Sean Ellis

Boise, Idaho, Reporter
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Engineering firm designing fix for ailing Malheur Siphon


ONTARIO, Ore. — Part of the 80-year-old Malheur Siphon, which carries irrigation water to thousands of acres in Malheur County, is starting to fail.

As a result, the Owyhee Irrigation District has hired an e...

Idaho hop growers to add hundreds of new acres in 2016


WILDER, Idaho — Idaho’s hop acreage continues to expand at a robust rate, with growers planning to add hundreds of additional acres this year.

“It’s still a pretty positive (environment)...

Farm groups help University of Idaho ag college exceed fundraising goal


MOSCOW, Idaho — University of Idaho’s first foray into social media fundraising was a success for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and its new dean.

The college raised $30,425 from 143 d...

Water outlook in Eastern Oregon continues to improve


ONTARIO, Ore. — Farmers who depend on the Owyhee Reservoir will receive more irrigation water in 2016 than they have the past two years combined.

As a result, they are planting more high-water — and m...

Idaho ag department gives overview of food safety rules


ONTARIO, Ore. — Idaho and Oregon farmers were given an overview of FDA’s new Food Safety Modernization Act rules April 26 during a meeting hosted by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture.

FDA ...

Idaho delivers equipment to Rangeland Fire Protection Associations


BOISE — The Idaho Department of Lands delivered four wildland firefighting engines and five “slip-in” units to five of the state’s six Rangeland Fire Protection Associations April 25.


New AVA created for Northwestern Idaho and Eastern Washington


BOISE — Wineries and grape growers in Northwestern Idaho and part of Eastern Washington now have their own American Viticultural Area, which is a specific grape-growing region that is federally recognized as uniqu...

Sales of re-introduced dry bean herbicide slower than expected


HOMEDALE, Idaho — First-year sales of Eptam 20G, an herbicide that was returned to the market last year at the urging of Idaho’s dry bean industry, were slower than anticipated.

Gowan Co. stopped manu...

Putting every drop of water to use


As El Nino was producing some powerful storms this winter, officials from a water district serving farms just outside of Sacramento got an idea.

They opened the gates of a swelling Cache Creek and let the flood wat...

ISDA plans meeting on food safety rules


ONTARIO, Ore. — Idaho State Department of Agriculture officials will provide an overview of the new Food Safety Modernization Act rules and how they will impact agriculture, during an April 26 meeting.


Onion shippers take on more marketing efforts


ONTARIO, Ore. — When the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee cut its checkoff assessment in half last year, it slashed the budget for its promotion committee, from $635,000 a year to $250,000.

The region&#x...

Oregon onion growers receive permission to apply herbicide through drip systems


ONTARIO, Ore. — Onion growers in Malheur County in Eastern Oregon have joined their Idaho counterparts in receiving special permission to apply an important herbicide through drip irrigation systems.

Idaho ...

Nampa fruit processor begins buying Idaho apples


NAMPA, Idaho — Materne North America’s fruit processing facility in Nampa is growing rapidly and has started buying apples from Idaho orchards.

“This past harvest we worked with two local growe...

Band of 2,450 sheep graze their way through Boise foothills


BOISE — A curious group of onlookers watched as 2,450 domestic sheep were unloaded from trucks into the rolling Boise foothills April 12.

Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission officials alerted Boise residents...

Idaho specialty crop grant program modified, but funding stays the same

- The application process for Idaho's specialty crop grant program has been altered this year but the state will again receive $1.9 million in federal funding for the program.

Processing facility to be built in Idaho

- A proposed food processing facility that was denied a conditional use permit in Canyon County, Idaho, will instead locate about 40 miles away in Washington County.

SW Idaho farm labor market tightening significantly

- Many farmers in southwestern Idaho are having a hard time finding enough workers this year and are having to pay the employees they do have more money to keep them.

Idaho animal cruelty bill may not stop ballot initiative

- Idaho farm groups and Humane Society of the United States are happy with a bill that toughens the state's animal cruelty statute. Whether it is enough to ward off a ballot initiative remains to be seen.

