Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

Calif. field crop acreages shrinking amid drought

- The drought's continued impacts are causing field crop acreage in California to dip lower than expected this year. according to an acreage update from the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Drought shrinks 2015 almond crop by 3 percent, industry says

- Drought-related stress on trees will likely lead to a slightly smaller almond crop in California this year, industry officials have predicted. The crop estimate comes after last year's crop came in smaller than expected.

Advisor helps SJ Valley growers meet challenges, opportunities

- Maxwell Norton, the retiring director of the University of California Cooperative Extension office in Merced County, was in early pioneer in research into many of the issues that growers currently face in the San Joaquin Va...

Tomato harvests underway amid heat wave

- California tomato growers are starting harvests of what they say is a decent crop this year, as contracts for processing tomatoes are expected to amount to 14.3 million tons in 2015.

More shutoff notices issued to senior water right holders

- California's State Water Resources Control Board has issued more curtailment notices to senior right holders south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Almond board deflects criticism, sets $2.5 million for research

- The Almond Board of California announced $2.5 million in research into water efficiency, honeybee health and best practices for the coming fiscal year as the industry faces criticism from environmentalists.

Expert: Approvals of antibiotics in feed won’t be automatic

- A Kansas State University veterinary expert advises that ranchers shouldn't expect their veterinarians to automatically approve uses of medicially important antibiotics under new federal guidelines that fully take effect Ja...

Vilsack announces another $150 million in Calif. drought aid

- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced another $150 million in drought relief for California on June 24, the bulk of which will be used to restore mountain watersheds.

Prop. 2 blamed for decline in egg production in Calif.

- Egg production and the number of egg-laying hens are down significantly in California since last year, according to a USDA report. Farmers are decreasing their hen numbers to comply with Proposition 2, the 2008 initiative t...

FFA students build hog loading ramp for Shasta fair

- FFA members from Cottonwood, Calif., made a hog loading ramp and donated it to the Shasta District Fair at the request of a fair supporters' group. The fair has had toe creative in raising money since most state funding for...

Harvests of Calif. early-summer fruit gain momentum

- The harvest of apricots, early-season peaches and other stone fruit is under way in California, which is also in its peak season for berries and is in the midst of Valencia orange season.

Drought still stifling Calif. honey production

- California beekeepers are still struggling with honey production because of the drought, as bees are finding a dearth of flowers to pollinate. Production rebounded slightly last year but is still way down from 2010 levels.

Drought-empowered bug infestations killing trees in Sierra

- Drought conditions in the Sierra Nevada are leading to bug infestations that are killing millions of trees, according to a University of California Cooperative Extension adviser.

Bill to set preference for Calif. wood products irks Canada

- A bill in the California Legislature requiring state contractors to set a preference for locally grown wood products has sparked a complaint from Canadian trade officials.

Ranchers seek to protect grazing in Calif. wildlife plan

- The California Cattlemen's Association is trying to influence language in the updated State Wildlife Action Plan, for which the state is accepting public comments through July 2. Ranchers have expressed concerns that early ...

Obama announces another $110 million for drought relief

- President Obama announced $110 million in new drought relief after holding a teleconference with Western governors. The latest round of funding adds to the more than $190 million the federal government has already spent on ...

Calif. issues shutoff orders to 114 senior water right holders

- California's State Water Resources Control Board has issued curtailment notices to 114 individuals and agencies with 276 senior water rights dating back to 1903 amid its latest attempts to allocate a dwindling water supply ...

Youth groups applaud Tehama fair’s return to summer in 2017

- 4-H and FFA clubs in Tehama County, Calif., are pleased that the local fair board has agreed to change the dates of the Tehama District Fair from September back to July beginning in 2017. The fair had previously been held i...

Warm weather, smaller fruit stifle prune tonnage

- California prune production is expected to be slightly below last year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Foothill abortion vaccine trials enter home stretch

- Expanded field trials likely signal that scientists are in the home stretch of developing a vaccine for foothill abortion, a tick-borne malady that kills calf fetuses.

Calif. strawberry production lags after fast start

- Unsettled spring weather led to a dip in strawberry production in California, which had been enjoying a brisk pace because of the dry winter.

Drought to cause $2.7 billion hit to Calif. ag economy in 2015

- University of California-Davis researchers say the drought could cause about $2.7 billion in economic losses for agriculture in 2015 and cost as many as 18,600 workers their jobs. The researchers' presentation came during a...

Delta watermaster ‘very impressed’ with plan participation

- The watermaster of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta said he's impressed with senior right holders' participation in a deal to voluntarily cut their water use by 25 percent to avoid the possibility of deeper cuts later...

Navel, Valencia orange harvests promise good summer fruit

- Navel orange harvest in California is wrapping up, with fruit expected to appear in stores through the July 4 holiday, while the harvest of Valencies is nearly one-third finished.

Environmental group lauds farms’ water conservation, urges more

- Sierra Club California credits agriculture for gains in water efficiency over the past few decades but asserts too many farms are still relying on flood irrigation and that growers should stop fighting groundwater managemen...

Water rule won’t burden farmers, EPA administrator says

- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy said the finalized Clean Water Rule unveiled May 27 will not place new burdens on farmers.

Rice, nuts fuel ag boom in N.E. California, study finds

- Agriculture has boomed in northeastern California in the last 10 years and now accounts for 17 percent of all economic activity in the Sacramento Valley and northern Sierra Nevada region, according to a California State Uni...

Some fear SJ Valley ag could go the way of timber industry

- Some growers in the San Joaquin Valley are beginning to see comparisons between their industries and timber, whose decline was hastened by protections for the Northern spotted owl. Others point out that the return of rains ...

Hands-on activities teach hydrology, math at ag ed day

- Northern California fourth-graders learned about water runoff, math on the farm and other topics during the 22nd annual agricultural education day May 21 at the fairgrounds in Yreka, Calif.

Ag woes have big impact on San Joaquin Valley economy

- While agriculture may seem small compared to the entire California economy, it has a big impact on commerce in the San Joaquin Valley, long the nation's leading region for agricultural production.

Researchers mark center’s 50th anniversary with time capsule

- The Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension center in Parlier, Calif., is celebrating its 50th anniversary by creating a time capsule that will be opened at its centennial celebration in 2065. Scientists are envisioning...

Forest thinning could boost Sierra water yields, researchers say

- University of California researchers assert that better forest management could increase water yields from the Sierra Nevada by as much as 10 percent.

Calif. renews marketing order for dried plum board

- The California Dried Plum Board has had its mission extended for another five years. The state's move comes as prune acreage in California is down but prices to growers are on an upswing.