Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

Flood control plan calls for further drawdown of Lake Oroville

- A plan released by California’s Department of Water Resources calls for Lake Oroville to be drained below 700 feet in elevation despite a congressman’s criticism of the idea.

Farms, vineyards assessing damage from wine country fires

- While many vineyards were spared by the fires that have devastated California’s wine country, some wineries and other farms are beginning to pick up the pieces after being flattened by flames.

Walnut growers step up harvests before expected rains

- As the walnut industry is expecting a slightly smaller crop this year, some growers have rushed to finish before unsettled weather was expected to arrive on Oct. 19.

Western Innovator: Improving crops, waterfowl habitat

- Marc Staunton’s family’s farm was among those that spearheaded the Walking Wetlands project.

Wine industry contributes $220 billion to economy, study finds

- The study by the trade group WineAmerica notes that while California accounts for the bulk of the revenue in wine, there are wineries in all 50 states generating jobs and income for their communities.

Industry seeks to reassure consumers as wine country burns

- California wine industry groups say their harvest was 90 percent complete when wildfires in the northern San Francisco Bay area kicked up late Oct. 8. They say they’ll work to secure recovery funds once the extent of...

Growers scramble to finish rice harvest before fall rains

- Late spring storms caused delays in planting, which pushed harvests back. Growers are also finding lower yields after several heat waves during the summer interfered with pollination.

Tours highlight college farm’s sustainability push

- Farm tours for community members emphasized the Shasta College agriculture program’s emphasis on methods to enhance soil quality and save water and other resources.

Water officials seek to improve forecasting of major storms

- California’s Department of Water Resources asserts that better long-range storm tracking would improve management of reservoirs, but whether it would quicken agricultural water allocations is uncertain.

Brown signs bill allowing water users to save money

- The bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will allow landowners and users with water rights to install their own measuring devices after taking a University of California-led course rather than having to hire a licensed engineer.

Bill to ease water measuring regs awaits Brown’s signature

- A bill that would enable landowners to install their own water measuring devices if they’ve taken a course from the University of California Cooperative Extension passed unanimously in both houses of the Legislature.

Advocates tout importance of FFA, other career-technical programs

- California legislators held an informational meeting to discuss how to stabilize funding for high school shop and agricultural programs, which were saved from the budget ax last spring.

Klamath Basin leaders work to keep young people in ag

- Annual farm tour highlights efforts by Klamath Community College, industry leaders to keep young people in local ag and keep farms viable for future generations.

Florida’s citrus hit from Irma unlikely to impact Calif. growers

- Hurricane Irma has further devastated a Florida citrus industry already cut down by huanglongbing, which may improve prices for California fruit that’s diverted to juice. But the overall impact on California will be ...

Big equipment, big opportunity: Trade schools offer attractive alternative

- Trade schools offer an attractive alternative to expensive college educations for students interested in agriculture.

Farm groups criticize new state risk assessment for chlorpyrifos

- As a result of a new document that claims chlorpyrifos exposure causes risks to young children, California may put the pesticide on a hazards list and ask counties to require larger buffer zones.

Stormy blossom leads to smaller navel orange crop

- Growers are expected to harvest 70 million cartons this season, down from the 75 million produced in the 2016-17 season, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

More water bonds may be put before California voters in 2018

- Initiatives slated for the June and November 2018 ballots would propose a combined $12.4 billion in water and parks bonds, including a former Natural Resources Agency official’s $8.9 billion proposal for such project...

Raisin producers assessing damage from rain during harvest

- Growers were already expecting a smaller crop this year before thunderstorms dropped as much as a half-inch of rain in some vineyards just as grapes were drying on the ground.

Walnut growers set to harvest smaller crop

- The anticipated 650,000-ton walnut crop in California is 5 percent smaller than last year’s, but the smaller nut set has led to larger sizes, according to a government report.

Vintners scramble to protect grapes from heat amid harvest

- Triple-digit temperatures in California’s prime wine-producing regions have prompted vineyard owners to step up irrigation and pick some grapes more quickly.

HLB causes Florida citrus production to fall behind California

- The Golden State produced 3.9 million tons of citrus fruit in the 2016-2017 season compared to 3.5 million tons from Florida, whose industry has been devastated by huanglongbing.

Table olives’ high yields, prices offset by rising costs, competition

- This year’s anticipated 73,000-ton table olive crop in California up 9 percent from last year’s 67,100-ton crop, according to a government survey of growers.

Officials seek to quell doubts about Oroville Dam’s future safety

- State officials say patches of green foliage on the face of the Oroville Dam aren’t the result of seepage, but University of California experts say they aren’t so sure.

Smaller tomato harvest may bring short-term pain to growers

- Contracted processing tomato production is about 11.5 million tons, which is lower than the May estimate and 8 percent below last year.

Harvey relief won’t jeopardize Oroville Dam funds, officials say

- Though the damage and flooding in Texas and Louisiana are one of the worst disasters in U.S. history, “nothing has changed” for the Oroville project, a Federal Emergency Management Agency official said.

Prune harvest starts slowly as fruit gains size, flavor

- Growers are slowly harvesting an anticipated 105,000-ton prune crop in California but are having difficulty producing the larger, sweeter fruit touted by industry’s marketing efforts.

Research to help wean strawberry industry from chemical fumigants

- Teams led by the University of California have received $7 million for projects to develop new disease-resistant strawberry varieties.

Food truck touts strawberries, raises funds to feed kids

- The California Strawberry Commission took a food truck to community events in Southern California and sold strawberry dishes to raise funds for a program that serves meals to needy children.

College selling tickets, soliciting sponsorships for fall Harvest Fest

- Shasta College in Redding, Calif., started a fall harvest festival several years ago as a fundraiser during a budget crisis. The festival includes a dinner and tour of the college farm.

Almond growers anticipate another record as harvest begins

- New plantings are fueling a production boom for California almonds, which are expected to weigh in at 2.25 billion meat pounds this season.