Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

Calif.’s State Water Project increases allocation to 60 percent

- The California Department of Water Resources announced that State Water Project contractors will get at least 60 percent of normal supplies, an increase from a 45 percent allocation a month ago.

Winter rains could boost Red Bluff Bull Sale receipts

- Jan. 24-28.

Sustainable farming consultants acquired by food verification firm

- SureHarvest, a California firm that helps growers develop and keep records of sustainable farming practices, has been acquired by the Colorado-based food verification firm Where Food Comes From.

Strawberry production stabilizes; China begins imports

- California growers expect to plant 36,141 acres of strawberries this year, up slightly from 2016, as production set another record last year.

Cattlemen meet new legislators, plan bills for 2017 session

- The California Cattlemen’s Association is meeting new members of the Legislature and planning potential bills to sponsor in the 2017 session.

Agencies tout progress on California’s water-efficiency blueprint

- California officials say they’ve made significant progress in the past year in implementing Gov. Jerry Brown’s Water Action Plan, which he introduced in 2014 to guide water efficiency efforts.

Brown’s budget includes boosts for CDFA, ag education

- Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget includes boosts for higher education and the Department of Food and Agriculture, which will regulate marijuana and step up efforts to fight the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing

California storms help fill reservoirs but slow ag work

- The two “atmospheric river” storms that deluged California this week have boosted snowpack and reservoirs but slowed citrus harvests and caused little reported crop damage.

Western Innovator: Executive boosts berry production

- Hector Lujan worked his way up through the ranks of Reiter Affiliated Companies by helping to greatly expand its berry-growing operations in Central Mexico. He is now the company’s CEO.

UC workshop to teach small farmers about value-added products

- A University of California workshop preceding the EcoFarm Conference later this month will teach small farmers how to make the most of value-added products.

California survey finds below-normal snowpack despite storms

- California’s first manual snow survey of the season found below-normal water content even as a storm was ongoing and another was on the way.

Argentine lemons’ return will be lengthy process, USDA says

- The USDA’s process of allowing Argentine lemons back into the United States will be lengthy and include several layers of verification, a USDA spokeswoman said.

Social media campaign to raise awareness of huanglongbing

- California’s Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program is starting a social media campaign to educate mostly urban dwellers about the Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing.

USDA approves assessment increase for Almond Board of California

- The USDA has given approval for the Almond Board of California to raise its handler assessments from 3 cents to 4 cents per pound over the next three years to fund stepped-up production research and global marketing efforts.

Return of Argentine lemons upsets U.S. citrus growers

- A USDA decision to resume accepting lemons from Argentina after a 15-year ban upsets U.S. industry officials, who say they’re already grappling with the Asian citrus psyllid and the deadly tree disease huanglongbing.

State Water Project allocation increased to 45 percent after storms

- The California Department of Water Resources has increased its estimated allocation to State Water Project contractors from 20 percent to 45 percent of requested supplies.

Citrus growers take precautions amid cold snap

- Citrus growers in the San Joaquin Valley spent more than $25 million last weekend running wind machines and irrigation as temperatures dipped below freezing, but no fruit damage was reported.

Obama approves $558 million drought relief package for California

- President Obama signed a compromise water resources bill Dec. 16 that included $558 million in drought relief for California.

Local officials in California working to form groundwater agencies

- Counties, water districts and other governments throughout California are working together to form groundwater management agencies before a July 1 deadline under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

EcoFarm Conference to encourage diversity

- Encouraging diversity among both growers and crops will be a theme of the 2017 EcoFarm Conference, to be held in January in Pacific Grove, Calif.

Delta fixes a key requirement for Proposition 1 reservoir funds

- The California Water Commission has approved final regulations for accepting applications for Proposition 1 water bond funds for large projects.

Growers say oil olive yields lighter but quality good

- California's olive oil yields came in a little lighter this year, but growers report good quality and oil content in the fruit.

New CCA president a veteran of beef industry advocacy

- David Daley, a rancher and associate dean at California State University-Chico, is beginning a two-year term as president of California Cattlemen's Association.

Wage laws will prompt farmers to cut laborers’ hours, survey finds

- A survey of produce growers found that many plan to cut labor costs by reducing production in California or turning to mechanization in response to the state's new minimum wage and agricultural overtime laws.

Latest compromise drought relief bill receives praise, opposition

- A farm group is praising the latest effort at compromise drought relief legislation in Congress, calling it a step in the right direction.

Group accuses water allocators of depriving farm-dependent species

- The Pacific Legal Foundation says federal water allocators deprive nearly a dozen mperiled species of water south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

Northern California’s wet pattern to continue in December

- A rainy pattern in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest could continue at least through mid-December, forecasters say.

California strawberry production poised for record despite slow start

- Strawberry production in California is on pace to set a record in 2016 despite a slow start caused by last winter's rains.

Bill would force schools to seek USDA waiver for imported food

- A bill by Rep. John Garamendi would require school districts to obtain a USDA waiver before serving imported food in their school meal programs.

Navel orange harvest yields good fruit size, flavor

- The navel orange harvest is proceeding in the San Joaquin Valley, and growers are reporting good fruit size and flavor.

Panel taking comments on how it will judge Prop 1 projects

- The California Water Commission is taking another round of comments on its latest draft regulations for how it will hand out Proposition 1 funding to large storage projects.