Sean Ellis

Boise, Idaho, Reporter
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Researchers help nursery industry with native plant goals

- Idaho's nursery industry will team up with University of Idaho researchers on a project designed to introduce new, aesthetically pleasing native plants to the market.

Camelina, quinoa studied as alternative crops in E. Oregon

- Oregon State University researchers in Malheur County are conducting field trials to determine whether camelina and quinoa can be grown in the region.

Oregon House speaker supports efforts to help Malheur County economy

- After visiting Malheur County last month, Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek said she has a better understanding of the unique challenges this part of the state has in competing with Idaho, a state with a much lower minimum wa...

Wyden: Obama administration well aware of local opposition to national monument

- Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told Malheur County residents July 21 he has made it clear to President Barack Obama that there is strong local opposition to a proposed national monument in that county.

No progress made on Idaho field burning changes

- Idaho farm and environmental groups left their third negotiated rulemaking meeting far apart on proposed changes to the state's field burning program.

Onion growers confirm success of applying herbicide through drip system

- Idaho and Oregon onion growers are reporting good results from applying a popular herbicide through drip irrigation systems. This is the first year they have been able to do that.

Are pumpkin seeds a viable crop for the Treasure Valley?

- Researchers and individual farmers in the Treasure Valley area who are experimenting with growing pumpkin seeds for the snack market reported mixed results this year. But they still think the crop could be a promising addit...

Idea could lead to deal on Idaho field burning changes

- An EPA official has floated an idea he thinks might provide a way for Idaho farm and environmental groups to reach an agreement on proposed changes to the state's crop residue burning program.

OSU suggests later application to control thrips

- An Oregon State University field trial is finding that if onion growers use one of their most effective pesticides a little later in the season, they could have more successful controlling onion thrips.

U.S. House passes bill that prevents a Malheur County national monument

- The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a funding bill that also prohibits the declaration of a national monument in Malheur County, Oregon.

Proposed Idaho field burning changes still rankle environmentalists

- Farm groups and representatives of environmental and public health groups have once more meeting to try to iron out their differences over proposed changes to the state's crop residue burning program

Group asks Idaho paper to hike local farm news coverage

- A member of an Idaho agribusiness committee has sent a letter to the state's largest newspaper asking it to cover more local farming issues.

Idaho researchers creating ‘IdaBot,’ an autonomous utility robot

- Northwest Nazarene University researchers in Idaho are trying to develop a low-cost robotic platform for specialty crop growers.

Idaho ag department awards $1.9 million to 15 specialty crop projects

- The Idaho State Department of Agriculture will provide $1.9 million in funding to 15 projects designed to improve the competitiveness of Idaho's specialty crop industries.

Idaho farm groups join national effort to end trade ban on Cuba

- Idaho ag groups have joined a national effort to convince Congress to loosen trade and travel bans to Cuba. Gov. Butch Otter, a farmer and rancher, will chair the state coalition.

Giant steer looms large over Boise Airport

- Visitors to the Boise Airport's baggage claim area will see a 15-foot, inflatable steer during the month of July. The display is meant to attract attention to the state's beef industry.

New FAA rules for drones could be a ‘game-changer’ for agriculture

- The Federal Aviation Administration's newly released rules for small drones is a big win for agriculture, industry experts say.

Potato and onion storage company locates U.S. headquarters in Boise

- A Dutch company that sells its potato and onion storage technology in 60 countries has located its U.S. headquarters in Boise.

Spearmint acres down in Far West as mint oil market softens

- Spearmint acres in the Far West, which includes Idaho, Oregon and Washington, are down this year in response to a softening market.

Idaho ag welcomes Little’s run for governor

- Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little, a rancher and farmer, has filed the paperwork necessary to run for governor. That news went over well in farm country since Little has been actively involved in the industry his whole life.

Idaho revises proposed changes to field burning program

- Idaho farm group representatives and public health advocates have one more negotiated rulemaking meeting to try to iron out their differences over proposed changes to the state's crop residue burning program.

UI enters agreement to manage 10,400-acre Rock Creek Ranch

- University of Idaho has reached an agreement with environmental groups to manage a 10,400-acre working conservation ranch in Southcentral Idaho.

Seed company reaches settlement with Justice Department

- An Idaho-based seed company has agreed to pay a $200,000 civil penalty to resolve U.S. Justice Department allegations that its employment eligibility verification requirements discriminated against non-U.S. citizens.

Boise Project Board of Control irrigators will have good water year

- Irrigators in Southwestern Idaho and a small part of Eastern Oregon who get their water from the Boise Project Board of Control are looking at a good water year.

Farmers worry who will control escaped genetically engineered bentgrass

- Genetically engineered creeping bentgrass escaped from field trials near Malheur and Jefferson counties in 2003. Thirteen years later, some farmers in these areas are concerned that they will soon be left on the hook for co...

Researcher makes high-tech tools more valuable

- A southwestern Idaho researcher is using technology such as unmanned aerial vehicles and robotics to try to help farmers manage their crops while reducing input costs.

Onion thrips appear early in Treasure Valley

- Onion thrips, which can transmit a plant virus that can devastate onion fields, have been detected in Treasure Valley fields much earlier than normal the past few years.

SW Idaho water outlook bright even as river flows decrease

- The 2016 water outlook for irrigators in Southwestern Idaho is still good, although some water supply managers are a little concerned about a recent drop in river levels.

Environmental concerns dominate water policy hearing

- Environmental interests dominated the first of seven public hearings to be held on a draft sustainability policy that will be added to Idaho's state water plan.

Idaho’s 2017 field burning season could be reduced

- Idaho farm groups aer urging state environmental regulators to speed up the process of amending the state's crop residue burning program to avoid a major disruption to the 2017 burn season.

Hundreds attend community dairy tour in Idaho

- Hundreds of people learned the basics of dairy farming June 10 during a community dairy tour on the Jackson Family Farm in Meridian, Idaho.

Plaque honors late director of Idaho’s Mexico trade office

- A memorial plaque honoring Armando Orellana, the long-time manager of Idaho's Mexico trade office who passed away in March, now hangs on the wall of the Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho.

Farm groups, health advocates spar over crop burning

- Farm and environmental groups are further apart than initially thought on a proposal to amend the standards of Idaho's crop residue burning program.

Idaho receives fewer specialty crop grant applications than usual

- The Idaho State Department of Agriculture received fewer applications than normal this year for specialty crop grant funds but the total request for funding was higher than last year.

University of Idaho ag dean ‘fully committed’ to Parma station

- The University of Idaho is fully committed to the Parma research and extension station, new CALS dean Michael Parrella told industry members and researchers June 2. The station was slated for closure in 2009 but has been re...

Reward offered in stock dog poisoning case

- A $5,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to the conviction of the person responsible for poisoning 14 stock dogs in Southwestern Idaho with strychnine.

Owyhee Irrigation District growers will get full allotment

- The 1,800 farms in Eastern Oregon and part of southwestern Idaho that depend on the Owyhee Reservoir will receive a full alllotment of irrigation water for the first time in several years.

14 stock dogs in southwest Idaho poisoned with strychnine

- Someone has intentionally poisoned 14 stock and sheep guarding dogs in Southwestern Idaho this spring. Most of those dogs have died.

Idaho dry bean industry debating nightshade field standard

- Idaho's dry bean industry is mulling whether to adopt a field standard for the troublesome nightshade weed. Other states have recently adopted one and proponents of the idea say it's needed to ensure the state's bean seed i...