Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

Settlement reached in Duarte Clean Water Act lawsuit

- Farmer John Duarte has agreed to pay $330,000 in civil penalties and purchase $770,000 worth of mitigation credits to resolve a federal lawsuit after he was accused of plowing wetlands on his property in Tehama County, Calif.

Almond advocates seek farm bill funding boost

- Almond Alliance of California president Kelly Covello complains there hasn’t been an increase in recent Farm Bills for such initiatives as the Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program.

Speakers lined up for Glenn County’s second growers’ conference

- California Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross will be a featured speaker at the Glenn County Fair’s North State Innovations in Agriculture conference in November.

Farmer mounts legal defense, political offensive in wetlands battle

- Farmer John Duarte is about to go to trial over $2.8 million in fines levied against him for allegedly plowing through wetlands. He and his allies want the Trump administration to intervene.

Congressman questions plan to drain Lake Oroville for project

- Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., is questioning the degree to which state Department of Water Resources officials want to drain Lake Oroville this winter to accommodate reconstruction of the dam’s spillways.

Farms fined after pesticide drift sickens farmworkers

- Regulators in Kern County, Calif., penalized two farms after their treatments with chlorpyrifos and sulfur, respectively, drifted into an area where workers were harvesting cabbage.

Cap-and-trade extension included fire fee repeal

- The bill to extend California’s cap-and-trade program through 2030, which was signed recently by Gov. Jerry Brown, included the repeal of a controversial fee charged to rural landowners for fire protection.

Perdue defends science nominee over background, statements

- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue defended Sam Clovis, President Donald Trump’s nominee for under secretary for research, against critics’ charge he isn’t qualified to do the job.

Levee repairs underway as many more are needed

- Projects this summer to refurbish stretches of levee in and near Yuba City, Calif., come as levees along many other parts of the Feather and Sacramento rivers need attention, officials say.

Record heat, continued winter fallout flummox Calif. growers

- One of the wettest winters in California history is being followed by one of the hottest summers, causing growers to encounter damage and complications to crops from both weather extremes.

Farm groups sue feds over habitat designations

- The Pacific Legal Foundation filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of California farm groups to challenge a critical habitat designation for three species in Northern and Central California.

Calif. continues citrus pest program with widespread support

- The California Department of Food and Agriculture decided to continue the assessment-funded Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program without a referendum after a series of meetings with growers.

Calif. to draw down Lake Oroville to accommodate dam work

- While the state Department of Water Resources says its Oroville Dam reconstruction project is on schedule, the agency is slowly lowering the lake to accommodate late-season work.

New UC website explains scientific advances on citrus psyllid, HLB

- University of California researchers have launched a new website to explain scientific advances regarding the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing.

Calif. strawberry production ahead of 2016 record

- California strawberry production is still near its peak and is ahead of its pace in 2016, when harvests started slow but rallied late to set a record.

Delta tunnels project reaches key milestone as opponents may sue

- California’s Department of Water Resources has certified that Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed twin tunnels project meets state environmental requirements. Restore the Delta, a staunch opponent of the project, is p...

Farmer sues Marin County over building permit requirements

- The Pacific Legal Foundation filed suit against Marin County and the California Coastal Commission on behalf of a turkey farmer who says the county’s permit requirements could prevent him from retiring if he builds h...

Awards, speaker to highlight seventh Fresno Food Expo

- The seventh annual Fresno Food Expo will to put San Joaquin Valley producers in touch with food company buyers from around the world. The expo will include awards and a keynote speech by “Supermarket Guru” Phi...

Fair exhibit touts water conservation even in wet years

- The state Department of Water Resources exhibit on the farm at the California State Fair urges attendees to make conservation a lifestyle even after wet winters.

New almond plantings boost production as shipments soar

- Almond producers in California expect to produce a record 2.25 billion meat pounds this year, fueled by new plantings coming on line.

State collars wolf from new California pack

- Pamela Flick of Defenders of Wildlife says state officials’ radio collaring of the adult female in the newly discovered Lassen Pack will enable them to notify ranchers that the pack is in their area.

Canning peach growers could benefit from later varieties, study finds

- A pair of University of California cost studies suggest that although canners pay more for early-harvested peaches, later varieties yield more fruit and cost less to thin.

Heat damage could further diminish processing tomato crop

- Damage from the recent heat wave could cause some flowers to fall off younger plants or sunburn or stunt the growth of more mature fruit.

4-H, FFA members gear up for California State Fair

- More than 4,000 animals are entered in youth and local divisions each year at the California State Fair, which this year runs July 14-30.

Study: Drought, price slide took toll on NE California ag economy

- Agricultural production in northeastern California was worth about $4.2 billion in 2015, down by nearly 9 percent from the previous year, according to a California State University-Chico researcher.

Cattlemen to urge Trump to reconsider monuments that impact grazing

- Producers whose grazing operations have been impacted by monument designations are urged to call the California Cattlemen’s Association at (916) 444-0845.

Farmer seeks settlement in Clean Water Act case

- An attorney for farmer John Duarte says he has been in talks with senior U.S. Justice Department officials about resolving a case in which the government claims Duarte deep-ripped wetlands to plant wheat and is seeking $2.8...