Sean Ellis

Boise, Idaho, Reporter
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Wandering wolf leaves Malheur County for Grant County

- A lone wolf that took up residence in Malheur County for more than five weeks has moved West into Grant County.

Former anti-GMO crusader speaks about his conversion

- Several hundred people attended a presentation in Boise to hear how a former anti-GMO activist changed his mind and now supports the use of genetically engineered crops.

Governor, farm leaders say trade mission will benefit producers

- Members of an Idaho governor's trade mission to Mexico and Peru said they're hopeful more Idaho farm commodities will be sold in those countries as a result of the trip.

Proposal to eliminate ESPA boundary won’t return in 2016

- The 2015 Idaho Legislature rejected a proposed rule that could have subjected a significant amount of additional farmland to curtailment orders during future water calls. The rule will not be re-proposed, said the Idaho Dep...

Activist who converted to pro-GMO stance to speak in Boise

- An environmental activist and author who helped stoke the anti-GMO movement in Europe will speak in Boise May 19 about how he became a supporter of genetically engineered crops.

Ag leaders seek opportunities during trade mission to Mexico, Peru

- Gov.Butch Otter will be joined by representatives of several of Idaho's major farm commodities May 9-16 during a trade mission to Mexico and Peru.

Fruitland FFA chapter surprise winner of raffled antique tractor

- Thanks to an anonymous donor, the Fruitland FFA chapter in Southwestern Idaho now owns a restored antique tractor that was raffled off to raise money for the state's FFA programs.

Idaho commission denies request to build ethanol facility

- Canyon County commissioners voted 2-1 May 5 to deny a request for a conditional use permit to build an ethanol facility near Greenleaf in Southwestern Idaho.

Wolf’s arrival in Malheur County concerns ranchers

- A lone wolf that showed up in Malheur County in Eastern Oregon April 10 is still hanging around and ranchers in the state's top cattle producing county say it's probably a matter of when, not if, wolves establish a permanen...

Search for Idaho ag college dean narrowed to four candidates

- A University of Idaho committee conducting a nationwide search for the next dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences has narrowed the pool of candidates to four.

Potato growers file federal lawsuit against PCN quarantine

- A group of potato farmers in East Idaho has filed a federal lawsuit that seeks to do away with a pale cyst nematode quarantine area. They claim federal and state regulators have enforced the PCN monitoring program in an arb...

Sides clash over what Idaho’s ‘ag gag’ law actually does

- Parties in a federal lawsuit targeting Idaho's Agricultural Security Act argued April 28 over whether legislators' comments are relevant in the case and the judge presiding over the high-profile case said the briefings from...

Potato growers file federal lawsuit against PCN regulations

- A group of potato farmers in East Idaho regulated under a federal pale cyst nematode quarantine area have filed an administrative lawsuit against the regulations in federal court.

Idaho dry bean farmers receive reintroduced herbicide

- Idaho dry bean growers got their wish — the return of Eptam 20G — but now it's up to them to convince Gowan Co. to continue manufacturing the herbicide.

Official envisions Idaho as ‘Silicon Valley’ of ag technology

- The director of the Idaho Department of Commerce is trying to unite the state's technology and agricultural industries. Gov. Butch Otter will soon announce a mid-June summit that seeks to get the ball rolling on that goal.

Researcher studies alternative crops, organics

- Bill Buhrig, a crop agent with Oregon State University's Malheur County extension office in Ontario, didn't have to travel far when he took the job. He was born in Ontario and was already closely linked with the local farmi...

Oregon farmers stunned to see wolf in Malheur County wheat field

- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials confirmed that a lone wolf has been hanging around Adrian in Eastern Oregon for more than a week. It is believed to be the first wolf that has spent more than just a brief mo...

Dozens view first legal UAV ag flight in Southern Idaho

- The first legal commercial flight of an unmanned aerial vehicle for agricultural purposes in Southern Idaho took place April 22 at Bitner Vineyards near Caldwell. Representatives of several Idaho farm commodities were on ha...

