Sean Ellis

Boise, Idaho, Reporter
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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.

Western Innovator: Telling ag’s story on social media

- Farm girl and “food translator” Michele Payn encourages farmers to engage people on social media and share their farming stories on a personal level rather than “bash them over the head” with sci...

Five Idahoans receive awards for excellence in agriculture

- Governor’s awards for excellence in agriculture were given to five people during the annual Larry Branen Idaho Ag Summit.

Different kind of farmer combines learning with good times

- Jeff Smith has designed his 200-acre farm around teaching people about agriculture, history.

Idaho sanctuary cities bill opposed by farm groups rewritten

- A bill that some Idaho farm groups believe could have had a negative impact on the industry’s immigrant labor force has been rewritten.

Bill to eliminate dyed fuel in Idaho is dead

- A separate bill that would create a dyed fuel enforcement program is progressing.

Idaho bill puts court decision on stock watering rights into state law

- Idaho lawmakers will consider legislation that would put into state law an Idaho Supreme Court decision on who owns in-stream stock watering rights on federal land.

Bill would do away with dyed fuel in Idaho

- A bill introduced in the Idaho Legislature would require farmers and others who currently use dyed fuel to pay the taxes on diesel fuel up front and apply for a refund.

Idaho farmers inducted into onion industry hall of fame

- Ken Nelson and Clinton Wissel have been inducted into the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Hall of Fame.

Disposal of 200 million pounds of cull onions challenge growers

- Idaho and Oregon state officials are scrambling to find ways to handle the estimated 200 million pounds of ruined onions that have to be disposed of by April 15.

Oregon, Idaho governors view snow damage in Treasure Valley

- The Idaho and Oregon governors pledged to do everything they can to assist with recovery efforts.

Snow damage recovery will challenge onion industry

- The Idaho-Oregon onion industry faces many challenges as it tries to rebound following the collapse of dozens of storage and packing buildings this winter.

Idaho agriculture growing faster than U.S. ag overall

- While Idaho net farm income and farm cash receipts were both down in 2016, the state’s farm industry is growing much faster than U.S. agriculture overall, an ag economist told Idaho lawmakers.

Bill would create dyed fuel enforcement program in Idaho

- Agricultural groups have told lawmakers they are willing to discuss such a program as long as it’s not burdensome and doesn’t unfairly target farmers.

Idaho proposal seeks state funding for farm best management practices

- Idaho legislators will be asked to provide up to $3.2 million in state funding to assist farmers in implementing best management practices to improve water quality.

Idaho farm groups oppose ‘sanctuary city’ bill

- Idaho’s farm industry is concerned about the implications of a proposed “sanctuary city” bill. They are worried it will send a “you’re not welcome here” message to much of the state...

Idaho FFA members descend on Capitol for Day on the Hill event

- Hundreds of blue FFA jackets were seen around Idaho’s Capitol Jan. 30 as FFA members from across Idaho met with legislators and ag industry leader during the annual Cenarrusa Day on the Hill event.

Farmworker goes from illegal immigrant to legal dairy foreman

- Dairy foreman who crossed the U.S. border illegally and later gained legal residency advises other immigrants to take advantage of the opportunity this nation offers them.

Snowpack in Owyhee River Basin far above normal

- Snowpack in the Owyhee River Basin is at 164 percent of normal, which bodes well for area farmers, who have 118,000 acres of irrigated farmland.

Snow damage to Idaho-Oregon onion industry nears $100 million

- Dozens of onion storage sheds and packing facilities collapsed under the weight of several feet of snow.

Idaho field burning bill heads to the Senate floor

- An Idaho Senate committee has approved a bill that would amend the state’s field burning program and prevent farmers from suffering a major reduction in the number of allowable field days.

Bureau of Reclamation backs Boise River system water storage study

- U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s regional director told Idaho Water Resource Board members Jan. 23 her agency is interested in conducting a water supply storage study for the Boise River system. The $5.5 million study wo...

Scotts defends decision to seek GE bentgrass deregulation

- Scotts, USDA defend decision to deregulate a genetically engineered creeping bentgrass that escaped field trials in 2003 and has taken root in two Oregon counties and part of one Idaho county, but environmental groups vow t...