John O’Connell

Eastern Idaho Reporter
  • Phone 208-421-4347
  • Email Send Mail
  • Dep Newsroom

Five honored for East Idaho ag contributions

- Five new members have been selected for the Eastern Idaho Agricultural Hall of Fame.

USPB fills new research director position

- The U.S. Potato Board has created a new position to corridnate industry research efforts.

Idaho seed growers exceed ring rot program requirements

- In the first year of mandatory testing of Idaho certified potato seed for bacterial ring rot, many commercial growers have requested that theirseed be tested at higher than minimum levels.

Idaho spud packers emphasize organic

- Idaho fresh potato packers say they're placing greater emphasis on the organic potato category.

Upper Snake recharge expands, despite dry month

- The Bureau of Reclamation has suspended a policy prohibiting winter water in canals that draw from Palisades Reservoir in order to facilitate expanded aquifer recharge with floodwater releases.

Project protects farming family’s legacy

- A group of siblings and their parents have agreed to protect their Blaine County farm and ranch land from development, using a combination of federal, nonprofit and county funds.

Novel breeding approach yields new Russet Burbank lines

- A Canadian crop researcher hopesto use an innovative breeding method to produce new potato varieties from sterile Russet Burbank.

Crapo eyes monument designation, public lands policy

- Sen. Mike Crapo and Rep. Raul Labrador, both R-Idaho, have introduced legislation to require a vote of Congress and the affected state Legsilature before a president can designate a national monument.

IGWA to appeal Rangen mitigation right denial

- Idaho groundwater users have decided to appeal a recent ruling by Idaho Department of Water Resources Director Gary Spackman denying them a water right to mitigate for damages their operations have caused to the Rangen, Inc...

Sports medicine test holds promise for cattle industry

- Researchers at Idaho State University and Montana State University collaborated on a project to use a quick blood test common in sports science to evaluate the disposition of livestock.

Start-up producer designs aquaponic system

- An organic greenhouse that raises plants from the waste of fish production hopes to expands its Pocatello operations.

Rural lawmakers back federal land transfer report

- A report authorized by the Idaho Legislature suggests the state should approve at least $750,000 to continue laying the groundwork for the transfer of federal lands to state ownership.

New committee defends sheep research station

- The University of Idaho and sheep industry stakeholders have formed a committee to prepare a document for Congress outlining why the USDA Agricultural Research Servce U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois, Idaho, should r...

Conservation groups’ suit targets predator control

- USDA Wildlife Services has routinely conducted lethal predator controls without the required reviews, according to a federal lawsuit filed by five conservation organizations.

Study shows high wheat seeding unnecessary

- Results of a recent seeding rate study, done in partnership between Brigham Young University-Idaho and University of Idaho, suggest there may be no advantage to increasing seeding rates.

East Idaho growers report slow hay sales

- Some Idaho alfalfa growers have had a hard time moving their 2014 crop.

Voles becoming major headache for Idaho farmers

- Alfalfa farmers in Eastern Idaho fear the combination of large fall vole populations and a mild winter, thus far, could lead to problems with voles this growing season.

USDA projects return of no-cost sugar program

- USDA has projected the U.S. sugar program willl operate for the next decade at no cost to taxpayers.

Idaho cereal industry learns from sprout damage

- University of Idaho Wheat Breeder Jianli Chen has evaluated about 800 lines of wheat exposed to heavy August rains in Idaho and has advice for growers concerned about avoiding sprout damage in the future.

Idaho reports warm, dry January

- Idaho's snowpack started out strong but has lost ground in January.

Growers to defend U.S. sugar policy in D.C.

- The American Sugar Alliance has sent a letter to new members of Congress seeking to build support for the U.S. sugar policy, emphasizing new subsidies from foreign countries.

Bannock County, Idaho, consolidates fairs

- Bannock County, Idaho, has decided to end its long-running fair in Pocatello to place greater emphasis on a county fair in Downey that enjoys greater participation from the agricultural community.

Researcher to study potato storage

- Yi Wang has been hired to help University of Idaho understand the causes of potato storage problems.

