John O’Connell

Eastern Idaho Reporter
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Franklin County irrigators limit boat access over mussels

- Two Franklin County, Idaho, canal companies have implemented a multifaceted strategy to keep invasive mussels out of their reservoirs.

Welcome Idaho rains also raise crop disease risk

- A prolonged period of wet weather has raised concerns about disease pressure in Southern Idaho farm fields among some growers and crop experts.

McCain honored for energy efficiency following plant upgrade

- McCain Foods has received an award for power savings following a recent renovation of its Burley plant.

Potandon’s spud promotion truck set to roll

- Idaho-based Potandon Produce has its own version of a traveling potato truck intended to promote the consumption of spuds.

Idaho bird deaths linked to vole poison

- The Idaho State Department of Agriculture is leading an investigation into Eastern Idaho snow geese deaths linked to a rodenticide farmers used this winter to control an oubreak of voles.

Great Western to expand Pocatello malt plant

- Great Western Malting has announced plans to more than double production at its Pocatello, Idaho, plant.

ICA program pairs ranchers with cover crops

- The Idaho Cattle Association is promoting a website it created to match farmers willing to allow grazing of their cover crops, or with available pasture, with ranchers in need of additional forage.

Early May rains help Idaho water outlook

- A wet start to May has brought badly needed moisture to Southern Idaho irrigators.

DEQ specialist aids southeast Idaho producers with water projects

- In his new position with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality's Pocatello office, Steve Smith helps growers access Clean Water Act funds to improve their operations and water quality.

Expert offers Idaho well irrigators tips to meet water cut

- University of Idaho Extension irrigation specialist Howard Neibling sees several good options for Idaho well users who will be asked to reduce their water consumption by roughly 13 percent soon to help stabilize the Eastern...

Idaho ranchers report dry range

- Idaho's range land conditions are extremely dry in many parts of the state, especially in the vast Arco Desert in Eastern Idaho, prompting many ranchers to leave their spring allotments early.

Judge rules grower wells can’t recover canal seepage

- The Aberdeen-Springfield Canal Co., located in southeast Idaho, has lost a legal challenge seeking to validate its practice of using growers' wells to recover water lost through canal seepage.

Agreement reached to stabilize Snake aquifer

- The Surface Water Coalition and groundwater users have come to an agreement that delays potential curtailment under a water call this season while implementing a long-term solution to help stabilize the aquifer.

Upper Snake irrigators pursue year-round power production

- Two Upper Snake River irrigation companies have filed paperwork with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build hydroelectric generation on their canals that would operate year round.

Idaho irrigation shortages predicted after dry April

- Idaho's water outlook has deteriorated following a dry April, according to the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Emergency negotiations aim to avert Idaho water curtailment

- Southern Idaho groundwater users failed to acquire enough water to mitigate for an 89,000-acre-foot obligation to surface irrigators by a May 1 deadline and are now banking on negotiations for a longterm agreement to avoid ...

Idaho lawmakers target ‘Waters of U.S.’ rule

- Rep. Mike Simpson has inserted language into a House appropriations bill to block implementation of language many in agriculture fear would expand EPA's authority over regulating waterways.

University of Idaho filling key ag positions

- University of Idaho is working to fill the positions of two retiring agricultural faculty members and has made an offer to an internal candidate to head its Tetonia Research and Extension Center.

Stripe rust shows up in Idaho wheat

- First seen this year in Oregon, California and Washington fields, stripe rust has also arrived in Idaho and Utah.

IPC plans bin promotion to move small spuds

- The Idaho Potato Commission is planning a special retail potato bin promotion to move a large supply of small-sized tubers.

Payette Russet storage bulletin forthcoming

- A University of Idaho program that provides booklets on how to store different potato varieties is preparing to release its latest booklet for Payette Russet.

Idaho FFA chapters win prize money in soil nutrient competition

- Salmon, Idaho, FFA students have won a competition paying prize money to the state chapter that best educates the public on the importance of fertilizer in agriculture.

Idaho farmers save power, money with help from utility

- Walters Produce, Inc., in Newdale, Idaho, has been honored for its efforts to reduce power consumption.

International food aid training building spud demand

- The U.S. Potato Board hosted a training in Idaho Falls to teach food aid organizations how to use dehydrated potatoes in their programs.

Western states back uniform truck weight amendment

- The Idaho Trucking Association is backing federal legislation to allow states to enter into agreements to raise truck weight limits for one another.

Grant furthers ISU, Simplot drone research

- Idaho State University has obtained a sizable grant through the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission to research how to diagnose crop diseases in potatoes and sugar beets using drones.

Idaho well users owe large surface call obligation

- Groundwater irrigators owe 89,000 acre feet of water by May 1 to satisfy the Surface Water Coalition's call this year.

Idaho irrigation companies participate in emergency drill

- Idaho irrigation companies participated in an April 16 disaster training exercise to prepare regional emergency responders and other entities that could be affected by a potential oil spill in the Snake River.

Forecast bodes well for Southern Idaho

- With Idaho irrigators drawing water earlier than ever before, Idaho water managers see hope for relief in a long-term weather forecast that has raised the chances of moisture.

Rise in Idaho farm deaths concerns OSHA

- Fatal accidents in agriculture have risen signficantly recently in Idaho, prompting concerns by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

East Idaho grower tries new canola production method

- Koompin Farms in American Falls, Idaho, is taking a different approach to raising canola.

Spud market sluggish as Idaho starts planting

- The potato market remains in a slump as Idaho growers plant their 2015 crops.

IPC Tater Team to perform good deeds on fourth U.S. tour

- The Great Big Idaho Potato truck is setting off on its fourth national tour, and followers will be able to track its progress on a GPS map.

BYU-Idaho ag students improving life in Ghana

- Students from Brigham Young University-Idaho are partnering with schools in Ghana to improve agricultural production of fields and livestock operations to feed students and to teach high school-level agricultural classes.

UI leads first potato industry grad student tour

- University of Idaho led first tour of the state's potato industry for graduate students studying crop research.

Study: Mental evals predict livestock judging success

- New research led by Idaho State University shows psychological assessments are an effective tool for predicting performance among collegiate livestock judges.

Idaho processed spud growers take price reduction

- Idaho potato growers have inked a deal with processors accepting a slight decrease in payment but requiring processors to contract for at least 90 percent of 2014 acreages with individual farms.

Idaho winter wheat farmers eagerly await early water

- One southeast Idaho canal company manager believes it's a race against the clock to deliver water to growers in time to salvage winter wheat crops that are advanced in growth but have been sustained by little spring moisture.

Dry March hurts Idaho irrigation outlook

- Idaho's water outlook is tighter following a dry March.

Idaho barley yellow dwarf outbreak forces replanting

- Barley yellow dwarf virus is rampant in winter grain throughout Southern Idaho, a University of Idaho cereals pathologist warns.

Idaho sees potential for winter recharge expansion

- Idaho has completed its first full season of winter aquifer recharge on the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer.

Mink industry thrives despite threats

- Fur industry leaders say they're eco-friendly, utilizing waste products other sectors of agriculture would otherwise have to pay to remove, but find themselves increasing security to cope with threats of animal rights acti...

Report shows increased Idaho barley, wheat acres

- Idaho farmers plan to increase their barley and wheat acres and hold their corn and sugar beet acres relatively steady, according to USDA.

ISDA to expand Boise beetle eradication

- The Idaho State Department of Agriculture plans to expand the treatment area in residential Boise to eradicate Japanese beetles in the third year of the program.