Sean Ellis

Boise, Idaho, Reporter
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Former rancher creates rock with names of 105 old cattle brands

- A sandstone rock in Fairfield, Idaho, that has the logos of 105 cattle brands is catching the attention of the state's ranching industry.

Scientists and the public far apart on safety of GMO food

- Scientists and the public are far apart in their beliefs when it comes to assessing the safety of genetically modified crops.

Scavenger hunt teaches kids the source of their food

- At the Canyon County fair in Idaho, children learn about agriculture by collecting the ingredients for their breakfast.

E. Oregon camelina trials look more promising during persistent drought

- Oregon State University field trials have shown that camelina can be grown at a small profit in Eastern Oregon, with no irrigation water.

Soda Springs rancher appointed to Idaho Senate

- Soda Springs rancher and farmer Mark Harris has been appointed to the Idaho Senate by Gov. Butch Otter.

Bulb onion prices have risen rapidly since winter

- After falling to break-even levels this winter, onion prices have increased sharply.

New Idaho group will represent Treasure Valley water users

- Water delivery entities in Southwestern Idaho have joined forces to create a Treasure Valley Water Users Association.

Downtown cattle drive highlights ICA’s 100th birthday

- The mood was celebratory as a few hundred Idaho Cattle Association members celebrated the group's 100th birthday in Boise July 14-18.

Researcher helps onion growers tackle major issues

- Oregon State University extension agent Stuart Reitz is helping the area's onion, potato and other growers find answers to several pest and disease challenges they face. Much of his work focuses on integrated pest managemen...

2015 shaping up to be stellar year for cattle, expert says

- Cow-calf producers are enjoying another stellar profit year, but 2015 is a little tougher than 2014 for stockers and feedlots. That was the message Idaho Cattle Association members heard during a July 15 presentation on the...

Wandering wolf unlikely to return to Malheur County

- A lone wolf that unexpectedly hung out in a part of Malheur County that is not ideal habitat for the animal is not likely to return, says an Oregon wolf biologist.

Onion assessment cut in half for Oregon, Idaho growers

- The assessment fee paid by onion growers in Eastern Oregon and Southwestern Idaho who are under a federal marketing order has been cut from 10 cents per hundredweight to 5 cents.

Irrigation water outlook varies in Treasure Valley

- Irrigation supplies will last until October for many farmers in the Treasure Valley area but others will see their water run out early this year.

Treasure Valley groups explore growing pumpkin seed for snacks

- Researchers and an economic development organization are exploring whether pumpkin seed for snacks could be an economically viable crop in Eastern Oregon and Southwestern Idaho.

16 Idaho specialty crop projects share $1.7 million in funding

- The Idaho State Department of Agriculture will provide $1.7 million this year to 16 projects designed to benefit the state's specailty crop industries.

New Idaho law protects info of farmers, ranchers in conservation agreements

- A new Idaho law that went into effect July 1 will protect the personal information of farmers and ranchers who enter into voluntary agreements with soil conservation districts to protect sage grouse.

Idaho’s table grape yields reduced but better than expected

- Idaho table grapes survived a bitter November cold snap better than anticipated.

Nine-day heat wave finally breaks in Treasure Valley

- Farmers in Eastern Oregon and Southwestern Idaho are on the lookout for increased disease and insect pressure following nine straight days of high temperatures above 100 degrees.

Idaho leadership program seeks more farmers, ranchers

- Leadership Idaho Agriculture officials are asking the state's commodity commissions and farm associations to become more engaged in the leadership development program.

Barley states respond to Idaho’s invitation to cooperate

- The Idaho Barley Commission has invited other barley producing states to work closely together on important issues, including research and transportation infrastructure.

Grant aimed at helping Idaho’s table grape industry

- University of Idaho researchers have been awarded a $163,000 grant from the Idaho State Department of Agriculture to try to improve the performance of table grapes in Idaho.

Community leaders, public tour Meridian dairy

- Community leaders and the public were taken on a tour of a third-generation dairy farm in Meridian, Idaho, on June 23. It was the latest effort by Idaho's dairy industry to give the public a closer look at how dairy operati...

Barley commission sets conservative budget for fiscal 2016

- The Idaho Barley Commission has set a conservative budget for fiscal year 2016 to try to rebuild its reserve fund following a severe drop in revenue in fiscal 2015 due to torrential rains last August that reduced the size o...

