John O’Connell

Eastern Idaho Reporter
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SIPCO hires new executive director

- A retired raw product procurement director from J.R. Simplot Co. is now working as executive director with Southern Idaho Potato Cooperative.

Pasture program capitalizes on giving dairy cows room to roam

- Glanbia Nutritionals has helped Eastern Idaho dairymen earn a premium through a unique niche that produces pasture-based milk for cheese.

Rain damages much of East Idaho’s first alfalfa cutting

- Eastern Idaho hay farmers have reported significant damage to hay due to rain.

Lamb Weston launches ‘Idaho Grown’ frozen potato line

- Lamb Weston is selling a line of frozen potato products capitalizing on Idaho’s reputation for quality.

Idaho groundwater users leery of solar power development

- Idaho has experienced rapid growth in solar power in recent months, which some irrigators fear could increase their power rates.

Idaho rivers declining, but flood concerns persist

- Water managers say river levels are still well above average.

Study: Potato plants treated with vitamin B1 withstand PVY

- A study has found potato plants treated with vitamin B1 had dramatic reductions in potato virus Y levels.

Ranchers find niche in crowd sourcing beef sales

- A popular online marketplace called Crowd Cow is helping ranchers capture a premium by telling their stories.

Sugar growers won’t support Mexico trade amendment

- Organizations representing U.S. sugar growers say they can’t support a recent proposal to improve an agreement regarding sugar dumping by Mexico.

Research ranch seeks balance between conservation, grazing

- Researchers are studying the impacts of rangeland grazing on a ranch owned by the Nature Conservancy and Wood River Land Trust, and operated by a former Idaho Cattle Association executive.

Idaho dairymen to benefit from new beef plants

- Two new meat packing facilities in Idaho should cut costs for dairymen to process cull cows.

Idaho fall wheat faces uncommon threat

- A cereals expert said a fungal disease called eyespot is causing widespread problems in southeast Idaho fall wheat.

Researchers investigate scanners for diagnosing zebra chip

- Researchers are studying a quick and more precise way of diagnosing zebra chip infections in tubers, and predicting the development of symptoms.

Psyllid tests positive for zebra chip in Kimberly, Idaho

- A potato psyllid harboring the virus that causes zebra chip disease was discovered in Kimberly, Idaho.

Idaho cattle industry OK with proposed Craters grazing plan

- The president of Idaho Cattle Association said the Bureau of Land Management has released a good preferred alternative for managing grazing throughout 275,000 acres of Craters of the Moon National Monument.

Idaho Potato Commission funds study making case for new Idaho fry plant

- The Idaho Potato Commission has launched an economics study evaluating eight possible locations for the next frozen fry plant, hoping to demonstrate that Idaho has the most to offer.

E. Idaho producers seek to capitalize on eclipse

- Farmers and ranchers in Eastern Idaho counties within the path of the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse plan to make money by converting their land into temporary campsites.

Prices of largest spuds on the rise

- Idaho fresh potato growers say prices of large carton sizes are increasing, and they anticipate production may be down in 2017.

Idaho groundwater users give lawmakers, libraries Swan Falls book

- Idaho groundwater users have purchased copies of a book by former Idaho Supreme Court Justice Jim Jones on the historic Swan Falls Agreement to give to state lawmakers and libraries.

New state law boosts Idaho recharge totals

- Idaho water users say a new state law helped them recharge more water in the aquifer during a big water year.

S.E. Idaho growers brace for stripe rust pressure

- Idaho cereal experts predict a bad year for stripe rust.

U.S. growers face loan defaults over Mexican sugar dispute

- The U.S. Department of Commerce has set a June 5 deadline for new agreements to be reached regarding the alleged continued dumping of Mexican sugar onto the U.S. market.

Beekeepers build high-tech storage to improve hive survival

- Idaho beekeepers are building modern storage facilities to protect their bees during the winter to so they can take full advantage of strong demand for their pollination services.

NFU leads new push for farm advocates

- The National Farmers Union believes U.S. agriculture is in a crisis, and new farm advocates, similar to the farmers who helped their neighbors get by during the crisis of the 1980s, should be recruited.

Severe winter strengthens East Idaho hay prices

- Eastern Idaho forage growers report hay prices are in the profitable range, following a severe winter that reduced the glut.

Grant funds research in potato storage sensors, filtration system

- Idaho State University and Boise State University have obtained grant funding through the Idaho Department of Commerce to study inventions used to remove pathogens in potato storage from air without a filter, and to detect ...

Idaho water managers cope with too much

- Rivers throughout Idaho are well above their usual peak flows, with well above average snowpacks still remaining in the mountains.

East Idaho program gives urban students animal ag experience

- An American Falls, Idaho feedlot owner is supplying calves to a program that provides urban students a chance to raise 4-H calves.

New Butte County Extension educator popular with local forage growers

- University of Idaho’s new Butte County Extension educator opened a new market and minimized weed problems for local hay and straw growers in his past position.

Dryland farm raises, grazes cover crops

- A farm near Pocatello is testing cover crops on dry land, and incorporating livestock to graze them.

Researchers concerned about resistant Texas psyllids

- A study showing psyllids throughout Texas are resistant to neonicitinoid insecticides has researchers in the Northwest concerned.

McCain’s $200 million expansion to boost demand for Idaho potatoes

- McCain Foods USA has announced plans to start immediately on a $200 million expansion of its Burley processing plant.

Ag pilots take precautions as drones proliferate

- Agricultural pilots are increasingly looking to upgrade the glass in their cockpits due to growing prevalence of drones in their airspace, and they’re advocating for several policies to make the technology as safe as...

Flax catches on in Eastern Idaho

- Grower interest in oilseeds is at a high in Eastern Idaho, and the increase in flax acreage has been especially notable.

Business provides yield monitoring for spud growers

- A pair of entrepreneurs have developed a technology to provide accurate yield monitoring data.

Trade with Cuba remains a priority for potato, wheat officials

- A team from Potatoes USA recently returned from an “informational exchange mission” in Cuba.

E. Idaho dryland farms off to slow start

- East Idaho dryland growers say ample soil moisture outweighs challenges they’re facing with delayed spring-crop planting and slow fall-crop development.