Growers, UI partner on Norkotah line selections

- A group of Idaho and Montana seed growers have collaborated to develop an market their own Russet Norkotah line selections, which have outperformed standard Norkotahs in trials, including in Eastern Idaho.

Research finds baby potatoes are nutrient loaded

- Research geneticist Roy Navarre, with the USDA's Prosser, Wash., Agricultural Research Service, has found that baby potatoes are exceptionally high in healthy phytonutrients.

Ag leaders fear food safety restructuring would hinder FSMA

- Agricultural industry sources are wary of a proposal by President Obama to consolidate FDA and USDA food safety regulatory authority into a single agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Greater carryover allowed in Ririe Reservoir

- Based on the results of an environental assessment, irrigators who draw from Ririe Reservoir in Eastern Idaho have the option of having up to 8,000 acre feet of additional storage water carried over through winter.

New farm bill program benefiting Idaho farms and ranches

- Idaho has received USDA grants to help Blackfoot River ranchers improve diversions and to implement programs to stabilize the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer.

Idaho grower touts benefits of companion crops

- Eastern Idaho growers on a cover crop panel during the 47th Annual University of Idaho Potato Conference say the farming approach has helped them improve soil quality, and even control some pests.

Big year expected for Aberdeen spud breeders

- The Potato Variety Management Institute is poised to release five new potato varieties originating from Idaho. Furthermore, McDonald's is considering adding new PVMI lines to its list of approved spuds.

NPC lists priority issues prior to D.C. Fly-in

- The National Potato Council has announced its goals for 2015.

Judge stays Idaho water curtailment on 474 junior users

- After the Idaho Department of Water Resources mailed curtailment orders to 474 daires, cities and industrial water users in the Magic Valley drawing groundwaterfrom the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer, a district judge granted ...

Expert: Idaho potato industry has too much capacity

- The former executive director of Potato Growers of Idaho says the state's potato market is overcapitalized, and growers should consider lengthening their rotations to improve their outlook.

Psyllids decline, but overwintering concerns arise

- Levels of zebra chip, a crop disease in potatoes spread by potato psyllids and caused by the Liberibacter bacterium, were down signficiantly in the Pacific Northwest.

Potato growers adjust to changing conditions

- Idaho potato growers see evidence that spuds may be sensitive to climate change.

Potato virus Y incidences on the rise

- Potato virus Y rates are up in Idaho's recent winter grow-out results.

Equipment dealers see strong used demand

- Equipment dealers at the annual Ag Expo in Pocatello, Idaho, expect more farmers will buy used equipment or overhaul old equipment this season.

PCN program discovers 994 infested acres

- New infested acreage has been added to Idaho's pale cyst nematode program.

Bannock County opts against public access through farm

- The Bannock County Commission has voted against validating an old farm road through private property in McCammon, Idaho, as a public access to U.S. Forest Service land.

Idaho anti-GMO labeling talk concerns Farm Bureau

- The Idaho Farm Bureau Federation has concerns about efforts that have been discussed, led by Idaho's sugarbeet industry, to introduce legislation that would prevent a state or county policy regarding labeling of genetically...

Study links potato compounds to weight loss

- Canadian researchers have found extracts made from two varities of potatoes, including Russet Burbank, cause significant weight loss in mice.

Ranchers wary of proposed BLM handbook

- Cattle organizations are closely watching as the Bureau of Land Management updates its handbook.

Potato Board wants to donate salad bars to schools

- The United States Potato Commission has asked the industry to consider a program that would aim to add up to 3,000 salad bars in U.S. schools and provide creative recipe ideas, many featuring potatoes.

Pipeline could spare irrigators curtailments

- A pipeline to pump spring water to the Rangen, Inc., trout farm to fulfill mitigation requirements of a water call against junior groundwater users in on scheduled to be completed by a Jan. 19 deadline.

National FFA leaders visit Idaho schools

- The entire slate of national FFA officers is touring Idaho high schools to practice workshops and speeches, and to inspire young FFA members.

Idaho Ag Expo, potato conference set

- The 47th Annual Idaho Potato Conference and 36th Ag Expo, hosted at the Idaho State University campus, will run from Jan. 20-22.