive order by Gov. Jerry Brown seeks to make permanent many emergency water-saving measures enacted in response to the drought, including water use reporting ma...

Plentiful navel orange harvest begins to wind down


The harvest of navel oranges in the San Joaquin Valley is entering its home stretch, and growers say they’re picking an more abundant crop than expected.

Consistently large oranges could help the industry su...

UC webinar series to help farms with agritourism


DAVIS, Calif. — A series of upcoming University of California webinars will provide free marketing and other advice to farms that have made agritourism a part of their business.

The hour-long, 11 a.m. webina...

Egg prices plunge as supplies rebound


FRESNO, Calif. — Commercial egg prices in California are plummeting, and a slow global economy combined with a rebounding chicken flock after last year’s devastating avian flu outbreak are among the contrib...

Lesson plans teach elementary-school students about almonds


MODESTO, Calif. — A growers’ group has put together a lesson plan for elementary-school teachers to enlighten youngsters about almonds.

The Almond Board of California’s new video and activity b...