John O’Connell

Eastern Idaho Reporter
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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.

A place where research meets agriculture

- The U.S. Department of Energy has a rich history of contributing to the advancement of agriculture and continues helping the industry today.

‘Challenging’ wheat harvest seen for Southern Idaho

- Wheat has sustained heavy damage throughout Idaho due to continuous rain storms in August.

Access issue pits public against private interests

- A look at Idaho law governing public rights-of-way crossing private propety to access public land.

Idaho barley sustains ‘catastrophic’ losses

- The Idaho Barley Commission is seeking to help growers cope with "catastrophic" damage due to a wet August.

Idaho spud experts advise late blight precautions

- Experts advise Idaho potato growers to take precautions for late blight due to extremely wet weather.

Idaho county pursues forest right-of-way through farm ground

- The Bannock County Commission has tabled a ruling on its proposal to validate a public access through private farm and residential property.

UI center adds pasture research facility

- University of Idaho's newest research center, located near Salmon, is opening a new facility to test supplement intake of groups of livestock in a pasture setting.

Idaho enacts ring rot certification standards

- Idaho Crop Improvement Association has implemented new certification requirements for bacterial ring rot.

Sunrain develops in-house spud seed production

- The Potandon Produce subsidiary Sunrain Varieties LLC has announced several capital improvements to help the company conduct a seed development program in-house, rather than contracting with local seed growers for most of t...

Simplot spud processing plant closures delayed

- J.R. Simplot, Co. has once again delayed the planned closures of Idaho potaot processing plants in Nampa and Aberdeen.

Experts worry volunteers could support grain virus

- Crop experts worry recent rainfall in Southern and Eastern Idaho may lead to more volunteer plants to support aphids, which vector barley yellow dwarf virus.

Record rains soak Idaho hay

- Hay has sustained damage throughout Magic Valley and Eastern Idaho following a week of continuous moisture.

U.S. spud leaders mull Mexico strategy

- U.S. potato industry leaders are planning their legal strategy to respond to a Mexican judge's injunction to block the expansion of the Mexican market to fresh, U.S. potatoes.

Potato industry keys in on mop-top

- The potato industry is increasing its focus on potato mop-top virus and has proposed to include research on the tuber disease in a five-year, multi-state grant.

Grass-fed lamb finds niche in Eastern Idaho

- An Eastern Idaho farm and ranch has capitalized on the niche market for grass-finished lamb.

Chemicals ineffective in mealy bug trials

- Barley mealy bug trials in Caribou County, Idaho, show insecticide treatments don't appear to be effective in a dry year.