Sean Ellis

Boise, Idaho, Reporter
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Hundreds of Idaho FFA members meet with lawmakers, ag leaders

- Five Idaho legislators were singled out for their support of agriculture Jan. 26 during the Idaho FFA's annual "Day on the Hill" event.

Idaho House OKs farm-friendly change to dust rule

- An Idaho House committee has approved a temporary rule that would ensure farmers and ranchers can't be fined for creating dust while engaging in common agricultural practices. The Senate still has to approve the rule before...

2 farm reps added to Idaho ag dean search committee

- University of Idaho has added two more representatives of the state's agricultural industry to a committee that is advising the university in its search for a permenant dean for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences...

Planning commission recommends against rezoning ag land

- Planning and zoning commissioners in Canyon County, Idaho, denied a request to rezone 38 acres from agricultural to rural-residential. They made that decision after hearing from a local farmer opposed to the rezone.

Idaho bean meetings to focus on direct harvest of edible beans

- Direct harvest of dry beans will be the focus of bean meetings Jan. 29 and 30 in Twin Falls and Nampa, Idaho. An update on Gowan Co's reintroduction of its Eptam 20G herbicide will also be provided during the free meetings.

$1.53 million in new funding would support Idaho ag research

- Gov. Butch Otter has asked the Idaho Legislature to provide an additional $1.53 million in ongoing funding for University of Idaho's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The money would be used to support 21.5 new or ...

Rule would allow free movement of hops material among Idaho, Oregon, Washington

- The Idaho Legislature is being asked to approve a temporary rule that would allow the free movement of hops material among Idaho, Oregon and Washington. It would also require a negative disease test for hops green matter co...

GM sugar beets save Idaho, Oregon growers millions

- Genetically modified sugar beets have resulted in a positive impact of about $22 million to Idaho growers since they began planting them in 2008, according to Snake River Sugar Co.

Planning, zoning board deadlocks on proposed ethanol plant

- A decision on a proposed ethanol facility near Greenleaf, Idaho, will have to wait for at least another three weeks after planning and zoning commissioners deadlocked on a conditional use permit for the proposed plant.

Idaho net farm income jumped 46 percent in 2014

- An 11 percent increase in total farm revenue in 2013, coupled with a 6 percent decrease in expenses, resulted in a 46 percent increase in net farm income for Idaho farmers last year.

Idaho wine industry has $169 million impact on economy

- A new impact study shows Idaho's wine industry brought in almost $170 million to Idaho's economy in 2013. It was also responsible for 1,226 full-time equivalent jobs.

Otter’s budget includes $1.53 million more for ag research

- Gov. Butch Otter's proposed fiscal year 2016 budget includes additional funding for ag research, wolf control efforts, sage grouse preservation, ag education and rangeland management.

Idaho goat producers could be assessed 80 cents per head

- Pending legislative approval, goat producers in Idaho will be assessed a checkoff fee for the first time, beginning this year. The fee of 80 cents per head will be collected at the point of sale.

Idaho farm gate receipts, net income set records in 2014

- Idaho set a record for total farm-gate cash receipts in 2014. The $9.7 billion total was a 16 percent increse over the 2013 level and the increase was largely driven by the state's livestock sector.

Idaho cattlemen hail proposed processing plant

- Idaho beef cattle and dairy producers will save a significant amount of money on freight costs after a new $100 milllion beef processing plant near Kuna opens next year.

Simplot plans $100 million Idaho beef processing plant

- A $100 million beef processing facility that could process 1,700- head per day will be built in Kuna, Idaho, J.R. Simplot Co. announced Jan. 6. Simplot will partner with Caviness Beef Packers on the plant, which is expecte...

GMO, wolves, water, on tap for Idaho Legislature

- Wolf control funding, GMO labeling, more funding for agricultural research and water issues are some of the topics likely to pop up during the 2015 Idaho legislative session.

‘Perfect storm’ pushes onion prices below costs

- Onion prices have dropped significantly and are below the cost of production for most growers. The West Coast port slowdown, a decline in exports and the Russian embargo are some of the many factors causing the price decrea...

