Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

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...

Experts outline nonlethal measures to prevent wolf depredation

- Livestock producers, government officials and university researchers detailed a half-dozen nonlethal measures that ranchers could use to prevent wolf attacks.

Trust between state, ranchers elusive as wolves populate N. California

- Ranchers peppered state Department of Fish and Wildlife officials with questions during a workshop on wolf-livestock conflicts, as landowners contend wildlife managers are often too slow to notify them of danger from nearby...

Growers still assessing orchard damage from floods, storms

- The damage to California’s permanent crops from last winter’s flooding and heavy storms is still being assessed as growers find out which trees’ roots were waterlogged, preventing them from drawing up w...

As competition grows, California prunes seek high-end niche

- With Argentina and Chile selling smaller prunes at lower prices, the California Dried Plum Board is marketing prunes from the Golden State to high-end customers such as restaurants and food manufacturers in Japan and Europe.

Weather could complicate rebound for California prune crop

- The dried plum crop in 2017 is expected to be more than double last year’s weather-impacted short crop, but an industry insider cautions that this spring’s unsettled weather is leading to “a lot more&#x...

Bill to expand buffers near wild, scenic rivers dies in Assembly

- A bill to expand a buffer zone around state-designated Wild and Scenic Rivers failed to gain enough support before a deadline for moving it out of the California Assembly.

Complaints prompt state to modify new insect fee

- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife was considering charging up to $75 per student, or $400 per team, for each insect-collecting expedition for research, but the agency is dialing back the plan after hearing from...

Researcher uses drones, predators against strawberry pest

- A University of California-Davis researcher has won a three-year USDA grant to study the use of drones to detect strawberry plant stress caused by spider mites and use natural predators to combat the pest.

Workshop offers tips on preventing wolf-livestock conflicts

- A workshop in Hat Creek, Calif., on June 14 will provide ranchers with an update on wolves in California and offer advice on how to protect their livestock from the predators.

Navel orange harvest wraps up early, making way for Valencias

- Growers have mostly wrapped up their harvest of a light crop, creating an opportunity in the marketplace for Valencias, which are at mid-season.

California city stakes its claim as queen bee capital

- The city of Orland, Calif., in the middle Sacramento Valley claims it produces more bees than any other community in North America. It has been designated one of 40 “bee cities” by Bee City USA, an organizatio...

Farm Demonstration Network to promote innovative growing practices

- The University of California Cooperative Extension is working with other government agencies and agricultural leaders to educate growers about new management practices that could help them meet challenges.

Citrus industry to boost assessments to battle psyllid, HLB

- The California Legislature has passed bills enabling the citrus industry to increase its grower assessments for activities to slow the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid and the deadly tree disease huanglongbing.

Growers rush to finish rice planting after field work delays

- Rice growers in California are scrambling to get their planting done by June 1 after winter and early spring rains made many fields too wet to work in until recently.

Brown restores FFA, career tech funding after outcry from supporters

- Gov. Jerry Brown reinserted $15.4 million into his budget proposal for high school FFA and career technical programs after parents, students and other advocates took to social media to rally support for the programs.

FFA members help special-needs kids raise goats for county fair

- Six high school students with special needs were paired with mentors to help them raise goats to present and sell at the Glenn County Fair in Orland, Calif.

California growers, researchers preparing for next drought

- California growers, researchers prepare for dry spells to come; drip irrigation goes underground.

Revised budget impacts ag, sparks talks at California Capitol

- Gov. Jerry Brown’s $124 billion revised budget would maintain $4.4 million for a pest and disease prevention program, but citrus industry leaders want money specifically for huanglongbing. Meanwhile, FFA leaders lame...

Almond producers expect record crop despite stormy bloom

- California’s almond industry expects to harvest a record 2.2 billion pound crop even after stormy weather in February complicated the bloom. The Almond Board of California’s leader doesn’t expect the bi...

Fresno leaders make new offer to keep state FFA convention

- City and California State University-Fresno leaders have put a new offer on the table to keep the FFA’s state convention in town, including use of the local fairgrounds, more mentorship by ag professionals and perhap...

Feinstein farmworker bill should be part of larger solution, ag groups say

- California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and other Democrats are proposing giving legal status to many undocumented farmworkers. Farm groups generally praise the proposal but say it’s only part of the answer.

Logging education day touts technology, vocational training

- Hundreds of Northern California elementary through high school students learned about technological advances in the timber industry during a field trip to a logging site hosted each year by the Sierra Cascade Logging Confer...

Shorter, ‘ladderless’ peach and nectarine orchards taking off

- As labor shortages intensify, “semi-dwarfing” rootstocks developed by University of California researchers to create “ladderless” peach and nectarine orchards.

Fresno makes last-ditch push to keep state FFA meet

- Fresno’s mayor and California State University-Fresno’s president have met with state FFA officials to try to urge them to reconsider their decision to move the organization’s state convention to Anahei...

HLB infections in commercial Calif. citrus inevitable, researcher says

- Huanglongbing is spreading in Southern California residential neighborhoods so rapidly that it’s only a matter of time before the tree-killing disease shows up in commercial citrus groves, a University of California ...

Western Innovator: Sustainability runs in the family

- With neighborly and environmentally friendly farming practices long a family goal, twin brothers Randall and Bradford Lange took them to a new level.