John O’Connell

Eastern Idaho Reporter
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UI to test new water filtration system on dairies

- A University of Idaho professor who developed technology that removes pollutants from water and saves the nutrients for fertilizer will soon start testing on dairy lagoons.

Weather helps E. Idaho avoid wildfire outbreak

- During a busy fire season throughout Idaho and the Northwest, Eastern Idaho has been nearly fire free, enabling its wildfire personnel to assist in other areas.

Grant aims to improve Madison County soil

- The Madison Soil & Water Conservation District is in the first year of a grant to quantify the economics of how various soil-health practices affect fields on five Eastern Idaho farms.

Zebra chip found in Idaho commercial field

- Idaho has confirmed its first tuber from a commercial field infected with zebra chip disease in three years, crop researchers say.

Amalgamated works to increase sugar in each beet

- Amalgamated Sugargrowers in Eastern Idaho are experimenting witih high-sugar varieties from out of the area that don't have resistance to curly top virus, a major problem within the state.

Eastern Idaho reports strong quinoa yields

- A businessman experimenting with quinoa in 14 Eastern Idaho fields says yields and quality have exceeded expectations this season.

Pea buyers look to Eastern Idaho growers

- Growers see promise in peas as a rotation crop with wheat, though finding buyers has been a challenge.

Well irrigators pleased with shorter renewable power contracts

- Idaho ground water irrigators support a recent order by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission shortening the mandatory length of certain contracts utilities must enter for renewable energy.

Experts offer ways to limit late blight losses

- Late blight experts have hosted workshops to educate potato growers how to properly store their crops to avoid exacerbating late blight infections in storage.

‘Oddball’ spuds gaining interest

- A source with SunRain Potato Varieties says oddball potato varieties are the latest trend in the growing fresh, specialty market.

Idaho Grain Producers head to join Simpson’s staff

- Travis Jones, the executive director of Idaho Grain Producers Association, has taken a position as a staff member with Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho.

‘Trap crop’ sees use in PCN program

- Idaho's pale cyst nematode erradication program has began utilizing a nightshade family member, litchi tomato, on a cmmercial scale as a so-called trap crop to stimulate cyst hatching in the absence of a viable host.

UI cereals educator learning regional grain challenges

- University of Idaho's new eastern Idaho cereals director has been meeting with growers and hopes to help them identify crop problems in their fields.

Idaho late blight outbreak now widespread

- Late blight has become widespread in Idaho, leading experts to shorten their fungicide spraying recommendations to every five to seven days in counties in which it is present.

East Idaho grower tests winter clover as cover crop

- An Eastern Idaho grower is testing a new, cold-tolerant clover species as a winter cover crop option for the growing region.

Idaho groundwater entities all support aquifer agreement

- All 10 groundwater districts and irrigation districts with wells within the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer and represented by Idaho Ground Water Appropriators, Inc., have signed on to an agreement with surface irrigators seeki...

Idaho reports average grain yields, lower test weights

- Idaho grain crops have recovered well from a widespread barley yellow dwarf outbreak as growers harvest fields, but experts warn growers to take precautions to avoid problems next year.

Farm supervisor takes over as Tetonia superintendent

- The University of Idaho's Tetonia Research & Extension Center has a new director.

Researchers use wild potatoes to develop better hybrids

- Potato breeders say potatoes growing in the wild hold the answers to many of the potato industry's current and future challenges.

Public learns about ag research at Twilight Tour

- The University of Idaho's Aberdeen Research and Extension Center hosted its annual Twilight Tour to introduce the public to the research conducted at the facility.

Program aims to retain flood irrigation

- A grant aims to help producers in important wildlife areas in Idaho improve their flood-irrigaiton systems to benefit habitat.

Arrests made in mink farm attacks

- U.S. mink production and prices are both up, and suspects have been charged in connection with 2013 attacks on mink farms, including one Idaho facility.

Committee mulling PCN program alternatives

- An Idaho State Department of Agriculture pale cyst nematode advisory committee is mulling eight options to change its current program to erradicate the regulated pest.

Late blight continues to spread in S. Idaho

- Late blight has been discovered in three potato fields in Idaho's Minidoka County and may be widespread in that area, according to crop expert Jeff Miller.

Idaho irrigation companies approves for Water Board loans

- Two southeast Idaho canal companies have received low-interest loans through the Idaho Department of Water Resources to complete major improvements to their systems.

Tour highlights conservation on ag lands

- The Idaho Soil and Water Conservation Commission led a July 21 tour of southeast Idaho water-quality projects, most of which helped agricultural producers better their operations whille protecting watersheds.

Researcher weighs dryland cereal cropping systems

- In the seventh year of a direct seeding trial on an Eastern Idaho dry-land farm, a University of Idaho researcher sees evidence supporting the use of alternative crops and cover crops.

Grain buyers expand East Idaho operations

- Eastern Idaho wheat farmers have new options for selling their grain this season, including a new Lansing Trade Group facility in American Falls.

Ag wary of park designation for Craters of the Moon

- Some ranchers and agricultural leaders remain concerned about a proposal to make Craters of the Moon National Monument a national park.

Research ‘puts pencil’ to water conservation

- A cooperative project in Eastern Idaho aims to quantify the effectiveness of water-conservation practices such as variable-rate irrigation in different conditions within commercial fields.

Appropriations rider aims to save sheep research station

- A recent vote in a U.S. House subcommittee bodes well for the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Dubois, Idaho.

Idaho wilderness bill advances in House panel

- Legislative progress is being made on a bill to create a Boulder-White Clouds wilderness area in Idaho.

Thresher pilots ‘act of God’ clause for wheat

- Thresher Artisan Wheat is running a pilot program testing an "act of God" clause in some of its 2015 contracts, seeking to make wheat more competitive with other crops.

Idaho coop members overwhelmingly support merger

- Valley Cooperative and Valley Wide Cooperative are moving forward with details of a merger after their members recently overwhelmingly voted to support it.

Idaho irrigators back shorter solar, wind energy contracts

- A decision is expected soon on a proposal by Idaho electric companies to shorten the lenth of contracts for wind and solar projects, which many irrigators say would save rates payers money.

Midwest weather concerns bolster grain prices

- Wheat prices have risen based on weather concerns.