John O’Connell

Eastern Idaho Reporter
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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.

Idaho damaged barley still free of toxins

- An Idaho cereals pathologist wants to research why Idaho barley was free of the toxin associated with Fusarium headblight this season despite samples with high concentrations of the mold that causes the crop disease on barl...

U.S., Mexico reach deal on sugar dumping charge

- A white paper analyzing the economic impacts of imposing duties on Mexican sugar in response to a trade case filed by American sugar producers finds U.S. consumers and sweetened product manufacturers could pay $2.4 billion ...

Rain damage hits Idaho Barley Commission budget

- The Idaho Barley Commission will cut deep into reserves this season due to widespread quality problems with the malt crop.

Irrigation district to convert wells to surface water

- Irrigators with southcentral Idaho's A & B Irrigation District plan to build a new pipeline in order to provide supplemental surface water to irrigate about 1,500 acres of farm land where wells are declining.

Yellow spud varieties make debut

- An Eastern Idaho company that deals in a wide variety of potato types says yellow spuds are trendy and unveiled two new yellow varieties during a recent produce trade show in Southern California.

Pipeline part of latest Rangen water mitigation plan

- Members of Idaho Ground Water Appropriators have developed a new mitigation plan to satisfy a water call by the Rangen, Inc., trout farm. The irrigators say the state has received the plan favorably.

Study predicts damage of Idaho water call

- University of Idaho researchers have analyzed how a water call by the Rangen, Inc., trout farm in Idaho's Magic Valley would influence the economy if curtailment were implemented.

Idaho spud museum renovating building

- The Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot is undergoing a renovation and plans to add a restaurant that will serve potatoes.

Commodity groups turn to science to help shape federal nutrition policy

- To help shape the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, U.S. commodity groups consider it a top priority to promote and advance science demonstrating the health attributes of their crops and products.

Ranchers profit from conservation

- A May, Idaho, rancher has received a large grant to continue improving his range land for the benefit of sage grouse, seeking to be proactive in case of an endangered species listing.

Food barley symposium planned in Portland

- A symposium planned for this winter in Portland, Ore., will highlight how U.S. companies can use food barley to make healthy products.

Sprout damage highlights need for better barley insurance

- The barley industry is working with a private company to create an improved insurance product intended to better protect growers against damage to crop quality.

Milling oats finding niche in East Idaho

- A miller in Bancroft, Idaho, is pushing oats a rotation crop in Eastern Idaho, hoping to source more grain locally to cut back on his imports from Canada.

Potato groups seek social media exposure through Idaho tour

- The Idaho Potato Commission and the Alliance for Potato Research and Education hosted a group of dietitions and food bloggers, who toured Eastern Idaho and witnessed all aspects of potato production at harvest time.

Idaho corn growers report average harvest

- Farmers in Eastern Idaho and Magic Valley starting corn harvest say their yields appear to be about average.

NASS to update Idaho small grain reporting

- The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service intends to update its year-end small grains report, released Sept. 30, for Idaho and other states to better capture a large number of acres that were unharvested because o...

Spud bag made from potato starch makes debut

- An Eastern Idaho fresh potato grower-shipper intends to start using a new bag later this month made with potato starch.

Beet growers say processing removes GM material from sugar

- The sugar industry believes GMO labeling requirements, such as the initiative that will appear on Oregon's November election ballot, are misleading for their product. Whether it's derived from GMO beets or not, sucrose suga...

Study: $87 million in rain damage to Idaho alfalfa

- A new University of Idaho Extension report suggests $87 million is a conservative estimate of Idaho's hay crop losses due to rain damage this season.

Allotment tour set to highlight regulatory issues

- Ranchers in the Salmon-Challis National Forest and Idaho Farm Bureau Federation have scheduled a tour of an allotment that was closed a month early, hoping to start a dialogue about improving federal range management decisi...

U.S. Senate passes bill resolving Blackfoot land dispute

- The U.S. Senate has passed a bill to resolve a long-standing land dispute between Blackfoot, Idaho, farmers and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.

East Idaho farm teaches fourth-graders about ag

- Swore Farms in southeast Idaho has an annual tradition of inviting all of fourth-graders in the Pocatello-Chubbuck school district to come and learn about agriculture.