Sean Ellis

Boise, Idaho, Reporter
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In ‘minor miracle,’ most cull onions in Idaho, Oregon disposed of

- Most of the 100 million pounds of onions ruined in Idaho and Eastern Oregon this winter have been properly disposed of. Both states extended their normal deadline for cull onion disposal from March 15 to April 15 because of...

Researchers discuss cloud seeding efforts

- Cloud seeding and its potential to increase snowpack levels were a main topic of discussion during a joint meeting of the Western Snow Conference and Weather Modification Association.

Research: Farmers benefit as a group from drought

- Research by a University of Idaho ag economist shows that droughts are good for farmers as a group because they cause production to decrease and prices to increase.

Map will project farm ground loss in Treasure Valley

- A Boise State professor is developing a map that will project how much farm ground in southwestern Idaho will be lost in the future. The map will also show how specific crops will be impacted by the loss of farm ground.

Poll shows significant support for farmland preservation in Idaho

- Support for the preservation of farmland was high regardless of age, political party, gender or geographic location.

Change to Idaho’s field burning program heads to EPA for approval

- Idaho farm groups are hailing passage of a bill that amends the state’s field burning program, but some environmental and safe air groups say it will endanger public health.

Boise basin irrigators push for more water storage

- Treasure Valley irrigators say the enormous amount of water that is projected to come out of the Boise River basin in 2017 demonstrates the need for more storage capacity.

Idaho legislators approve $500,000 in ongoing funding for water quality BMPs

- The Idaho Legislature this year approved $500,000 in annual funding to help farmers implement best management practices to improve water quality.

Next step pondered for Treasure Valley farmland preservation efforts

- During a year-long effort to educate people in Idaho’s Treasure Valley about options for preserving farmland, the idea of using agricultural easements to protect farm ground received a lot of attention.

Groups back moratorium on soybean planting in parts of Idaho

- Idaho’s dry bean and seed industries will propose a new rule to restrict soybeans from being planted in the Magic Valley and Treasure Valley areas of the state. They worry soybeans could bring in diseases harmful to ...

Ag fares well during 2017 Idaho legislative session

- During Idaho’s recently concluded 2017 legislative session, lawmakers supported a lot of bills and proposals that will benefit the state’s agricultural industry.

Idaho legislators applaud spud commission’s marketing efforts

- Idaho lawmakers tell Idaho Potato Commission CEO that the group is doing a great job promoting the state’s most famous commodity.

Proposed Idaho sorghum processing facility passes county hurdle

- Canyon County commissioners have voted in favor of allowing a proposed $90 million sorghum processing facility near Parma, Idaho, to move forward.

Water supply in SW Idaho so good that focus switches to flood prevention

- Having an adequate water supply won’t be an issue for Southwestern Idaho irrigators this year. Water managers in the region are focusing on releasing enough water from area reservoirs to prevent major flooding.

Assessment increase helps fund repairs to Owyhee Project

- The 1,800 farms in Oregon and Idaho get their irrigation water from the Owyhee Project will pay $4 an acre more for that water this year, with the additional funding being used to repair the 85-year-old system.

USDA sets specialty crop block grant amounts

- California, Idaho and Washington will receive less money this year from USDA for their specialty crop block grant programs but Oregon will get a little more.

Idaho ag department gets 11 percent budget hike

- The Idaho State Department of Agriculture’s fiscal year 2018 budget will increase $4.9 million. Most of the additional funding will be used to increase efforts to prevent quagga mussels from reaching Idaho waterways.

Idaho has a new Mexico trade office director

- Fabiola McClellan, the new director of Idaho’s Mexico trade office, said she is impressed with the innovation occurring in the state’s farming and food-processing industries.

Some say Idaho could lead immigration reform discussion

- A March 22 press conference that included state and national leaders in the immigration reform discussion was part of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association’s ongoing effort to elevate the issue and pressure congres...

Snow, rain have delayed planting in Treasure Valley

- Soggy farm fields have pushed planting back two to three weeks for many farmers in southwestern Idaho and Eastern Oregon.

Idaho lawmakers OK memorial that asks for all food to meet same standards

- The Idaho Legislature has approved a joint memorial that asks for foreign food imports to be held to the same food safety standards that domestic farmers and processors must meet, but some Idaho farm groups opted not to sup...

Malheur Siphon fix will cost more than $1 million

- Work could begin this year on a project to fix the Malheur Siphon, which carries irrigation water to thousands of acres of farmland on the Owyhee Irrigation District.

Owyhee Reservoir managers focus on preventing major flooding

- Water managers will increase the rate of releases below the Owyhee Reservoir Dam to prevent major flooding, but farmers will receive their full 4-acre-foot allotment.

Bill would help East Oregon better compete against Idaho

- A bill introduced in the Oregon Legislature seeks to help businesses in Eastern Oregon better compete with their counterparts across the Snake River in Idaho.

Idaho-Oregon industry changes how it promotes its bulb onion

- The region cut its onion assessment and encouraged shippers to use the savings to do more of their own direct promotions and marketing.

Letter from second-grader prompts visit from Idaho’s ag college dean

- A letter from a second-grader who said he wants to be a farmer and a scientist prompted the dean of University of Idaho’s ag college to visit tiny Notus Elementary School March 15 and speak about insects, farming and...

Stock watering rights bill moving through legislature with ease

- A bill that would allow thousands of Idaho ranchers to potentially file for in-stream stock watering rights on federally administered land is sailing through the Idaho Legislature. Two other bills that farm groups have weig...

Owyhee Reservoir set to fill for first time in six years

- The reservoir holds a two-year water supply, so 2018 irrigation year looks promising too.

Value of Idaho ag exports falls 8 percent in 2016

- It’s the second year in a row Idaho ag exports have fallen after reaching a record level in 2014.

Oregon, Idaho onion industry rebuilds following winter damage

- Onion growers and shippers in Idaho and Oregon have begun rebuilding following this winter’s heavy weather-related damage, and the race is on to be ready for the 2017 harvest.

Both dyed diesel bills run out of fuel

- Two bills that proposed making changes to Idaho’s dyed diesel program are now dead. The fuel is used heavily in the farming industry.

Idaho lawmakers could soon be asked to change law on hemp

- Some people are trying try to convince Idaho lawmakers to make it legal to grow industrial hemp in the state for research.

Snowpack in most southwest Idaho basins well above average

- Southwest Idaho basins have received a lot more snow than normal and most irrigators in the region can expect a normal water supply in 2017.

Senate committee approves stock watering rights bill

- An Idaho Senate panel has recommended that the full Senate approve a bill that would put into state law an Idaho Supreme Court decision on who owns in-stream stock watering rights on federal land.

Idaho memorial seeks equality on food safety standards

- A joint memorial introduced in the Idaho Legislature asks that foreign food imports be held to the same food safety standards as products produced by U.S. farmers, ranchers and food processors.

Labrador: Idaho should be ag innovation capital

- U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador told the state’s farm industry leaders Feb. 22 that Idaho should be the nation’s leader for agricultural innovation and technology.