Materne’s new Idaho factory buying Washington apples

- Materne North America has begun trials on the first production line at its new applesauce facility in Nampa, Idaho, and is already purchasing apples from Washington. Idaho growers are hopeful the company will begin buying f...

Ranchers worry Idaho grazing lease rate could increase

- The Idaho Department of Lands is reviewing its grazing program and rate structure and many Idaho ranchers are concerned the department intends to increase its grazing fee significantly. IDL officials say they have made no p...

Researcher studies nexus between nematodes and verticillium wilt in mint

- A University of Idaho researcher has begun trials that seek to help mint growers control nematodes and thus verticillium wilt, a plant fungus that is one of mint producers' toughest disease problems.

University of Idaho researchers testing benefit of drip-irrigated mint

- University of Idaho researchers are testing mint fields irrigted with drip, furrow and sprinkler systems to try to help Idaho mint growers decide whether they should switch to drip systems to save water and increase yields.

Idaho ranked No. 2 in West in net farm income in 2013

- Idaho ranked No. 2 among the 11 Western states for total net farm income in 2013, despite trailing No. 3 Washington in total farm cash receipts by $1.6 billion. California remained an unchallenged No. 1 in both categories.

Phillip Geertson remembered as farmer who did things his own way

- Phillip Geertson, an Idaho and Oregon farmer who campaigned against the use of genetically modified alfalfa and was part of a lawsuit that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court's first ruling on genetically engineered crops, p...

Backers say factory will buy $26 million from farm sector

- The head of a proposed ethanol and food-processing facility near Greenleaf, Idaho, says the plant would purchase $26 million worth of farm commodities from Idaho farmers each year. He also says it would be the first of seve...

Compounds in mint cause problems for growers

- A compound in mint oil that can affect the quality of mint-based products is appearing in high levels in Idaho mint. Harvesting a little earlier than normal is one way growers can deal with the issue.

UI, Simplot renew Parma research station agreement

- J.R. Simplot Co. and University of Idaho have renwed an argeement that has helped the university's Parma research and extension station in Southwestern Idaho remain open. Under the agreement, Simplot provides the Parma sta...

Ranchers’ costly legal battle impacts North Idaho Adjudication

- The costly legal battle of two Southern Idaho ranchers who fought the federal government over stock watering rights on public lands is benefitting ranchers in North Idaho.

University of Idaho, wheat growers work to renew agreement with Limagrain

- A three-year partnership between the Idaho Wheat Commission, Limagrain Cereal Seeds and the University of Idaho is close to being renewed. Officials from all parties say they expect the agreement, which expires in June, to ...

Transportation high on 2015 Idaho legislative agenda

- Various proposals to increase transportation funding will likely be introduced during Idaho's 2015 legislative session, which begins next month, and lawmakers could also be asked to appropriate money for the proposed Bear R...

Canyon County delays ethanol facility decision

- Canyon County Planning and Zoning Commission members have again delayed making a decision on a request for a conditional use permit to build an ethanol facility in Southwestern Idaho. The proposed facility would use barley ...

New tax incentive paying off for Idaho agriculture

- A tax incentive that farm groups helped push through the Idaho Legislature has already paid off well for agriculture and more food-related companies are interested in it.

Regional bean research program effort slow to take root

- The effort to create a multi-state bean research program is moving slowly but those at the forefront of the effort say they want to make sure it's done right.

Ethanol facility proposed in Southwestern Idaho

- A proposed ethanol facility in Southwestern Idaho would convert barley and tubers into fuel. It's not the first ethanol facility proposed in the Treasure Valley and two others have failed to get off the ground. An ethnanol ...

Idaho’s wine industry petitions for two new AVAs

- Idaho's wine industry is excited about the possibility the state could have two new American Viticulture Areas this time next year. Idaho currently has one AVA, which is a federally designated wine growing region.

Idaho nursery industry gets grants to reach consumers, businesses

- Idaho's nursery industry will use two $24,000 grants to target consumers as well as businesses that purchase nursery crops directly from growers.