John O’Connell

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

Spud equipment sales remain steady

- Potato equipment manufacturers at the Agricultural Expo in Pocatello have reported continued strong sales, despite a generally poor agricultural economy.

Election provides fund-raising windfall for environmental organizations

- Environmental organizations say money has been rolling in since the election of Donald Trump.

Public lands transfer backers seek convention of states to amend Constitution

- Advocates for forcing the transfer of public lands to Western states say they hope to take up the issue by calling for a convention of states.

Progress made on Mexican potato access

- New rules could allow fresh spuds from the U.S. greater access to the Mexican market.

Officials confirm another PCN-infested field

- Officials with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service say a 150-acre field has been added to their list of Eastern Idaho farm fields under regulation for pale cyst nematode infestation.

Drone companies prepare to train pilots, expand opportunities

- Western commercial drone companies say they’re preparing for growth, following a Federal Aviation Administration decision to relax remote-pilot standards.

NPC recognizes East Idaho potato farmer for stewardship

- Ririe, Idaho, farmer Boyd Foster has won the National Potato Council’s 2016 Environmental Stewardship Award.

Agency testing product to control annual grasses in burn area

- The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is feeding elk in winter range where forage was lost to fire last summer to protect surrounding farm fields and is testing a biological product to control annual grasses that threaten t...

Gene lab will help researchers breed better crops

- University of Idaho plans to open a new laboratory for genomic editing of crops, starting with wheat.

Potato industry targets Paleo diet

- Potato industry leaders have found fault with a diet that seeks to replicate what cavemen ate.

Idaho irrigators oppose Oregon endangered fish reintroduction effort

- Irrigators in Idaho are fighting an effort by the State of Oregon to reintroduce endangered steelhead trout and chinook salmon to the Snake River above Hells Canyon.

IPC, retailers partner on maintaining spud quality

- The Idaho Potato Commission is considering a program to partner with retailers, who would share information to help identify possible causes of poor potato quality.

Ample snow followed by extreme cold in Idaho

- December brought above-average snowfall throughout Idaho, but January has delivered extreme cold.

Idaho farmer says growers need not abandon cover crops

- Farmer develops cover crop blend he says will maximize water efficiency.

Company to make fish feed from raw processing waste

- An Idaho fish processor has purchased an innovative feed mill to convert raw fish guts into high-quality feed.

Company officials weigh options after fire destroys fresh potato facility

- A fire has destroyed a fresh potato packing facility in Ucon, Idaho.

ESPA study suggests water credit trading program

- A research study has found junior groundwater users on Idaho’s Eastern Snake Plain could reduce the financial sting of a settlement agreement by strategically idling marginal land and selling credits to other groundw...

Strong market, agri-tourism help elk rancher succeed

- Idaho elk ranchers say the market for raising bulls for penned shooting operations is strong.

Grant to provide relief to IGWA settlement participants

- Three Eastern Idaho agricultural projects recently received USDA grant funding through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

International contest promoting plant-based fish feed

- Proponents of sustainable seafood are hosting an international competition awarding $200,000 to the team that sells the most fish food made without fish meal or oil.

Low energy spray demonstrations planned in Washington, Oregon

- A Bonneville Power demonstration project will aim to increase the popularity of a new irrigation method called Low Energy Sprinkler Application in the Columbia Basin of Washington and Oregon.

National Potato Council hires new senior lobbyist

- The National Potato Council has hired a new head lobbyist.

Storms boost Southern Idaho snowpack

- The snowpack in Southern Idaho and the Eastern Snake Plain is above average thanks to some large December storms.

Mustard growers seek to cut irrigation to boost yields

- Mustard growers in Eastern Idaho, who have started paying a checkoff fee, would like some of their dollars to go toward unique research in raising mustard under irrigation.

Idaho oilseeds buyer expands based on growth in acreage, foreign demand

- An oilseed buyer anticipates more global exports of mustard from southeast Idaho and more acres of the crop planted in the region.

