John O’Connell

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

European barley variety shows promise for craft beers

- A high-yielding barley variety ideal for irrigated farms brought in from Europe should fill a critical niche for the craft brewing industry.

Idaho aquifer agreement finalized

- Irrigators with Idaho's Surface Water Coalition and groundwater users with Idaho Groundwater Appropriators, Inc., have finalized an agreement that aims to reverse declining aquifer levels and avert future water calls.

U.S. potato acreage up 1.9 percent, NASS reports

- Fall potato acres are up in the Northwest and nationwide, according to new numbers from the USDA and United Potato Growers of America.

Idaho sustainability program improving yields, efficiency

- A Thresher Artisan Wheat sustainability program has helped growers reduce use of inputs and increase yields, according to new data.

Spud industry in good shape for FDA trans fat phase-out, expert says

- The potato industry should be in good shape to comply with an FDA mandate that food products be rid of unhealthy trans fats within three years, according to an industry nutrition expert.

Irrigated hard white winter wheat options forthcoming

- Wheat breeders say they're making progress on hard white winter wheat lines that could be grown under irrigation and expand production of the class in Idaho.

Intern, retired professor gathering data for Idaho’s 200 Bushel Club

- An informal Eastern Idaho organization aimed at improving wheat yields, called the 200 Bushel Club, has hired an intern and is seeking to start collecting hard data from its trials.

Idaho ranchers take ag concerns to Willie Nelson

- A Weiser, Idaho, ranching couple got to visit with musician Willie Nelson about agricultural issues as part of his Farm Aid program.

Idaho wheat growers experience chloride deficiency

- A University of Idaho cereals pathologist has seen crop damage in wheat due to chloride deficiency.

Idaho spud projects receive specialty crop grants

- The Idaho State Department of Agriculture has awarded more than $340,000 of roughly $1.74 million in available funding through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to research benefiting the state's potato industry.

Booming food processing sector depends on water

- An economic impact study shows curtailment would devastate growth in Idaho's Magic Valley.

Idaho negotiations seek to stave water calls

- A proposed agreement could stabilize Idaho's aquifer into the future and avert potentially ruinous water calls.

Potato growers reach $25 million antitrust settlement

- A potato marketing cooperative has settled allegations of violating antitrust law for $25 million.

Hail causes damage in Idaho’s Pleasant Valley

- Growers near Aberdeen, Idaho, say a June 15 hail storm has damaged crops.

Children return to farm while father takes LDS mission

- Southeast Idaho potato farmer Kevin Loveland will leave his farm in the control of his young daughter in order to spend the next three years serving a mission with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Idaho grain rebounding from barley yellow dwarf

- Heavy May rainfall has reduced the severity of some cereal crop diseases, including barley yellow dwarf virus, but contributed to outbreaks of other problems.

Growers respond to hot psyllid with spray programs

- Idaho officials have reported thei first potato psyllid infected with Liberibacter bacterium that causes zebra chip from a commercial spud field.

House passes meat price reporting reauthorization

- The sheep and pork industries have requested changes to mandatory price reporting legislation to avoid the possibility of having too little data for USDA to complete reports.

PVMI varieties expanding abroad

- Foreign countries are showing increasing interest in potato varieties developed in the Pacific Northwest and managed by the Potato Variety Management Institute.

U.S. House passes Idaho truck weight bill

- Idaho agricultural leaders say language that was included in therecently approved House version of the Fiscal Year 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill provides a good chance of helping Ida...

French spud growers tour Idaho farms

- A group of French potato farmers in Idaho to tour its spud industry say production methods are similar, but their farm sizes are much smaller.

Experts warn of ‘buggy’ year in Northwest

- Insects have arrived earlier and in greater numbers in the Northwest this season, entomologists say.

Falling prices squeeze farmers’ bottom lines

- An all too familiar farming trend that economists call the price squeeze, in which prices paid to farmers can't keep pace with their expenses, is returning.

Idaho coping with ‘snow drought’

- Though water experts say a wet May should help stretch out Idaho's storage wate supply, the state's snowpack is a fraction of what it should be, contributing to below-normal natural flow forecasts.

Idaho officials warn against blending sprout-damaged wheat

- The Idaho Wheat Commission has created a video and is hostiing a webinar to warn growers and grain elevator staff of the risks of blending sprout-damamged wheat with this season's crop.

Thresher overhauling East Idaho elevators

- Thresher Artisan Wheat is renovating its Eastern Idaho grain elevators, which should shorten unloading times for area growers at harvest.

Idaho implements restrictions for livestock virus

- The Idaho State Department of Agriculture has implemented restrictions on animals entering the state from New Mexico and Arizona in response to an outbreak of visicular stomatitis.

Idaho experts concerned about late blight

- Idaho potato researchers are worried that conditions may be ideal for problems with late blight disease this season.

Idaho spud growers expect bad weed year

- Idaho weed scientists believe weed pressure could be high this season, following recent rainfall.

State approves recharge infrastructure projects

- The Idaho Water Resource Board has approved six projects, totalling $6.25 million, to upgrade infrastructure to expand the state's aquifer recharge capabilities.

Psyllids arrive early in some NW potato fields

- Potato psyllids, which spread the bacteria that causes zebra chip disease in potato fields, have been discovered in Oregon commercial fields.

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.