Sean Ellis

Boise, Idaho, Reporter
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Idaho Wheat Commission budget includes $210,000 for falling number research

- The Idaho Wheat Commission’s fiscal year 2018 budget includes $210,000 for five research projects aimed at helping solve the low falling number issue in wheat. At $3.18 million, the 2018 budget is down 6 percent from...

SW Idaho farmers struggle with tight labor market

- Farming operations in the Treasure Valley area of southwestern Idaho are having a hard time finding workers and many are having to increase hours and pay to get by.

Idaho Barley Commission members to discuss checkoff fee

- Idaho Barley Commission board members will have in-depth discussions this fall and winter on whether to leave the state’s barley checkoff at 3 cents per hundredweight or return it to 2 cents.

New Treasure Valley water group taking on raft of issues

- The Treasure Valley Water Users Association is involved in many effort5s, including one to obtain state funding to help farmers and ranchers in the area implement best management practices to improve water quality.

Idaho Barley Commission budget focuses on research

- The Idaho Barley Commission’s fiscal year 2018 budget of $742,000 includes $393,000 for research, $114,000 for grower services and $79,000 for market development.

Idaho awards 13 specialty crop projects $1.5 million

- Thirteen projects that seek to enhance the competitiveness of Idaho specialty crops will receive a total of $1.5 million from the Idaho State Department of Agriculture this year. Final approval from USDA, which funds the pr...

Proposed Idaho rule results in closer wheat commission-industry relationship

- The Idaho Wheat Commission’s has proposed amending its enabling legislation to require first purchasers of Idaho wheat to submit the names and contact information of all wheat producers in the state to the commission.

Idaho barley growers expect a good crop but not a record in 2017

- Because planting was delayed significantly in some areas, Idaho’s 2017 barley crop won’t repeat last year’s record yield. However, growers and industry officials say this year’s crop should be a ...

Idaho deputy AG: Wheat commission rule change proposal on solid ground

- Idaho Deputy Attorney General Kay Christensen told Idaho Wheat Commission members that their plan to ensure the IWC has the names and contact information of all Idaho wheat growers in on solid legal ground.

Idaho Wheat Commission wants royalties put back into breeding

- Idaho Wheat Commission members have made it clear to University of Idaho officials that they expect a significant amount of the royalties generated from publicly released wheat varieties to back into the university’s...

Delayed planting in Treasure Valley could reduce crop yields

- Crops in the Treasure Valley of Idaho and Oregon were planted several weeks later than normal this year. While farmers expect those crops to be OK given decent summer weather, they also predict last year’s record yie...

Farmers, ranchers have ‘unprecedented’ meeting with Ag, Interior secretaries

- Ten Idaho and farmers and ranchers spent an hour meeting with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke June 2. They covered a wide range of topics important to the state’s and nationȁ...

Ag, Interior secretaries vow to partner with states, communities

- During a joint visit to Idaho June 2, the Agriculture and Interior secretaries vowed that the agencies would work closer together and partner with states and local communities on land management and other issues.

Farm tour set for Idaho elected officials, media

- Members of the media and state and local elected officials will be given a crash course in agriculture Sept. 6 during a day-long tour of farm country in Idaho’s Treasure Valley.

Weiser facility will bring a new organic crop to Idaho

- A new $60 million facility near Weiser will introduce another organic crop to Idaho. The facility will produce inulin, which is used as a food ingredient.

Efforts grow to preserve farmland across the West

- With development pressure in Idaho’s fast-growing Treasure Valley area picking up, farmland is disappearing rapidly in some areas. A growing number of groups and individuals are trying to find ways to stem the loss.

Subdivision opponents challenge county’s rejection of their petition

- Opponents of a development that would convert 1,400 acres of farmland in Ada County, Idaho, plan to file a lawsuit challenging the county clerk’s rejection of their petition to put the matter to a public vote.

Trump’s budget would cut Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

- Funding for USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program would be eliminated under the president’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget. A group that represents the nation’s specialty crop growers believes the...

Idaho wine industry says Boise catering rule causes headaches

- Idaho Wine Commission members say they might turn to the Idaho Legislature to fix an issue that is causing problems for wineries that want to serve wine by the glass at public events in Boise, the state’s largest city.

Idaho, Oregon researchers work on stevia seed line

- Some of the leading research being done on stevia, a plant that is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar, is taking place in the Treasure Valley area of Idaho and Eastern Oregon.

Farmers, others seek referendum on planned community

- Opponents of a planned community on 1,400 acres of farmland in Ada County, Idaho, hope to have county residents vote on the plan during a special election.

Change in Idaho’s fugitive dust law protects ag

- No farmers or others engaged in agricultural activities have been fined for creating dust since a 2015 rule change that altered how Idaho’s fugitive dust law is enforced.

Western Innovator: Ag pilot’s career up in the air

- A city boy with no previous agricultural experience, Paul McAlvain uses a helicopter to spray farm fields.

Multi-state dry bean consortium one step away from reality

- Four years in the making, an effort to create a multi-state dry bean consortium is one step away from being formalized.

Idaho ag export value increases for first time since 2014

- The value of Idaho ag exports during the first quarter of 2017 totaled $210 million, a 1.3 percent increase over the same three-month period in 2016. That’s the first time Idaho ag export value has reached positive t...

Idaho Supreme Court to decide Treasure Valley flood control issue

- The disagreement between Treasure Valley irrigators and the state over whether water released to prevent flooding should be counted against reservoir storage rights will be decided by the Idaho Supreme Court.

With pinto prices up, dry bean acres in Idaho expected to increase

- Idaho farmers expect to plant more dry beans in 2017 in response to higher bean prices and lower prices for many other crops grown in the region.

Idaho hop growers to add 1,500 acres this year

- This year will continue a string of acreage increases in the state that began in 2012.

Rancher, former House speaker receives award

- Former Idaho Speaker of the House Bruce Newcomb, a rancher, has received a “Commitment to Idaho” award May 9 from Boise State University.

Field trials in Costa Rica successful despite hurricane

- The Idaho Bean Commission’s field trials in Costa Rica were significantly impacted by Hurricane Otto but commission members say their goal of showing Costa Rican farmers the increased yields they could achieve by usi...

Researchers report potentially significant wheat breeding advance

- A University of Idaho wheat geneticist led a team of Chinese researchers that reported a new crop breeding advance that could speed up the development of new grain varieties.

Aviation field day introduces sixth graders to ag-related careers

- Malheur County, Ore., sixth-graders got a chance to learn about ag-related careers involving aviation May 4 during a field day at the Ontario Municipal Airport.

EPA approves limited use of herbicide to control GE bentgrass

- Approval should help growers and irrigation districts in Malheur and Jefferson counties in Oregon better control a genetically engineered creeping bentgrass that escaped fields trials and has taken root there.

Two Oregon onion packing sheds moving to Idaho

- Golden West Produce and Owyhee Produce, both in Nyssa, Ore., have taken out building permits to construct packing sheds and several storage facilities in northwestern Canyon County, Idaho.

Farmers warned to prepare for new produce safety rule

- Some farms who have to comply with the water quality provisions of FDA’s new produce safety rule should begin water testing as early as next year.