John O’Connell

Eastern Idaho Reporter
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Wheat, other commodities see promise in Cuban trade

- Restoring trade with Cuba could give a boost to Pacific Northwest Agriculture.

Analysis questions organic-conventional yield gap

- A new comprehensive analysis of several years of crop studies comparing conventional and organic production questions conventional wisdom about the yield gap between the two production methods.

Economist predicts stable input costs

- University of Idaho Extension economist Paul Patterson predicts farm input costs will rise only slightly in 2015.

Cows missing from Pocatello butcher

- Two cows were reported stolen, and one missing cow was found. In an earlier incident, police shot another cow after it escaped.

Federal spending bill pays dividends to ag

- The recently approved $1.1 trillion federal spending bill contains a lot to please agriculture.

Idaho growers look to whole-farm insurance

- The Risk Management Agency is rolling out a new whole farm insurance program.

Chobani shows off new filtration system

- Chobani has installed a high-tech reverse osmosis system at its Twin Falls plant to convert acid whey into pure water and a high-nutrition feed product.

Idaho ag posts another revenue record

- Idaho has set a record for farm-gate revenue for a fifth consecutive year.

Spending bill would add spuds to WIC

- Potatoes have been included in the WIC nutrition program in a new congressional spending bill.

Idaho unemployment insurance to drop

- Idaho unemployment insurance rates will be dow in 2015.

Idaho potato shipments, prices both increase

- Idaho's potato prices continue to strengthen, even as shipments have been ahead of last year's pace.

Beef charity to make first donations from its own herd

- A nonprofit ranch formed in Salmon to feed the hungry has been pleased by its progress and the support it's received from local ranchers.

Ranchers consider starting slaughter, processing facilities

- Idaho ranchers in the Salmon and Challis area are considering forming a cooperative to run their own USDA-inspected, mobile slaughtering facility, meat processing and packing facility and canning facility.

Pro-GMO side ‘wins’ online debate

- Supporter of genetically modified crops were declared the victors over opponents in a radio program's Dec. 3 debate.

New UI agronomist eyes water use

- University of Idaho has a new agronomist with expertise in water-use efficiency at its Aberdeen Research and Extension Center.

Study analyzes new guard dog breeds

- A new study aims to find better breeds of guard dogs for sheep producers — and possibly even some cattle ranchers.

Idaho gets 11,200 more SAFE program acres

- Idaho has been awarded 11,200 additional acres for a farm land conservation program intended to benefit sharp-tailed grouse.

Grazing amendment seeks to protect Idaho permits

- The Public Lands Council is backing an amendment in the federal appropriations bill that would help Idaho ranchers whose grazing permits are in question due to a recent federal ruling in Idaho district court.

Idaho farmer inducted into coop hall of fame

- Eastern Idaho farmer LaMar Isaak has been inducted into an agricultural hall of fame.

Beef supply to tighten in 2015, while general protein supply rises

- A beef analyst predicts beef supply will be tighter next year, but increased pork and poultry production will lead to an overall increase in animal protein production.

Idaho wolf depredation down

- Wolf predation of livestock is down for a second consecutive year in Idaho.

Idaho predator hunting derby permit canceled

- The Bureau of Land Management has pulled a permit it had previously approved for a controvertial Idaho hunting derby, based in Salmon, awarding prizes for killing wolves and other predators.

Ranchers averse to Boulder-White Clouds monument

- Idaho ranchers who would be affected by a proposed National Monument for the Boulder-Whiteclouds area have spoken out against the concept.

County attorney changes mind on forcing public access

- The Bannock County Commission has once again tabled a vote to forcibly validate a public access to national forest land across private property, including a farm.

Hydrologist predicts neutral Southern Idaho winter outlook

- A National Weather Service climatologist says conditions are in line for Eastern Idaho to get a start on its mountain snow pack, but the winter outlook is for a weak El Nino pattern, which could bring slightly warmer and dr...

Idaho Cattle Association backs GMO feed

- The Idaho Cattle Association has taken a stance in favor of genetically modified crops.

