Sean Ellis

Boise, Idaho, Reporter
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U.S. dairy exports slow significantly in third quarter

- U.S. dairy exports slowed significantly during the third quarter of 2014 compared to the first half of the year and they are expected to slow even more during the fourth quarter. However, global dairy demand remains strong ...

Researchers work to help growers with FDA rules

- The FDA's proposed produce safety rule is complex but a lot of groups are gearing up to help farmers wade through them, a researcher told Idaho growers. He also said most farmers won't have a problem meeting the rule's irri...

Fruit growers to renew Parma research funding

- A coalition of groups representing fruit growers in Idaho will renew a five-year agreement with the University of Idaho that will provide UI's Parma research station $30,000 a year. The money has helped the station continue...

Plaintiffs ask for summary judgment in ‘ag gag’ lawsuit

- A coalition of animal and civil rights groups that filed a lawsuit targeting Idaho's new Agricultural Security Act have asked for a summary judgement in the federal case. The plaintiffs argue that the material facts in the ...

Record low temps concern Idaho fruit growers

- Four straight days of record low temperatures in Southwestern Idaho likely caused some damage to grape and other fruit crops, growers say, but the full extent won't be known until spring.

Idaho ag exports on record pace despite third-quarter slowdown

- The value of Idaho agricultural exports slowed during the third quarter of 2014 but they're still on pace to set an annual record for the fourth straight year. A decline in dairy exports was a major factor in the third-quar...

Idaho dairy receives milk quality award

- An Idaho dairy farmer who scored perfect scores on various milk quality tests was awarded the United Dairymen of Idaho's annual milk quality award. The University of Idaho extension specialist who oversees that program rece...

Economist: Dairy prices headed for 25-35 percent correction in 2015

- A dairy economist told Idaho milk producers to brace for lower prices next year and she said that prices for class III milk, which is used to produce cheese, could fall to about $15.50 per hundredweight in May before starti...

Alan Andersen inducted into Idaho Dairy Hall of Fame

- Long-time dairy operator Alan Andersen was inducted into the Idaho Dairy Hall of Fame Nov. 13 during the United Dairymen of Idaho's annual meeting. A day earlier, UDI members awarded the group's annual milk quality award to...

Invasive stink bug found in second Idaho city

- The Idaho State Department of Agriculture has confirmed that an insect found by a Boise homeowner was a brown marmorated stink bug, which feeds on a wide range of crops. ISDA officials believe it was an isolated incident in...

Idaho water officials try to avoid Swan Falls curtailment scenario

- If Snake River flows drop below a minimum level at the Murphy streamgage, 2,500 upstream water rights could be subject to curtailment. State water officials will work with those water right holders to develop a plan to try ...

Big farmers slow to embrace Idaho sustainable ag symposium

- Large produciton agriculture folks in Idaho have been slow to warm to the state's annual Sustainable Agriculture Symposium, even though the event organizer says it's not about big vs. small producers or conventional vs. org...

Farmers, ranchers clean up in Idaho election races

- Idaho's agricultural industry was pleased with the state election results. A total of 22 farmers, ranchers or agribusiness owners ran for statewide or legislative seats and all 22 prevailed.

Idaho voters narrowly reject amendment to state constitution

- Idaho voters narrowly rejected a proposed amendment to the state's constitution that would have solidifed the legislature's ability to accept or reject rules passed by state agencies.

August rains boost upper Snake water carryover

- Monsoon-like rains that hammered wheat and barley fields in Eastern and Southern Idaho in August have improved the water supply situation in the upper Snake River reservoir system.

Report: Idaho will add 2,100 farm-related jobs by 2022

- An Idaho Department of Labor report projects the state will add 2,100 agriculturel-related jobs by 2022, an increase of 12.3 percent a year. It also projects that sectors indirectly supported by agriculture, such as transpo...

Farmer buys property for $550,000 to stop subdivision

- A court fight between a group of farmers and a county commission over a planned 44-home subdivision in the middle of 12 square miles of farm ground has been resolved. One of the farmers will buy the 55-acre property for $55...

Idaho vineyards producing large fruit loads

- With Idaho's wine grape harvest winding down, vintners say total production this year will be well above normal. Growers in both North and South Idaho are reporting huge crop loads.

Major food processor coming to Pocatello

- Amy's Kitchen, a major supplier of organic convenience food products, will open a 500,000-square-foot food-processing faciity in Pocatello in December.

