Sean Ellis

Boise, Idaho, Reporter
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Developer says petition against his project will hurt all landowners

- A developer says if a proposed petition that seeks to ask voters to overturn a land-use decision made by Ada County commissioners is successful, it would threaten the property rights of Idaho farmers and other landowners.

Researchers hunt for cause of onion disease

- A relatively new onion disease known as onion bulb rot, which was a major problem in the Treasure Valley region of Idaho and Oregon in 2014 and 2015, has not made an appearance so far this year and some people hope it was o...

Rental rates for Idaho farmland down in 2017

- The average cash rent for cropland in Idaho is estimated to be $160 an acre this year, down $8 an acre from last year.

Western Innovator: Ag director sets the pace

- Celia Gould is in her 10th year as director of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture.

Western Innovator: Ag director sets the pace

- Celia Gould is in her 10th year as director of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture.

Dry bean industry excited about new yellow variety: Patron

- Idaho’s dry bean industry has high hopes for Patron, a new yellow bean variety developed by an Oregon State University researcher. Only about 2 percent of the dry beans grown in Idaho are yellows but industry leaders...

Judge hears arguments on petition that seeks to save farmland

- A judge is hearing arguments on whether voters can be asked to overturn a land use decision by the Ada County Board of Commissioners.

Researcher not giving up on sweet potatoes

- While sweet potatoes perform well in the Treasure Valley of southwestern Idaho and Eastern Oregon, growers so far haven’t been quick to adopt them.

Idaho ag exports increase 11 percent in second quarter

- Overseas sales increased for the second straight quarter following two years of declines.

2017 Census of Ag seeks more info about veterans, women, young farmers

- Farmers can help themselves and the industry out by ensuring they complete the 2017 Census of Agriculture, a USDA employee told Capital Press.

Long heat wave slowing crop growth in Treasure Valley

- An unrelenting heat wave in southwestern Idaho and Eastern Oregon is affecting crop growth and making it difficult for farmers to keep their fields wet.

Sugar companies to launch GMO education campaign

- Two of the nation’s sugar companies will launch a $4 million online campaign this fall aimed at educating consumers about GMO crops and changing their perceptions of the technology.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to receive $85 million

- Directors of 13 Western state ag departments lauded the USDA’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program during their annual meeting last week. But they also had concerns over some of the new recording requirements to track...

Compliance dates for some new food safety rules could be extended

- Compliance dates for some of the standards included in the FDA’s new food safety rules could be extended and the agency is revisiting the water quality standards included in its produce safety rule.

High-level federal officials meet with state ag directors

- The annual meeting of the Western Association of State Departments of Agriculture attracted an unusual number of high-level federal officials, as well as a visit from Canada’s agriculture minister.

Canada’s ag minister: NAFTA benefits worth saving

- Canada’s agriculture minister, Lawrence MacAulay, discussed the upcoming North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation with Idaho farming industry leaders as well as directors of 13 Western state agriculture depa...

Trial studies application of herbicide through drip systems in onions

- A field trial conducted by Oregon State University researchers could lead to a special need label for an herbicide that has proven effective in controlling the weed yellow nutsedge in bulb onions.

Sugar beet growers battle glyphosate-resistant kochia

- The number of glyphosate-resistant kochia weeds in sugar beet fields is growing in Eastern Oregon and weed scientists believe it’s a matter of time before they appear in larger numbers in Idaho as well.

Water plentiful in Eastern Oregon, southwestern Idaho

- Record or near-record snowpack levels in basins around southwestern Idaho and Eastern Oregon have provided the region’s farmers with a full supply of irrigation water this year. The water season may extend longer tha...

Facility could speed onion delivery, open markets

- The Idaho and Oregon onion industry has already started making plans to ensure a proposed rail transload facility in Malheur County is done right.

Project seeks to develop advanced yellow bean lines

- A $134,000 specialty crop grant will enable the Idaho Bean Commission to partner with Oregon State University and University of Idaho researchers on a breeding project designed to develop advanced yellow bean lines.

East Oregon gets $5 million for economic development region

- The Oregon Legislature’s recently passed House Bill 2012 provides $5 million for a special economic development region in Eastern Oregon designed to help businesses there compete on a more level playing field with th...

