Tim Hearden

Northern California Reporter
Hearden, Tim

Harvest of big walnut crop under way in California

- The harvest of early walnut varieties is under way in California, and growers are expecting a record overall crop.

Growers, scientists tout GMOs in Calif. media tour

- A group of growers and scientists is in California this week touting the benefits of genetically modified crops.

Growers await methyl bromide alternative

- Agricultural industry leaders are happy to see the development of fluensulfone, a non-fumigant alternative to methyl bromide approved for controlling nematodes. But it could be awhile before the product is used in the field...

NASS defends bullish Calif. crop estimates

- A National Agrcultural Statistics Service official in California is defending the agency's crop estimates after California Citrus Mutual became the latest of several commodity organizations to say that NASS projection for t...

Gov. Brown signs Calif. groundwater bills

- Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a package of legislation giving the state sweeping new controls over groundwater use in California. The bills set deadlines for establishing and implementing management plans in various groundwat...

Tribe protests plans to raise dam

- Indians in California are protesting plans to raise the dam at Shasta Reservoir.

Record walnut crop expected despite drought

- While the drought is taking its toll on other nut crops, a government agency expects California walnut growers to enjoy a record crop in 2014.

Farm groups hope waters bill impacts EPA rule

- Farm groups realize a bill to stop the federal government from imposing new regulations on internal waters of the United States likely won't advance in the Senate, but they hope its passage in the House of Representatives w...

UC-Davis researcher watch flight of walnut pest

- Researchers at the University of California-Davis have been watching flight patterns of the walnut twig beetle to determine how to best use synthetic pheromones to disrupt the pest's mating. The beetle combines with a fungu...

Forecasters still anticipate weak El Nino

- The federal Climate Prediction Center still expects weak El Nino conditions to develop this winter, but "it's anyone's guess" whether the phonemenon will bring more or less rainfall than normal to northern and central Calif...

Water bond opponents attack money for dams

- Opponents of California's $7.5 million water bond proposal announced their presence by unveiling a poll claiming to show soft support for the measure negotiated by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature.

Almond growers turn to groundwater amid drought

- A state survey has found that many almond growers in California are using more groundwater than usual because of a lack of surface water amid the drought. Some growers have taken out trees or delayed planting.

Drought expected to push down pistachio crop

- As harvest is under way in California's San Joaquin Valley, this year's pistachio crop is about 15 percent smaller than last year's because of the drought and other factors. Growers have already been struggling to meet burg...

NASS still predicts record tomato crop

- The National Agricultural Statistics Service is maintaining its prediction of a record 14-million-ton processing tomato crop in California.

Growers say groundwater bills would bring uncertainty

- California growers and farm groups are concerned that a package of groundwater bills sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for approval will bring uncertainty to their operations and perhaps spark litigation.

Calif. to cool off gradually in September

- Temperatures in northern and central California are expected to cool off gradually in September, but forecasters say no significant rain is yet on the horizon.

Calif. antibiotics bill awaits Brown’s approval

- A bill that would write the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's new guidelines for antibiotic use in livestock into California law is awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown's approval.

Yields vary as Calif. stone fruit harvests near end

- As the harvests of stone fruit in California are wrapping up, growers say the quality of the fruit is excellent but some varieties' yields are down. The picking of other summer fruit is ongoing.

Groups shun lawsuit despite own Hetch Hetchy concerns

- Environmentalists mostly pan a group's lawsuit claiming San Francisco is given a pass by resource agencies in its operation of Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park. But green groups themselves have no love for t...

Prolonged bloom leads to varied prune yields

- The harvest of plums for prunes is under way in California. Growers anticipate a larger crop than last year, but a prolonged blossom this spring has apparently led to varied yields.

Producing top-quality fruit is ‘a process’

- For Robert and Karen Mills, growing and selling fruit that has a reputation for being the sweetest and juiciest in their area is "a process," they say. The couple is meticulous about every step, from planting and picking to...

Calif. farm groups fret over groundwater bills

- Farm groups are lined up in opposition to a pair of bills in the California Legislature that would give the State Water Resources Control Board broad new powers to oversee groundwater use statewide.

Calif. bond would set $100 million for water-use efficiency

- California's $7.5 billion water bond proposal would provide $100 million for water use efficiency projects on farms and in cities.

Drought, heat take toll on almond sizes, weights

- The harvest of early almond varieties is under way in California, and growers say the sizes and weights of some nuts are down. Drought, heat and disease pressure are seen as contributing to the troubles.

LaMalfa urges Senate, Obama to act on border bills

- A congressman who sits on the House of Representatives' agriculture committee is calling for President Barack Obama and the Senate to act on border security legislation that recently passed the lower chamber. Rep. Doug LaMa...

Farm groups cheer California water bond proposal

- Farm groups in California hailed the $7.5 billion water bond measure agreed to by Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers. The measure, which will appear on the November ballot, would include $2.7 billion for storage.

Ranch owners to pay $1.1 million for destroying vernal pools

- Ranch owners near Red Bluff, Calif., agreed to pay out $1.1 million in a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after allegedly destroying wetlands on their property.

Drought, freezes diminish Calif. table olive crop

- The National Agricultural Statistics Service forecasts that this year's table olive crop in California will be 45 percent smaller than last year's. But an industry leader says NASS may even have been too optimistic with its...

Ranchers, others grapple with wildfires’ aftermath

- Fire crews are gaining an upper hand on several major wildfires in northeastern California, which have burned thousands of acres of timber and grazing land.

California fresh fruit group changes name

- The California Grape and Tree Fruit League is changing its name to the California Fresh Fruit Association. Members wanted a name that better reflects the many commodities the group represents.

Study: Beef checkoff returns $11.20 on every dollar

- Ranchers who serve on the 103-member Cattlement's Beef Promotion and Research Board expressed enthusiasm about a return-on-investment study done by Cornell University researcher Harry Kaiser. The study asserted that each do...

Forecasters say El Nino too weak to end drought

- Climate forecasters have backed off somewhat on their prediction that El Nino conditions will prevail off the coast of California this winter. While it's still likely to develop, El Nino won't be strong enough to bring Cali...

Citrus group credits APHIS for reopening China to fruit

- China has reopened its market to citrus fruit from California after closing it about 15 months ago because of brown rot discovered on fruit. California Citrus Mutual credits a USDA agency for helping to reopen the market.

California’s hotter-than-average summer continues

- Hot weather prevailed in California's Central Valley in July, with some areas averaging above 100 degrees for the month. Despite a weather system that brought cooler temperatures and a little rain this week, more heat is ex...

California wildfires burn timber, menace cattle country

- A pair of wildfires in northeastern California were burning through thousands of acres of timber and grazing land while threatening towns and prompting ranchers to move their livestock.

Lawmakers urge FEMA to ease ag building rules

- U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and two California congressmen are calling on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's flood insurance program to ease its requirements for building agricultural structures in deep floodplains.

California growers converting rice straw to cattle feed

- Growers and University of California researchers have been working at converting rice straw left over from harvest into feed for livestock, which they say could be valuable to ranchers amid the drought.

Summer camp teaches city kids about farming

- An agriculture-themed summer camp in Redding, Calif., gave urban youngsters a chance to do actual farm activities such as discing a field and using horses to move cattle into a pen. The camp was put on by the city recreatio...