University of Idaho identifies more candidates in ag college dean search

- University of Idaho officials have expanded their search for a new dean for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences to include additional candidates. The university had originally intended to have a new dean in place ...

Treasure Valley farmers brace for eight-day heat wave

- Farmers in Southwestern Idaho and Eastern Oregon are bracing for an eight-day stretch of 100-plus temperatures.

USDA educates library patrons about Idaho agriculture

- USDA's Idaho statistician has set up a display in the Boise Public Library that seeks to educate urban folks about the state's extensive agricultural production.

Spotted wing drosophila detected in SW Idaho

- An exotic fruit fly that was first detected in Idaho in 2012 appears to have gained a tentative foothold in the state and researchers are trying to determine how widespread it is.

APHIS won’t use methyl bromide in PCN eradication program

- USDA will not use methyl bromide this spring in its pale cyst nematode eradication program in East Idaho and growers affected by the quarantine are now questioning the viability of the program.

Iris virus detected early in Treasure Valley onion fields

- The iris yellow spot virus has been detected in commercial onion fields in Southwestern Idaho and Eastern Oregon. The virus, which is transmited by thrips, can weaken the plant and affect onion bulb size.

Idaho Potato Commission rejects request to fire employee

- Idaho Potato Commission members have unanimously rejected a request to terminate IPC employee Pat Kole.

Boise Project increases 2015 water allotment significantly

- Southwestern Idaho farmers who get their irrigation water from the Boise Project Board of Control have had their 2015 allotment raised to 2.95 acre-feet.

Owyhee Irrigation District increases its water allotment

- The Owyhee Irrigation District has increased its 2015 water allotment to 1.6 acre-feet, up from 1.5 acre-feet but still well below the 4 acre-feet farmers get in normal water years.

Farm, technology sectors agree Idaho can be a leader in agtech

- Leaders in Idaho's agricultural and technology sectors met during a first-ever AgriTech Summit June 16 and discussed ways both sides could benefit from a close partnership between the top two sectors of the state's economy.

NRCS seeks farmers along lower Boise River for water quality initiative

- The Natural Resources Conservation Service is looking for more Idaho farmers who are interested in signing up for a voluntary water quality program designed to clean up the lower Boise River.

Researchers target glyphosate-resistant kochia weeds

- After confirming that weeds found in Treasure Valley sugar beet fields last year were resistant to glyphosate, researchers are now trying to help growers deal with them.

Ag in Classroom teacher tour Idaho farm country

- Twenty-nine teachers who participate in the state's Agricutlure in the Classroom program were taken on a two-day tour of farm country. They were impresssed by the sheer number of job opportunities involved with agriculture

Irrigators fight plan to count flood releases against water rights

- Irrigation entities in the Treasure Valley area of Southwestern Idaho are vowing to go to court if necessary if the state continues with its plan to count flood control releases against senior water right holders.

Idaho fruit growers seeing full extent of November cold snap

- Commercial fruit growers in Southwest Idaho are now beginning to see the full extent of the damage caused by record cold temperatures last November, and it's significant.

Two canal drownings increase urgency of safety campaigns

- Irrigation districts in Southwestern Idaho are again reminding people in the state's largest urban area to keep themselves and their children away from canals and ditches.

Mobile farmers’ market brings produce to Boise neighborhoods

- A new mobile farmers' market in Boise will bring fresh produce grown in the Treasure Valley directly to people who are least likely to be able to access and afford it. The city of Boise will provide a financial match on foo...

Idaho wine, dairy industries unite for promotion

- Idaho's wine and dairy industries teamed up during a free tasting event in downtown Boise June 2. June is Idaho wine month and it's also national dairy month.

Idaho governor announces first-ever AgriTech summit

- Leaders of Idaho's agricultural and technology sectors will discuss ways they can work together June 16 during an agritech summit in Boise.

Effort to create multi-state dry bean program picks up steam

- The effort to create a regional dry bean research program is picking up speed and those involved say it will definitely happen and sooner rather than later.

Idaho PCN Group calls for overhaul of federal quarantine

- Idaho PCN Group members called for the overhaul of a federal pale cyst nematode quarantine program during a conference call with Idaho Potato Commission members May 29. They also asked for the resignation of an IPC employee...