Sean Ellis

Boise, Idaho, Reporter
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Idaho apple growers report bumper crop

- With Idaho's apple harvest winding down, orchardists are reporting a bumper crop this year.

Idaho dry bean industry sets sights on Costa Rica

- Idaho's dry bean industry sees Costa Rica as one of its best potential new markets and the Idaho Bean Commission will use a $18,000 specialty crop grant to try to make inroads into that Central American nation.

Idaho second in West for net farm income

- Idaho ranked second in the West, behind California, for total net farm income in 2012, and outpaced No. 3 Washington despite trailing that state in gross farm gate receipts by $1.8 billion.

Crisis group addresses Idaho grain losses

- A crisis response group convened by Idaho's Speaker of the House is trying to find ways to help growers in Southern Idaho deal with the huge losses in wheat and barley production they suffered this year due to unusually hea...

Idaho Wheat Commission faces revenue cut

- Losses to Idaho wheat and barley production caused by heavy August rains will have a significant impact on the budgets of the state's grain commissions.

Onion growers grapple with proposed produce rule

- Oregon State University researchers have started new trials designed to help onion growers meet minimum standards for bacteria levels in irrigation water contained in the FDA's proposed produce safety rule.

Idaho farm income up 18 percent in second quarter

- Personal farm income in Idaho increased 18 pecent during the second quarter of 2014, by far the best performance of any economic sector in the state.

Federal money will fund Idaho streamgages

- An additional $141,000 in federal funding will be used by the U.S. Geological Survey to fully fund 10 streamgages in Idaho that are critical for delivering water for agriculture and other uses.

Idaho corn maze one of nation’s best

- An Idaho corn maze is receiving national attention again but its owner said while the recognition is fun, he's more interested in educating urban folks about agriculture while entertaining them.

Farm rolls out welcome mat for beneficial insects

- Clay and Josie Erskine credit the success of their Boise area organic farm to a proliferation of habitat designed to feed and support pollinators and other beneficial insects.

Grant could help Idaho bean industry

- A two-year research project funded by a $57,000 specialty crop grant will look at ways to help Idaho dry bean farmers combat the nightshade weed. The weed costs the Idaho bean industry about $8 million a year.

Idaho wheat production pummeled by rains

- Up to 25 million bushels of Idaho wheat won't go to market this year due to sprout damage caused by heavy August rains. Some growers are discovering that their crop insurance policies won't cover their losses.

Value of Idaho cropland up 6.7 percent

- The average value of all cropland in Idaho rose 6.7 percent to $3,040 per acre this year, and the value of irrigated cropland in the state rose 8.5 percent to $4,600 an acre.

Onions faced less virus pressure in 2014

- Pressure from iris yellow spot virus was less severe in Treasure Valley onion fields this year, but farmers say they are not lulled into thinking the problem is decreasing.

Grant supports alternative fruit research in Idaho

- A $103,000 specialty crop grant will allow researchers at University of Idaho's Parma experiment station to continue trials aimed at helping growers produce alternative fruit and nut crops.

Media given tour of Idaho dairy

- Media members were taken on an extensive tour of a fourth-generation Idaho dairy Sept. 30. The Kuna dairy's owner said he viewed it as his responsibility to provide media and thus consumers a close-up look at how a dairy op...

Rain complicates Treasure Valley harvest

- Five straight days of rain has complicated harvest for Idaho and Oregon farmers in the Treasure Valley area, particularly onion and dry bean growers.

Ag helps fuel Idaho’s economic growth

- Idaho's gross state product grew at one of the fastest rates in the nation last year and a strong performance by the state's agricultural sector helped fuel that growth. The growth was highest in the state's rural counties,...

Onion quality above normal in Treasure Valley

- Onion harvest in Southwestern Idaho and Eastern Oregon is halfway done and farmers are reporting slightly lower yields but excellent quality.

Network alerts Idaho, Oregon growers to outbreaks

- A pest alert system created by university researchers has kept Southern Idaho and Eastern Oregon growers up to date on disease and pest outbreaks. The free network has 1,200 subscribers but researchers say it should have a ...

Producers react cautiously to FDA revisions

- FDA released revisions to its proposed produce safety rule Sept. 19 and growers and farm group leaders are sorting through the 152-page technical document to try to determine whether the changes are reasonable and economica...

