Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

Prune producers urged to thin trees for fruit size

- Having larger fruit is important in positioning California prunes against foreign competitors.

Vintners court Mexican buyers as U.S. wine export values soar

- As the value of U.S. wine exports reached a record $1.62 billion in 2016, wine industry representatives are working to keep markets open in the wake of global uncertainty over U.S. trade policy.

Tree mortality epidemic in California forests keeps spreading

- A task force set up by Gov. Jerry Brown is seeking solutions as drought, pests and other factors have killed 102 million trees in California forests since 2010.

Faltering dam puts region’s $1.5 billion ag industry at risk

- Some of California’s most valuable almond, walnut, peach and prune crops as well as several processors sit in the path of potential flood waters from Lake Oroville.

McClintock: Congress can use funding authority to curb bureaucracy

- Rep. Tom McClintock, who chairs the House subcommittee on federal lands, says Congress should use the program reauthorization process to push back against administrative overreach. He also lays out a legislative agenda for ...

State may curb pumping near Aqueduct to halt subsidence-related damage

- A new National Aeronautics and Space Administration study showing subsidence near the California Aqueduct and other facilities has prompted the state Department of Water Resources to consider measures to curb groundwater pu...

California’s drought debate intensifies among lawmakers, officials

- A group of Northern California legislators and water officials want Gov. Jerry Brown to declare an end to the drought, but state and federal officials caution that some areas are still feeling the impacts of dry conditions.

Drones’ popularity takes off at Colusa Farm Show

- Businesses that use or market drones for agriculture told growers of their many uses during the Colusa Farm Show on Feb. 7-9 in Colusa, Calif.

Storms slow harvest of short navel crop, push up prices

- Winter storms have made for muddy orchard floors as the harvest of navel oranges continues. The slower pace and lighter crop volume have combined to drive up prices, which had been barely at the break-even point for growers.

Calif. farm groups push for more water

- A manual snow survey Feb. 2 in the mountains east of Sacramento found a snow-water equivalent of 28.1 inches, more than four times as much as a month ago. Farm groups say the abundance should equate to more water for grower...

Ag groups sue California over listing gray wolves as endangered

- The Pacific Legal Foundation has filed suit on behalf of the California Cattlemen’s Association and California Farm Bureau Federation against the state’s Fish and Game Commission, challenging the 2014 decision...

Bull sale, farm show and logging conference pack producers’ schedules

- This weekend’s Klamath Bull, Heifer and Select Ranch Horse Show kicks off a week of activities in Northern California and Southern Oregon that will keep farmers, ranchers and timber producers busy.

Planning for drought still important, experts say

- Though nearly half of California has recovered from a four-year drought, it’s still important for ranchers to plan their irrigation and feeding strategies for when the next water shortage occurs, experts advise.

Red Bluff Bull Sale prices down amid slow recovery from drought

- The Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale finished Jan. 28 with the sale of 288 bulls for $1.1 million, down from last year but still above the $1 million mark for the seventh straight year.

Commodities have mixed experiences in China

- Apple exports to China haven’t met industry expectations, but other commodities have thrived.

Citrus industry encouraged by stay in Argentine lemon rule

- California citrus industry leaders see President Donald Trump’s 60-day stay on pending regulations as a chance to get the administration to rethink allowing Argentine lemons into the U.S. after a 15-year ban.

Citrus industry hopes HLB grants coax state into funding research

- The USDA has devoted another $13.1 million toward combatting the deadly tree diseease huanglongbing, including $5.1 million for the University of California-Riverside, as the industry is seeking funds for research in the st...

Fewer processing tomato acres expected as global surplus lingers

- California tomato processors expect to contract for fewer acres in 2017, continuing a downturn that began last year amid a global surplus of tomatoes.

New technologies bolster water management in orchards

- Tree growth and orchard weather sensors and enhanced aerial imagery are among the new tools being developed to measure water stress in orchards, a University of California adviser says.

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.