IGWA announces contract to buy Rangen trout farm

- Idaho Ground Water Appropriators Inc. plans to buy the Rangen trout farm in Hagerman to resolve a water call.

Idaho governor considered as agriculture secretary

- Idaho Governor Butch Otter is being considered by President-elect Donald Trump for Secretary of Agriculture.

Irrigators consider leasing water from Power County

- Power County, Idaho, plans to purchase a large groundwater right formerly held by FMC Corp. and is soliciting potential users for a lease arrangement.

Judge sides with R-CALF in checkoff suit against Montana Beef Council

- A federal judge has issued a ruling recommending that the Montana Beef Council stop retaining half of the beef checkoff fee from ranchers who don't support the organization's policies.

Idaho Dairymen to add worker safety emphasis

- The Idaho Dairymen's Association plans to hire a full-time staff member to oversee worker safety, motivated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration plans to start surprise inspections of agricultural operations in ...

Study shows wheat, sandy soils face greater wireworm risk

- University of Idaho researchers are part of an international team attempting to better understand how to protect cereal crops from wireworms.

Counties sue to stop BLM planning rule

- Western rural counties have sued the Bureau of Land Management over its new planning rule.

Experts predict continued down grain markets in 2017

- A Utah State University agricultural economist predicts 2017 will be another down year for agriculture, due to large commodity inventories.

Expert predicts Idaho dairy profitability in late 2017

- Idaho dairy officials anticipate a slow first half of 2017, followed by a profitable second half.

Plant Materials Center hires cover crop researcher

- The Plant Materials Center in Aberdeen, Idaho, has hired a researcher to study cover crops.

Idaho water experts optimistic about outlook

- Ron Abramovich, Idaho water specialist with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, is optimistic about the water outlook for Idaho heading into winter.

Idaho farm receipts down less than U.S.

- Idaho has experienced a decrease in farm income according to new Unviersity of Idaho estimates.

Biggest fertilizer distribution plant opening planned

- Valley Agronomics plans to start filling a new plant near Pocatello, Idaho, with dry fertilizer this month.

New 4-H educator seeks to build up Bannock County program

- Nikola Dalton, the new University of Idaho Extension 4H educator serving Bannock County, aims to build up her county's 4H program.

BLM issues controversial new land-planning rule

- The Bureau of Land Management has issued a final rule updating its land-use planning process, and advocates for rural counties and public lands grazing vow to fight it.

Spud officials optimistic about prospects for larger crop

- Potato production is up slightly in the U.S. and Canada, but industry officials are optimistic about the crop quality and export opportunities.

Rural interests plan to fight new BLM planning regs

- Grazing advocates say the Obama administration plans to push through proposed changes in the Bureau of Land Management planning process that would be bad for the livestock industry and small communities.

Small Idaho school thinks big with aquaculture program

- Mackay Junior-Senior High School is a small school, but it boasts an impressive aquaculture program.

Settlement prompts company to line leaky stretch of canal

- The Aberdeen-Springfield Canal Co. has lined a leaky mile-long stretch of its main canal.

Idaho ag seminars will focus on conserving farm resources

- The University of Idaho has scheduled seminars for Eastern Idaho and Magic Valley to offer producers outlooks for the coming year.

Thanksgiving shipments of Idaho potatoes up

- Idaho fresh potato shipments are up considerably for the Thanksgiving holiday, according to a new USDA report.

County vote renews push for Craters National Park

- Voters in Butte County, Idaho, supported changing Craters of the Moon National Monumen into a national park.

New UI Bear Lake County hire brings ranching expertise

- The University of Idaho has filled a long vacant extension position in Bear Lake County to assist ranchers.

Movement seeks to bring back flood irrigation in some areas

- Conservationists, farmers, city leaders and water managers are working together to restore flood irrigation to replenish groundwater supplies and benefit wildlife.

Chemical disposal program tops 2 million pounds

- An Idaho State Department of Agriculture program has disposed of 2 million pounds of farm pesticides.