U.S.-EU trade agreement could benefit agriculture

- A trade agreement being negotiated between the United States and European Union could benefit U.S. farmers and ranchers in a major way, according to the U.S. Trade Representative's office. U.S. farm groups have varying take...

Pulse crop production down as prices rise

- Yields for lentils, chickpeas and green peas in Washington and Idaho were down signifciantly this year but because of production challenges in other areas as well, prices are on the rise.

NFL player extols dairy’s benefits at Idaho middle school

- Former NFL cornerback Marcus Trufant made a surprise visit to an Idaho middle school Oct. 24 and spoke to students there about the important role dairy products can play in physical performance.

Idaho students get ‘big picture’ look at world ag

- Three students from Rocky Mountain High School in Meridian, Idaho, attended the World Food Prize this year and the school's ag education teacher said the event has been a great way to show students the big picture of agricu...

Idaho apple growers report bumper crop

- With Idaho's apple harvest winding down, orchardists are reporting a bumper crop this year.

Idaho dry bean industry sets sights on Costa Rica

- Idaho's dry bean industry sees Costa Rica as one of its best potential new markets and the Idaho Bean Commission will use a $18,000 specialty crop grant to try to make inroads into that Central American nation.

Idaho second in West for net farm income

- Idaho ranked second in the West, behind California, for total net farm income in 2012, and outpaced No. 3 Washington despite trailing that state in gross farm gate receipts by $1.8 billion.

Crisis group addresses Idaho grain losses

- A crisis response group convened by Idaho's Speaker of the House is trying to find ways to help growers in Southern Idaho deal with the huge losses in wheat and barley production they suffered this year due to unusually hea...

Idaho Wheat Commission faces revenue cut

- Losses to Idaho wheat and barley production caused by heavy August rains will have a significant impact on the budgets of the state's grain commissions.

Onion growers grapple with proposed produce rule

- Oregon State University researchers have started new trials designed to help onion growers meet minimum standards for bacteria levels in irrigation water contained in the FDA's proposed produce safety rule.

Idaho farm income up 18 percent in second quarter

- Personal farm income in Idaho increased 18 pecent during the second quarter of 2014, by far the best performance of any economic sector in the state.

Federal money will fund Idaho streamgages

- An additional $141,000 in federal funding will be used by the U.S. Geological Survey to fully fund 10 streamgages in Idaho that are critical for delivering water for agriculture and other uses.

Idaho corn maze one of nation’s best

- An Idaho corn maze is receiving national attention again but its owner said while the recognition is fun, he's more interested in educating urban folks about agriculture while entertaining them.

Farm rolls out welcome mat for beneficial insects

- Clay and Josie Erskine credit the success of their Boise area organic farm to a proliferation of habitat designed to feed and support pollinators and other beneficial insects.

Grant could help Idaho bean industry

- A two-year research project funded by a $57,000 specialty crop grant will look at ways to help Idaho dry bean farmers combat the nightshade weed. The weed costs the Idaho bean industry about $8 million a year.

Idaho wheat production pummeled by rains

- Up to 25 million bushels of Idaho wheat won't go to market this year due to sprout damage caused by heavy August rains. Some growers are discovering that their crop insurance policies won't cover their losses.

Value of Idaho cropland up 6.7 percent

- The average value of all cropland in Idaho rose 6.7 percent to $3,040 per acre this year, and the value of irrigated cropland in the state rose 8.5 percent to $4,600 an acre.

Onions faced less virus pressure in 2014

- Pressure from iris yellow spot virus was less severe in Treasure Valley onion fields this year, but farmers say they are not lulled into thinking the problem is decreasing.

Grant supports alternative fruit research in Idaho

- A $103,000 specialty crop grant will allow researchers at University of Idaho's Parma experiment station to continue trials aimed at helping growers produce alternative fruit and nut crops.

Media given tour of Idaho dairy

- Media members were taken on an extensive tour of a fourth-generation Idaho dairy Sept. 30. The Kuna dairy's owner said he viewed it as his responsibility to provide media and thus consumers a close-up look at how a dairy op...

Rain complicates Treasure Valley harvest

- Five straight days of rain has complicated harvest for Idaho and Oregon farmers in the Treasure Valley area, particularly onion and dry bean growers.

Ag helps fuel Idaho’s economic growth

- Idaho's gross state product grew at one of the fastest rates in the nation last year and a strong performance by the state's agricultural sector helped fuel that growth. The growth was highest in the state's rural counties,...