Ranchers pack Jordan Valley gym to oppose monument plan

- About 300 ranchers and other local residents packed the Jordan Valley high school gymnasium April 3 to sound off on a proposal to designate 2.5 million acres of Malheur County as a national monument.

Idaho onion growers get big boost against nutsedge weed

- Idaho onion growers have received special permission to use an herbicide that is effective in controlling the yellow nutsedge weed in drip irrigation systems. Oregon growers are awaiting similar permission.

White paper outlines dyed diesel concerns

- Efforts to create a dyed diesel enforcement program in Idaho stalled this legislative session. However, the issue is expected to resurface next year.

Owyhee district will start water April 4

- Owyhee Irrigation District board members have decided to start the system a week earlier than initially planned.

Treasure Valley growth projects worry water managers

- Water demand in the Treasure Valley area of Southwestern Idaho is expected to increase dramatically in the coming decades, a recent study shows.

2016 Idaho Legislature positive for ag, industry leaders say

- There weren't many major ag-related bills during the 2016 Idaho Legislature, which ended March 25. But there were a lot of lesser bills that will benefit farmers and ranchers, industry leaders said.

Idaho ag land annexation bill runs out of time

- A bill that would allow farmers to petition to be de-annexed from a city will not pass this year because the Idaho Legislature has adjourned for 2016.

Falconer keeps pest birds at bay

- Brad Felger uses the natural predator-prey relationship between birds to help farmers avoid damage to their crops. His life-long love of falconry has also developed into a full-time job.

Southwestern Idaho water supply normal for 2016

- Irrigators in Southwestern Idaho can look forward to a normal irrigation season, water supply managers say.

Idaho federal lands management bill passes House

- A bill that would set basic parameters for how Idaho would manage any federal lands it acquires in the future has passed the House.

Owyhee water allotment set at 3 acre-feet, could go to 4

- Farmers who depend on the Owyhee Reservoir for their irrigation water are looking at a normal water supply in 2016, the first in four years.

Bill requiring Legislature to OK federal land buys killed

- A bill that would require the legislature to approve any further acquisitions of land in Idaho by the federal government has been rejected by lawmakers.

Idaho would be a top candidate for Materne dairy product facility

- Idaho would be a top candidate if French company Materne decides to build a facility in North America to produce its new, dairy-based product.

Idaho ag forum celebrates farming’s role in Canyon County

- About 320 Idaho farmers, representatives of agribusinesses and non-farm business owners celebrated the importance of agriculture to Canyon County's economy March 16.

AG handed investigation into police shooting of rancher

- Idaho State Police has handed the results of its investigation into an officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of Council rancher Jack Yantis to the attorney general's office.

Idaho ag industry mourns state’s Mexico trade director

- Idaho agriculture has lost one of its most important voices with the passing away of Armando Orellana, who managed the state's Mexico trade office for 22 years.

Economist tells dairy producers to seize opportunities

- The European Union's lifting of milk production quotas last April has resulted in a flood of new milk on the global market, ag economists told Idaho producers recently. But they also said the industry is in a good position ...

Bill to codify Idaho stock watering rights ruling on agenda

- A proposed bill that would codify in Idaho law a landmark ruling on who owns in-stream stock watering rights on federally administered land is still planned for the 2016 legislative session.

Bill sets out how Idaho would manage federal lands

- A bill introduced in the Idaho Legislature sets the framework for how the state would manage any federal lands it receives in the future.

Special court master won’t reverse his flood control ruling

- A special court master has rejected the state of Idaho's request for him to reverse his previous ruling on whether flood control releases from Boise River system reservoirs count against water storage rights.

Water situation in Malheur County vastly improved from recent years

- Farmers in Malheur County, Ore., who depend on the Owyhee Reservoir for their irrigation water could be looking at a normal water supply for the first time in four years.

Nampa Ag Forum to highlight important role ag plays in local economy

- An Ag Forum in Canyon County, Idaho, will bring farmers and agribusiness owners together with other local business leaders to talk about agriculture and discuss issues relevant to the farming community.

Bill solves dispute between Idaho trader lots, auction yards

- A bill moving through the Idaho Legislature would close a loophole in Idaho law that allows bulls to leave trader lots and return to the country for breeding purposes without being tested for trichomoniasis.