Scotts claims significant progress in killing GE bentgrass in Oregon

- EPA’s approval of a special local need label for the Reckon herbicide will allow Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. to continue to make significant progress in controlling a genetically engineered creeping bentgrass in Malheur a...

Onion thrips population starts to soar in Idaho, Oregon

- Onion thrips arrived late in the Treasure Valley of Idaho and Oregon this year but the recent hot weather has led to their population exploding.

Judge to decide on vote to save farm ground near Boise

- A district judge will decide on an effort to collect signatures for a vote on the 1,400-acre development.

E. Oregon ag community applauds $26 million for rail transload facility

- The Oregon Legislature’s recently passed transportation bill includes $26 million for a rail transload facility that will be built near Ontario in Eastern Oregon. The facility is expected to drive down freight costs ...

Idaho leads nation in personal income growth due to strong farm earnings

- Idaho farm earnings grew by 17 percent of $239 million during the first quarter of 2017, which is a major reason the state led the nation in personal income growth during that period.

Governor’s office nixes proposed ban on soybean production in Idaho

- Representatives of Idaho’s seed and dry bean industries are mulling options to ensure soybeans don’t bring in diseases that could harm the state’s dry bean industry. The governor’s office has nix...

Mormon crickets on the march in parts of Idaho

- State and federal officials are reporting an uptick in Mormon cricket activity.

Extended heat wave settles on Treasure Valley

- Farmers in southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon are in for a tough 17-day stretch, with high temperatures expected to surpass 100 degrees almost every day.

Regional bean consortium to move forward with or without UI

- A multi-state dry bean consortium that maximizes research dollars by cooperating on projects beneficial to all three states’ bean industries is moving forward. The regional bean effort includes bean industry players ...

Competition stiff for Idaho specialty crop block grants

- Some of the 13 specialty crop block grant proposals not funded this year by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture were great projects that were competing against even better ones, ISDA officials said.

Farm Bureau president tells farmers to stay engaged in political process

- The Trump administration affords agriculture a real opportunity to achieve changes on several important issues but rural Americans need to stay engaged in the political process to accomplish that, American Farm Bureau Feder...

Farm Bureau president meets with Idaho producers

- Hundreds of Idaho farmers and ranchers got to speak directly with American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall this week during his tour of the state.

Grant will help dry bean industry cultivate Latin America markets

- A $55,000 specialty crop grant will enable Idaho’s dry bean industry to expand upon previous efforts to explore more market opportunities in Latin America.

Harsh 2017 winter will result in reduced Idaho wine grape crop

- Idaho’s total wine grape harvest is expected to be down significantly this year as a result of bitter cold January temperatures that damaged vines in the heart of Idaho wine country.

University of Idaho fruit researchers bullish on Thomcord table grapes

- University of Idaho fruit researchers are bullish on Thomcord grapes, a cross between the Thompson seedless and Concord varieties.

Parma research station hosts all-station field day

- About 80 members of industry and the public learned about several different research projects aimed at helping farmers during a field day at University of Idaho’s Parma Research and Extension Center June 21.

More than 500 people attend tour of Idaho dairy

- A day-long tour of the Jackson Family Dairy has become a community event in Meridian.

Idaho Wheat Commission budget includes $210,000 for falling number research

- The Idaho Wheat Commission’s fiscal year 2018 budget includes $210,000 for five research projects aimed at helping solve the low falling number issue in wheat. At $3.18 million, the 2018 budget is down 6 percent from...

SW Idaho farmers struggle with tight labor market

- Farming operations in the Treasure Valley area of southwestern Idaho are having a hard time finding workers and many are having to increase hours and pay to get by.

Idaho Barley Commission members to discuss checkoff fee

- Idaho Barley Commission board members will have in-depth discussions this fall and winter on whether to leave the state’s barley checkoff at 3 cents per hundredweight or return it to 2 cents.

New Treasure Valley water group taking on raft of issues

- The Treasure Valley Water Users Association is involved in many effort5s, including one to obtain state funding to help farmers and ranchers in the area implement best management practices to improve water quality.