Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

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.

Surplus drives down processing tomato prices, acreage

- Processing tomato growers in California are proceeding through their harvest as contracted acreage is down because of global market conditions.

New psyllid quarantine plans advance as research intensifies

- As new research faciities come online to tackle the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing, the deadly tree disease spread by the pest, California officials are still considering strengthening the quarantine for the psyllid.

Agencies offer grants, loans for water projects

- State and federal agencies have been offering a series of "funding fairs" in California to educate rural officials about the funding available for small-scale water projects.

Delta growers follow WaterFix hearings

- Growers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta are watching with keen interest as the State Water Resources Control Board embarks on hearings to consider approving the California WaterFix, Gov. Jerry Brown's ambitious tw...

Study: Direct-marketers create more jobs in their own regions

- A University of California-Davis study finds that farms that market their products directly to consumers create more local jobs that conventional growers, who tend to use resources that are more far-flung.

Festivals promote California’s peach-production prowess

- A group that sponsors 11 farmers' markets in the Sacramento has planned a series of festivals this summer to celebrate peach production, in which California leads the nation.

Computer scientist develops smart app for growers

- University of California-Santa Barbara computer science researcher Chandra Krintz grew up on a farm in Indiana. Now she's developing new software that will help growers run their operations more efficiently.

Beekeepers urged to enter honey in awards competition

- Beekeepers are urged to enter their honeys in the annual Good Food Awards competition by July 31. The awards are meant to recognize good farming practices, said a University of California-Davis researcher is coordinating th...

Calif. urged to delay cap-and-trade extension, changes

- Farm groups are urging Gov. Jerry Brown and other California decision-makers to wait until closer to the 2020 sunset of the state's cap-and-trade program before deciding whether to expand or extend it.

Western Growers seeks start-up companies for new innovation center

- Western Growers is offering "scholarships" for start-up companies to rent space in its new Center for Innovation and Technology, where companies work to develop new products and services to meet agriculture's most pressing ...

Range rider program seeks to avert wolf-livestock conflicts

- The California Wolf Center is setting up a range rider program under which willing ranchers in far Northern California could have someone patrol their properties every few days looking for evidence of wolves or other predat...

Group to continue effort to boost U.S. walnut consumption

- The California Walnut Commission plans to continue its recent push to market the nuts domestically to try to offset a slide in prices to growers, the panel's leader says.

PLF’s new president wants to extend the organization’s reach

- Incoming Pacific Legal Foundation president Steven Anderson said he wants to expand the reach of the Sacramento-based public interest legal organization, including boosting fundraising efforts.

Almond growers urged to reduce dust during harvest

- Almond growers received tips on reducing harvest dust during a pair of workshops hosted by the Almond Board of California. Farm industries are placing a greater emphasis on dust reduction as much of California fails to meet...

Water efficiency credited for big almond crop during drought

- California almond yields in 2016 are epected to increase by nearly 8 percent over last year, and a top industry official credits growers for their water efficiency in cultivating a big crop during a fifth straight year of d...

Walnut price slide prompts orchard management changes

- A slide in prices to walnut growers in the last few years has prompted many of them to change their orchard management, replanting with varieties that offer better yields and quality.

Entrants to get big-league experience at California State Fair

- Agriculture will take center stage again this year at the California State Fair, which starts July 8 in Sacramento.

Rising blueberry demand to spur production boom, group predicts

- Rising consumer demand for blueberries could fuel an increase of production in North America in the next few years, the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council asserts.

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.