Sean Ellis

Boise, Idaho, Reporter
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Bill amends Idaho production exemption for farming operations

- A bill introduced in the Idaho Legislature would ensure equipment used to remove agricultural commodities from storage isn't subject to the state's sales tax.

Senate resolutions would bless Idaho water agreement, direct recharge

- Three senate resolutions that would allow lawmakers to give their blessing to last year's agreement between surface and ground water users in the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer have been introduced in the Idaho Legislature.

Idaho Legislature set to battle over animal cruelty law again

- A bill has been printed in the Idaho Legislature that would toughen the state's animal cruelty law, and more legislation addressing the issue will be introduced soon.

Onion growers happier with final FDA safety rules

- The FDA's final produce safety rule will cause some headaches for onion growers but it's much better than the agency's initial proposal, Idaho and Oregon onion growers were told Jan. 2 during their annual joint meeting.

Horse industry plans bill that would allow live racing to continue

- Idaho horse groups are crafting legislation they hope will allow live horse racing in Idaho to continue. They say the state's repeal of instant horse racing last year jeopardizes the state's equine industry.

Idaho wine grape harvest off by half

- Wine grape production in Idaho was down by almost 50 percent in 2015 but vintners say grape quality was excellent.

Bills would repeal Idaho aquaculture, pesticide management commissions

- Bills have been introduced in the Idaho Legislature that would repeal two commodity commissions. The bill's supporters say participation in and support for the commissions has dwindled over the years.

Idaho’s Caine vet teaching center to close

- University of Idaho's Caine Veterinary Teaching Center in Caldwell will close this year as the university switches to a new model that spreads veterinary faculty and students throughout the state.

500 FFA blue jackets converge on Idaho Capitol

- About 600 FFA members, legislators and Idaho farm industry leaders attended the annual Cenarrusa Day on the Hill event Jan. 25. The event in Boise gives FFA students the chance to mingle with legislators and learn first-han...

Idaho ag groups eye dyed diesel enforcement report

- A report that offers options and recommendations to increase enforcement of Idaho's dyed diesel laws is being watched carefully by the state's farming industry.

Idaho amends its trich testing requirements for imported cattle

- Idaho is changing its rules regarding the testing of imported cattle for trichomoniasis, a venereal disease that causes abortions and infertility in cattle.

Idaho lawmakers approve new rule on cottage foods

- Idaho legislators have adopted new rules aimed at providing consistency to how the state's health districts address cottage foods, which are produced in home kitchens and sold directly to consumers.

Idaho sugar industry poised for success over the next several years

- Idaho's sugar beet industry is strong and poised for success over the next several years, Idaho lawmakers were told recently.

Idaho net farm income down 31 percent in 2015, expected to fall again in 2016

- Net farm income in Idaho fell an estimated 31 percent in 2015 compared with 2014, according to University of Idaho economists.

Nightshade, crop insurance on Idaho bean schools’ agenda

- The Idaho Bean Commission's bean schools, which used to be held every other year, are now being held annually.

Idaho wheat industry, Limagrain partnership producing results

- The public-private partnership between Limagrain Cereal Seeds and University of Idaho has already resulted in the release or pending release of four new wheat varieties that grow well in the Pacific Northwest.

Proposal would codify landmark stock water decision into Idaho law

- An Idaho lawmaker will try to codify into state law two ranchers' victory against the federal government over who owns stock watering rights on federal land.

East Oregon ag interests lobby against wage hike plans

- Forty-six farmers, agribusiness owners and other business owners and individuals from Malheur County braved icy roads to travel 400 miles to Salem Jan. 14 to oppose various proposals to raise the state's minimum wage.

Otter addresses water management, wildfires issues

- Water was a major focus of Idaho Gov. Butch Otter's Jan. 11 state of the state address, and the governor's proposed budget asks lawmakers to provide millions of dollars in funding to help manage the state's water resources.

No major ag bills expected during 2016 Idaho Legislature

- Ag industry leaders and lobbyists say they are not aware of any major farm-related legislation that will be introduced during the 2016 Idaho legislative session.

Idaho farm cash receipts, net income down significantly in 2015

- Total Idaho farm cash receipts are projected to be down 9 percent in 2015 when compared with 2014, and net farm income is off 31 percent.

Townhall meetings to focus on minimum wage proposals

- A series of townhall meetings in Eastern Oregon will inform people about proposals to significantly raise the state's minimum wage.

Idaho’s AG defends state’s handling of flood control issue

- In a letter to 11 Idaho lawmakers, the state's attorney general defended the way his office and the Idaho Department of Water Resources are handling a dispute over how flood control releases are accounted for on the Boise R...

Southwestern Idaho snowpack levels well above normal

- Snowpack levels in Southwestern Idaho are far above normal for this time of year but water managers say a lot more snow has to fall in order to fill reservoirs that ended the 2015 season with less-than-normal amounts of ca...

Farmers optimistic about snowpack levels in Owyhee Basin

- Snowpack levels in the Owyhee basin are more than twice what they normally are at this time of the year and Eastern Oregon farmers who have been hammered by three years of significantly reduced water supplies hope the trend...

Idaho’s New Year’s Eve potato drop has gained national attention

- For the third year, a giant potato will be dropped in front of Idaho's Capitol building to ring in the New Year. The event has attracted national and international attention.

Judge used statements of Idaho legislators to show ‘animus’ toward animal activists

- In his ruling striking down Idaho's Agricultural Security Act, a federal judge agreed with plaintiffs that Idaho legislators showed hostility toward animal rights activists.

New high-level UI position to focus on ag issues

- University of Idaho has created a new position that will report directly to the university's president and focus solely on issues important to the agricultural industry.

Breeders working on new GM sugar beet variety

- Two seed companies are partnering on a project to develop a sugar beet variety that is resistant to three different herbicides. The product is expected to be available to growers in 8-10 years.

Idaho tech companies search for ways to help farmers

- Idaho's agriculture and technology sectors came together Dec. 16 to discuss ways that hi-tech companies can help farmers benefit from the use of sensors.

Spread of glyphosate-resistant kochia appears limited

- The distribution of kochia weeds in the Treasure Valley area of Idaho and Oregon that are resistant to the popular weed killer Roundup appears to be limited. Scientists say growers can limit their spread by implementing the...

Idaho’s top farm commodities face challenges in 2016

- Based on presentations from leaders of Idaho's top six agricultural commodities during a recent ag outlook seminar, 2016 could be a tough year for Gem State producers.

Idaho ag export value down 25 percent from last year’s record pace

- The value of Idaho agricultural exports are down 25 percent through the third quarter compared with last year's record total.

Idaho appeals district court ruling that invalidated ‘ag gag’ law

- Idaho has appealed a district judge's ruling that overturned the state's "Agricultural Security Act," which was known to opponents as an "ag ag" law.