Idaho ag outlook seminars planned

- University of Idaho, the Idaho Barley Commission and Northwest Farm Credit have scheduled an agricultural outlook symposium for a second year.

Researcher explores new test for spud disease

- A University of Idaho researcher is experimenting with a new test for detecting potato pathogens.

Lawsuit targets BLM predator derby permit

- Environmentalists filed a lawsuit immediately after the Bureau of Land Management's Idaho Falls field office approved a five-year permit allowing a predator-killing derby centered in the Salmon area.

Lawsuit targets BLM predator derby permit

- Environmentalists filed a lawsuit immediately after the Bureau of Land Management's Idaho Falls field office approved a five-year permit allowing a predator-killing derby centered in the Salmon area.

Shippers say truck shortage worse than ever

- Idaho potato shippers say a tight supply of trucks for moving spuds is making it challenging for them to keep up with holiday demand.

Experiment raises doubt about in-row spud fumigation

- A trial conducted on a Rupert farm suggests it may not be wise for potato growers to cut corners with fumigation.

Researcher experiments with corn in pivot corners

- A University of Idaho Extension irrigation specialist is working to demonstrate that drip irrigating pivot corners is a viable option to help corn silage growers expand their feed production.

Idaho zebra chip trials inconclusive

- For a second consecutive year, Idaho research to develop chemical program recommendations for zebra chip has yielded inconclusive results.

New Idaho FSA leader hired

- Idaho has named a new director of its USDA Farm Service Agency.

Large, quality spuds in short supply despite higher yields

- USDA shows potato yields are up in throughout the Northwest and nationwide, yet prices of fresh potato cartons continue strengthening.

Potato production cost report author to retire

- University of Idaho Extension economist Paul Patterson is retiring after several years of conducting an annual cost of production report for the Idaho potato industry.

Researcher seeks to solve phosphorus mystery

- A USDA researcher in Kimberly, Idaho, theorizes that corn may be phosphorus deficient in test plots following sugar beets because beets don't support beneficial mycorrhizae fungi.

USDA deregulates biotech potato

- USDA announced Nov. 7 that a biotech line of potatoes, called Innate, developed by J.R. Simplot Co. has been deregulated.

Report shows decline in spud input costs

- The cost of producing potatoes has declined slightly for a second consecutive year, according to an economist's report.

Different strain behind Idaho late blight

- Idaho's late blight infections have shifted to a different strain of the fungal diseaase.

Bear River adjudication proposed

- The Idaho Department of Water Resources has scheduled meetings to measure interest in adjudicating water rights in the Bear River Basin.

Ruling could impose mid-season mitigation on well users

- A judge has ruled the methodology used for basing water obligations of Idaho junior groundwater users in the Surface Water Coalition's call must be changed.

Researchers isolate stripe rust resistance markers in barley

- Scientists with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service in Aberdeen, Idaho, have isolated a new genetic marker in barley associated with stripe rust disease resistance.

Rule change opens Snake tributaries to calls

- The Idaho Department of Water Resources is seeking to remove Rule 50 of the state's conjunctive management rules, which would open certain drainages that feed into the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer to potential water calls.

Court expands Rangen call to whole aquifer

- A district judge's recent ruling on an appeal in the Rangen water call case has broadened the call to include an additional 322,000 groundwater-irrigated acres junior to 1962 and could have major ramifications for future wa...

Amy’s Kitchen factory bodes well for Idaho organic ag

- The arrival of a large manufacturer of organic convenience food in Pocatello, Idaho, could lead to considerable growth in the state's organic agriculture industry.

Study shows potential for manure for beets, spuds

- Data shows mixed results for manure applications before potatoes and sugar beets in the second year of a long-term rotational study involving manure.

Idaho scholar studies farming in literature

- An Idaho State University associate lecturer recently completed a dissertation analyzing contemporary literature pertaining to agriculture. He hopes the research will prepare him to return to his grandfather's old Idaho far...

Mammoth fossil found in irrigation ditch

- A Columbian mammoth fossil was discovered in an irrigation drainage feeding American Falls Reservoir.