Idaho lawmakers approve rule lifting elk import restriction

- Idaho lawmakers have approved a rule that will lift certain import restrictions on domestic elk. The rule was supported by commercial elk breeders but opposed by sportmen's groups.

Idaho ag fared well during 2015 legislative session

- The 2015 Idaho Legislature was a relatively quiet one for agriculture but the industry fared well on the issues that did surface, according to farm sector leaders.

Increased dyed diesel enforcement looms in Idaho

- Idaho lawmakers intend to discuss greater enforcement of the state's dyed fuel laws next year.

University of Idaho ag school open to partnering with BYU

- John Foltz, dean of University of Idaho's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, met with more than 30 people in Caldwell April 16 during an informal "coffee with the dean" meeting. Foltz said UI would be open to partne...

Owyhee Irrigation District farmers face another tough year

- The Owyhee Irrigation District has set the 2015 water allotment for its irrigation customers at 1.5 acre-feet and this year's water supply situation could be as bad and maybe worse than last year.

Idaho receives fewer applications for specialty crop funds

- The Idaho State Department of Agriculture received 22 requests for specialty crop grant funds this year, 16 fewer than last year's record number.

Potato growers plead for help with PCN regulations

- Potato growers in a federal quarantine area near Shelley, Idaho, have asked lawmakers for help from what they say are overly burdensome and mostly unnecessary regulations.

Southwestern Idaho water supply ‘marginally adequate’

- Treasure Valley water supply managers say the 2015 season is shaping up to be adequate for most irrigators in Southwest Idaho but that could change if natural river flows don't hold up.

Good Friday freeze worries orchard managers in SW Idaho

- Fruit orchards in Southwestern Idaho may have weathered a severe cold snap last November better than they had feared, but now they're more concerned about the impacts of an April 3 freeze.

Idaho’s 2014 farm wage beat national average

- Idaho's average and median wages were well below the national average in 2014 but they were higher when it comes to farm labor.

Commission delays decision on proposed Idaho ethanol facility

- A decision on a requested conditional use permit to build an ethanol facility in Southwestern Idaho has been delayed until May 5. Canyon County commissioners said the issue is important and complex and they need more time t...

Idaho farm sector posted big rise in personal income in 2014

- Personal income in Idaho increased at one of the fastest rates in the country last year and the gains were partly driven by a large increase in farm income. However, 2015 is shaping up to be a different story.

Eight candidates vie for Idaho ag school dean

- The list of candidates seeking to become the next University of Idaho College of Agricultural and Life Sciences dean has been narrowed from 25 to eight.

Farm groups help halt proposals to increase fee on dyed fuel

- Idaho farm groups appear to have beaten back a proposal that would have increased a fee on dyed diesel and used the money for road maintenance.

Idaho cottage food bills will not advance in 2015

- There will be no cottage food bill passed in the Idaho Legislature this year. However, cottage food supporters will be able to weigh in on the issue during a series of meetings that will be held around the state beginning A...

Wolf control board money helped decrease depredations in 2014

- Money from a new wolf depredation control board helped keep Idaho wolf depredations down last year, according to several sources.

2015 could be a break-even year for Idaho dairy farmers

- During a presentation to lawmakers by United Dairymen of Idaho officials, most of the questions from legislators centered around Fairlife, a new premium milk product being distributed by the Coca-Cola Co.

Idaho hop acres expected to increase by almost 1,100

- Idaho hop acres are expected to be up almost 1,100 acres this year, which would be a 29 percent increase over the 2014 total.

New Idaho rules relax import restrictions on livestock

- The Idaho Legislature has approved two pending rules that would relax import restrictions on some livestock. Idaho State Department of Agriculture officials said the new rules would still ensure herd health is protected.

Bill grants livestock producers capital gains tax deduction

- A bill that has passed the Idaho Legislature would ensure that partners in a livestock operation are treated the same as other industries when it comes to a state tax deduction for capital gains.