John O’Connell

Eastern Idaho Reporter
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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...

Sweetener users study: Mexico trade case costly

- 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.

Idaho sugar beet harvest off to sweet start

- Farmers participating in Idaho's early sugar beet harvest say sugar levels are up signfiicantly this season.

Idaho to start winter recharge under new fee structure

- The Idaho Department of Water Resources and three irrigation water providers plan to conduct the state's first extenive winter aquifer recharge effort soon.

Study: Climate change presents opportunity in Upper Snake

- Idaho's state climatologist predicts Eastern Snake Plain irrigators are well positioned to handle the worst-case scenario of climate change.

Wet August improves East Idaho water storage outlook

- A wet August should leave reservoirs in Idaho's Upper Snake River system with about average carryover.

Idaho spud sizes down, yields average

- Early in harvest, Idaho's potato yields appear to be average or slightly below average and spud sizes are down from last season.

IPC appoints youngest board member ever

- The Idaho Potato Commission is adding its youngest board member ever.

Corn mazes growing more elaborate

- A Firth, Idaho, farmer has become one of the nation's top designers of corn mazes.

Cold nips Eastern Idaho crops

- Crops in Eastern Idaho sustained minimal damage despite record low temperatures early Sept. 12.

Feed barley glut affects hay prices

- Eastern Idaho growers say the quality of their third alfalfa cutting is strong, but yield and price of premium hay are both down.

East Idaho grain harvest extends into spud season

- Grain harvest has extended into early potato harvest season for many Eastern Idaho growers due to delays caused by excessive August moisture.

USDA steps up local, organic ag reporting

- The USDA is working to expand its reporting on local and organic crops.

Idaho Potato Commission targets Hispanic consumers

- The Idaho Potato Comission is encouraged by survey results showing strong national recognition for its brand and loyalty by female Hispanic consumers.

Companies testing pistachio, almond, barley fish feeds

- A new fish food puts off-grade almonds and pistachios to good use.

New irrigation method save power, water

- University of Idaho Extension irrigation specialist Howard Neibling is testing how a pivot irrigation system that delivers water closer to the ground can improve soil moisture in Arco, Idaho.

USDA denies renewal of multi-state zebra chip grant

- A major multi-state grant to research zebra chip disease was recently denied funding for an additional five years.

FFA students staff seed trailer at fair

- FFA students from Shelley, Idaho, have manned an educational trailer at the Eastern Idaho State Fair aimed at teaching the public about agriculture.

Spud commission partners with ‘Potato Salad Guy’

- A man who raised more than $55,000 to make potato salad is partnering with the Idaho Potato Commission.

U.S. spud exports break record

- Foreign potato exports broke another record in the 2013-2014 marketing year, according to new numbers.

Potato drop organizers to grow Boise event

- The Idaho Potato Commission intends to contribute more assistance to a Boise New Year's Eve celebration featuring the dropping of a giant potato.

IPC debuts commercial, sets more potato truck tours

- The Great Big Idaho Potato Truck will roll for a fourth year, and the Idaho Potato Commission has created a new commercial promoting the next tour.

GMO initiative recruits farmers to dispel myths

- Potato farmers are being sought to help a year-old organization formed to educate the public about genetically engineered crops answer questions from consumers.

Late blight continues spread in Eastern Idaho

- More cases of late blight have been reported in Southern Idaho.

U.S. imposed duties on Mexican sugar

- The U.S. government has made a preliminary decision to impose duties on imported Mexican sugar, in response to complaints by U.S. sugar producers.

Amalgamated expects strong beet crop

- Amalgamated Sugar Co. predicts strong yields and high sugar content from this season's sugar beet crop.

Idaho counties seek moisture emergencies

- Counties are requesting emergency declarations as damage due to excessive moisture amounts in grain.