John O’Connell

Eastern Idaho Reporter
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Hay export facility opens in Pocatello

- A new facility in Eastern Idaho will press hay and pack containers bound for overseas.

RMA pushes back East Idaho fall grain planting dates

- USDA’s Risk Management Agency has changed its final fall grain planting dates to enable farmers to reduce exposure to certain diseases that can occur when they plant early.

BLM expects large rangeland seed buy

- A farmer says raising grass seed for dryland range is risky, and the market is volatile, but the Bureau of Land Management has depleted its seed inventories and is planning a significant buy.

IDWR starts Lower Portneuf water rights enforcement

- The Idaho Department of Water Resources is moving forward with the first curtailments of junior surface water irrigators on the Lower Portneuf River.

Farmers battle 52,000-acre wildfire in southeast Idaho

- About 60 farmers dug firelines and attacked hot spots to protect crop fields and homes from the Powerline Fire in southeast Idaho.

East Idaho grower heads national barley organization

- Newdale, Idaho, grower Dwight Little was elected president of the National Association of Barley Growers.

East Idaho dryland growers dabble in ranching to improve soil health

- A young couple in Caribou County, Idaho, has added livestock and chickens to their farm, as well as cover crops, and implemented direct seeding to improve their soil health.

Wheat variety’s fungicide response studied for falling numbers secrets

- A University of Idaho crop researcher believes secrets about how stress can trigger poor falling numbers test results may be uncovered by studying a wheat variety’s unusual response to strobilurin fungicides.

Incubator aims to boost local food products

- The city of Driggs, Idaho, has launched a food business incubator to help entrepreneurs make products with local ingredients.

Monitor wells show surge in ESPA storage

- The combination of aquifer recharge, a big winter snowpack and reductions in groundwater consumption by irrigators has led to at least a 660,000 acre-foot increase in Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer storage, according to a rece...

Idaho proposes wolf baiting; mulls bounty on problem wolves

- The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has formally proposed to allow sportsmen to use bait when hunting wolves, and a committee formed to oversee wolf depredation control for the state has discussed implementing a bounty on...

Soil health expert preaches plant diversity to Caribou County growers

- A leading soil health expert addressed about 70 Caribou County, Idaho, growers regarding the importance of planting multi-species cover crops and maintaining a diversity of living roots in their soil.

Idaho weather stations addressing falling numbers knowledge gap

- The Idaho Wheat Commission has funded 16 weather stations to record environmental data at University of Idaho’s regional variety trial sites.

Idaho Supreme Court rejects city’s water mitigation plan

- The city of Blackfoot plans to purchase water rights from farms to mitigate for a water obligation, following a recent adverse ruling by the Idaho Supreme Court.

Teton County 4-H student efforts benefiting needy

- Teton County, Idaho, 4H students have agreed to give garden produce, honey and pork to help the needy, with support from grants.

Western Innovator: Doug Peck oversees effort to help barley farmers

- Anheuser-Busch InBev program helps Idaho growers increase their barley efficiency.

Breeders tout new cereal lines in Aberdeen trials

- Several promising barley and wheat varieties tested in Aberdeen, Idaho, should soon be available to growers.

Upper Snake irrigators pass peak demand with full reservoirs

- Canal companies in Eastern Idaho have begun to scale back their diversions as grain acres come off of their systems, but they still have all of their reservoir storage remaining.

Settlement suspends grazing in Sawtooth allotments

- Grazing has been suspended for at least two years on two allotments in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area following a July 3 lawsuit settlement.

East Idaho farmer experiments with dry beans

- An Eastern Idaho grower says he’s committed to demonstrating that dry beans can be a viable rotational option in his region.

Trials investigate potential quinoa herbicides

- University of Idaho trials are identifying good possibilities for herbicides that could be used in quinoa production.

Wildfire season starts in Idaho

- Officials say wildfires have broken out around the state, and this season has the potential to cause significant wildfire damage to grazing lands.

Researchers test sterile litchi tomato as nematode ‘trap crop’

- University of Idaho is testing a litchi tomato variety generated to be sterile, for use in controlling pale cyst nematode as a “trap crop” without the risk that it could spread as a weed.

Credit program planned for Teton flood-irrigation project

- A collaboration working to bring back flood irrigation in Teton Valley to benefit irrigators and wildlife through the aquifer benefits is planning a credit program to increase participation.

Analyst sees positive signs for U.S. sugar market

- Global sugar production is expected to rise, but the domestic sugar market should be in good shape, according to a Rabobank analyst.

Teton County 4H student efforts benefiting needy

- Teton County, Idaho, 4H students have agreed to give garden produce, honey and pork to help the needy, with support from grants.

Forage experts see promise in low-lignin alfalfa

- Public trials and grower experience have validated claims about the potential for low-lignin alfalfa to improve forage quality.

Idaho spud growers encouraged by acreage reports

- Idaho’s potato growers say a 15,000-acre reduction in planted acreage estimates released recently by both USDA and United Potato Growers of Idaho bode well for prices for their coming crop.

Incubator aims to boost local food products

- The city of Driggs, Idaho, has launched a food business incubator to help entrepreneurs make products with local ingredients.

UI reports light potato psyllid pressure

- Some Idaho farmers are saving a bit of money on insecticidal sprays due to light potato psyllid pressure.

SIPCO hires new executive director

- A retired raw product procurement director from J.R. Simplot Co. is now working as executive director with Southern Idaho Potato Cooperative.

Pasture program capitalizes on giving dairy cows room to roam

- Glanbia Nutritionals has helped Eastern Idaho dairymen earn a premium through a unique niche that produces pasture-based milk for cheese.

Rain damages much of East Idaho’s first alfalfa cutting

- Eastern Idaho hay farmers have reported significant damage to hay due to rain.