John O’Connell

Eastern Idaho Reporter
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ESPA groundwater users face flow meter deadline

- Groundwater districts report they are about half way toward meeting a goal of installing flow meters on wells throughout the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer.

Promising irrigation method succeeds in spuds

- A University of Idaho researcher who helped innovate LESA irrigation says it worked well in potatoes during 2017 trials.

Partners seek to help flood irrigation projects make cut in grant

- Recipients of a large USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service grant to help build up the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer hope to structure their programs to make certain a wide variety of project concepts are funded.

UI, WSU find promise in biological wireworm controls

- University of Idaho and Washington State University have had success in studies using a beneficial fungus and nematodes to attack wireworms and improve the health of wheat plants.

Foreign trade mission fruitful for Idaho commodities

- Leaders with Idaho agricultural businesses say a recent foreign trade mission to Vietnam and Taiwan generated promising new leads for selling products.

CPA: How to recognize when someone is ripping you off

- Ryan Mathews, with Cooper Norman in Pocatello, said employees who commit major frauds are often trusted by business owners and take advantage of a lack of adequate safeguards.

Rancher, BLM collaborate on grazing research

- A grazing study involving the Bureau of Land Management and a Hammett, Idaho, ranching family has completed its first three-year rotation, and participants will soon evaluate the data.

Thresher upgrades Blackfoot, Idaho Falls seed treatment lines

- Thresher Artisan Wheat is upgrading seed treatment lines at its Blackfoot and Idaho Falls plants, which will make it feasible for the company to customize treatments for individual farm fields.

Study shows advantages of locating next fry plant in Idaho

- An economics study funded by the Idaho Potato Commission concludes Idaho would be the best location for the next fry processing plant.

Candidates for Idaho governor address potato growers

- Two Republican candidates for Idaho governor spoke to potato growers during the Nov. 14 Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting, hosted by the Idaho Potato Commission in Fort Hall.

Idaho Potato Commission takes steps to address quality concerns

- IPC plans to conduct quality-improvement workshops for growers and shippers, is developing a handbook outlining best practices for handling potatoes and has commissioned University of Idaho potato researchers to study the s...

BYU-Idaho undergrads become ag researchers

- Brigham Young University-Idaho’s agricultural program is giving undergraduates a chance to experience advanced research for major clients.

Idaho tops 100,000 acre-feet in fall recharge

- Idaho water officials say the state has already conducted 100,000 acre-feet of fall recharge, and plenty of water still remains to be injected into the aquifer under the state program.

Limagrain triples fall wheat market share in PNW

- Limagrain Cereal Seeds, which has breeding program partnerships with University of Idaho and Oregon State University, collected more than $2 million in royalties to share with its partners and tripled its winter wheat posit...

USDA report shows lower Northwest spud production

- Potato yields and acres were down in the Northwest, resulting in a sizable production decrease.

Potato Expo 2018 to help children in need

- The National Potato Council’s Potato Expo 2018 will raise funds to help feed needy children.

Water policy change concerns Upper Snake storage holders

- An upcoming contested case within the Idaho Department of Water Resources will address the state’s long-time practice of curtailing junior irrigators who use natural flows late in the season to prioritize refilling U...

County commissioner named new Idaho FSA head

- A conservative member of the Bannock County Commission, based in Pocatello, has been appointed as the next director of the Idaho Farm Service Agency.

Study identifies sediment source in muddy Portneuf River tributary

- Conservation programs may be on the horizon to help landowners along Marsh Creek in southeast Idaho address water-quality problems in the Portneuf River tributary, based on data from an Idaho State University study.

Promising herbicide undergoing residue trials for quinoa use

- Syngenta herbicide Dual Magnum is being evaluated with funding from a federal program benefiting minor crops to pave the way for possible use in quinoa.

Idaho Farm Bureau sets busy agenda for annual meeting

- Idaho Farm Bureau Federation will host its annual meeting Dec. 5-7 in Fort Hall.

2 GOP governor candidates to speak at Idaho potato meeting

- Idaho gubernatorial candidates Tommy Ahlquist and Brad Little have been booked to speak at the Idaho Potato Commission’s upcoming Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting in Fort Hall.

Idaho quinoa buyer to expand production

- An Eastern Idaho quinoa buyer hopes to triple his acreage in 2018.

Niche grain supplier seeks heirloom wheat

- A Rexburg businessman who deals in organic specialty grains is seeking growers to produce about 700 acres of heirloom wheat.

Meet the makers of Idaho’s biggest potatoes

- Weiser, Idaho, artists Chris and Sharolyn Schofield are building their fourth giant potato. It will replace the original 6-ton spud they made for the Idaho Potato Commission’s Great Big Idaho Potato Truck.

Idaho companies see opportunity in trade mission

- Fourteen Idaho companies that deal in agricultural commodities will be participating in an upcoming state trade mission to Taiwan and Vietnam.

Great Big Idaho Potato to become miniature home

- A Boise woman who spent two years aboard the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck plans to convert the giant replica potato it has hauled into a small home.

Treasure Valley farmers share guidance through new soil health group

- Farmers in Idaho’s Treasure Valley and Eastern Oregon are sharing information on improving sustainability and cutting costs through a new soil health group.

IPC launches RODS Racing commercial campaign

- The Idaho Potato Commission is promoting its partnership with an organization of endurance athletes who raise funds toward adoptions of foreign children with Down syndrome.

Low-carb spud latest innovation in fresh potato category

- An Idaho Falls-based company has released a new yellow potato bred to have low carbohydrates.

UI economist sees greater profits in pasture than wheat

- Some Eastern Idaho growers are moving away from grain in favor of raising irrigated pasture, which is in short supply in the region.

Idaho groundwater districts match CREP payment increase

- Both the federal government and Idaho groundwater districts are contributing to an increase in payments under the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program to entice more growers to conserve water by retiring marginal crop l...

East Idaho young farmers pool knowledge through group texts

- A group of young farmers in Caribou County, Idaho, have been touring each other’s fields and sharing group text messages to pool their knowledge.

Suspension of Winter Water Savings opens door to recharge

- The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has waived a requirement that Palisades Reservoir space-holders keep their canal gates shut through winter.

BLM experiments with ‘flexible’ grazing permits

- The Bureau of Land Management is taking applications from Western states to test outcome-based grazing, which enables ranchers to manage according to current conditions rather than rigid permit requirements.

Ag, economy to be emphasized in Idaho climate conference

- An upcoming conference about climate change will to be hosted at Boise State University, Idaho State University and University of Idaho.

Study: Preliminary data show cattle, sage grouse can coexist

- Early data from an ongoing Idaho grazing study planned to last a decade shows no harm to sage grouse on public lands caused by spring grazing.