Grant seeks to grow Idaho farm to school program

- The Idaho State Department of Agriculture will use a $18,000 federal grant to conduct four events around the state designed to increase the amount of local food being included in school menus.

Idaho cropland rent increases

- Idaho farmers weren't surprised to hear that the average cost to rent irrigated cropland increased $20 an acre this year. The average rent expense for all cropland in Idaho is estimated at $151 an acre, an increase of $12 o...

FDA releases revised produce rule

- FDA officials say the agency's revised produce rule would provide more flexibility for farmers to meet proposed water quality standards. The revisions were announced today on the Federal Register website.

Water will flow until October in Treasure Valley

- Irrigation districts in southwestern Idaho won't cease delivering water to farmers until the first part of October, a month later than last year. They also expect to have a decent amount of carryover water left for the 2015...

Lawsuit could impact Idaho agriculture

- A pending lawsuit targeting Idaho Wildlife Services could impact Idaho agriculture since 88 percent of the agency's funding is used to protect agriculture, especially livestocck producers, from predators.

Galloway project could help Idaho farmers

- Public comment during a Sept. 11 meeting on the proposed Galloway Dam project was decidedly against it, but farmers say it would greatly aid growers and other water users throughout the state.

Idaho farm groups fund road safety PSA

- Last year was one of the deadliest in recent memory in Idaho for fatal crashes involving automobiles and farm equipment and two farm bureau groups have teamed up with the Idaho State Police on a public service announcement ...

Grant funds test plot for Idaho hops

- Idaho hop growers hope a $68,250 specialty crop grant that will be used to create a central test plot for new varieties will help them avoid planting new varieties that don't perform well in Idaho.

Bean industry applauds return of Eptam 20G

- Gowan Co. will resume production of Eptam 20G for bean growers in the Pacific Northwest. Many bean growers say the herbicide, which was discontinued in 2008, was one of their best tools for controlling the weed nightshade. ...

Free pesticide disposal set for Eastern Oregon farmers

- A first-ever free pesticide collection event for agricultural producers in Eastern Oregon will be held Oct. 22 in Ontario. There is a 500-pound limit per registrant and farmers have to pre-register.

Idaho hop production forecast to be up 42 percent

- Rising demand from the craft brewing industry is behind an anticipated 42 percent increase in Idaho hop production this year. That increase comes on top of a 39 percent increase in 2013.

Mexico trade rep to meet with Idaho companies

- Mexico is one of Idaho's fastest growing markets for agricultural products and the state's trade representative to that country will be available to meet with Idaho businesses that are interested in trying to sell their pro...

Sides disagree on meaning of ‘ag gag’ lawsuit ruling

- Supporters of Idaho's Agricultural Security Act say a judge's ruling not to dismiss a federal lawsuit against the law wasn't a decision on the merits of the case, while opponents hailed it as a win for the plaintiffs.

Study looks at soil characteristics of Idaho wine region

- The soil characteristics of the Sunny Slope wine region in southwestern Idaho will be analyzed during an 18-month study financed by a specialty crop grant. Industry leaders believe this project could help Idaho attract more...

New Idaho board provides $225,000 to control wolves

- Idaho Wildlife Services will receive $225,000 from the new Idaho wolf depredation board this year to help fund its wolf control efforts. The USDA agency has lost about $700,000 in funding since 2009, which has reduced its ...

$113,000 grant could help Idaho apple growers

- A $113,000 specialty crop grant awarded through the Idaho State Department of Agriculture will help University of Idaho researchers continue an orchard trial designed to help apple growers improve their bottom line.

OSU looks at possible remediation for water rule

- Oregon State University researchers are experimenting with different ways to help onion growers in the Treasure Valley area deal with possible new federal rules that would limit how much generic E. coli bacteria can be pres...

Grant allows Nyssa ag program to build greenhouse

- A $25,000 grant from Monsanto Corp. will allow the small farming community of Nyssa, Ore., to build a modern greenhouse that will include the advanced equipment necessary to allow the high school's ag education students to ...

More than 100 attend onion variety trial

- More than 100 onion growers, seed dealers and other industry representatives attended Oregon State University's onion variety trial field day Aug. 26. The event provides participants a chance to judge 50 different onion var...

Idaho’s bean harvest off to good start

- With harvest under way, Idaho farmers say this year's bean crop looks good but there are concerns about possible mold issues in the Magic Valley area because of heavy August rains.