Sean Ellis

Idaho/Oregon Reporter
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Legislation would bolster Idaho’s Seed Indemnity Fund law

- An Idaho State Department of Agriculture industry advisory committee has recommended amending the state’s Seed Indemnity Fund to require licensed warehouses to submit an audited financial statement annually.

Oregon farmers say retiring research station director will be sorely missed

- East Oregon farmers say it will be tough to replace Clint Shock, the retiring director of Oregon State University’s Malheur County agricultural experiment station.

Trespass bill backed by Idaho farm groups sent to House floor

- Following a lengthy public hearing, a bill that would strengthen Idaho’s trespassing laws was sent to the House floor with a “do-pass” recommendation. The legislation is supported by dozens of Idaho far...

Northwest farmers doing OK despite low crop prices

- Farmers in the Northwest have done OK during this period of overall low crop prices due, in part, to the wide range of crops produced in the region, bankers and economists say.

UI ag dean solicits support for dairy research center

- Idaho farm groups are being encouraged to support University of Idaho’s proposed Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment.

GE creeping bentgrass in Malheur County drops 42 percent

- The number of glyphosate-tolerant creeping bentgrass plants detected in Malheur County, Ore., dropped by 42 percent this past fall when compared to the same time in 2016.

Idaho lawmakers to debate Wolf Depredation Control Board

- Idaho lawmakers this year will be asked to vote on two separate bills that would reauthorize the state’s Wolf Depredation Control Board. A third proposal that would continue the board but cut its state funding in hal...

Idaho-Oregon onion hall of fame inducts two farmers

- Two farmers who have grown onions in the Idaho-Oregon growing region for a combined 113 years have been inducted into the two states’ joint onion hall of fame.

Idaho bean, seed, sugar beet industries discuss soybean moratorium

- Researchers and industry leaders recently spoke with Idaho lawmakers about the potential impact that soybean production could have on the state’s dry bean, seed and sugar beet industries.

Idaho ag department confirms equine herpes virus

- A neuropathogenic strain of equine herpes virus has been confirmed at two premises in Idaho. A less severe strain of the disease was confirmed at a separate location.

FFA member discusses proposal to require 2 ag ed credits to graduate

- An Idaho FFA member who is crafting a bill that would require all high school students to complete at least two ag education classes presented an overview of her proposal to lawmakers.

Idaho ranchers live with wolves

- Time hasn’t healed raw nerves created by predator’s reintroduction in Idaho.

Idaho FFA Foundation receives $100,000 gift

- The Idaho FFA Foundation has received a $100,000 gift from Freda Cenarrusa in honor of her late husband, Pete Cenarrusa, a former Idaho secretary of state.

Idaho FFA speech winner will speak at Nampa Ag Forum

- The winner of an Idaho FFA prepared speech contest will repeat her presentation during the Nampa Chamber of Commerce Ag Forum Feb. 6. The speech centered on how the use of GMO crops can enable Idaho farmers to grow more foo...

Western Innovator: Local seed movement takes root

- Boise farmer Casey O’Leary is spearheading a local cooperative that aims to provide backyard gardeners and other small farmers in Idaho with locally grown seed. Twenty-seven farmers are currently growing seed for the...

Idaho ag groups support shortline investment tax credit

- A bill that would provide Idaho shortline railroads an income tax credit for investing in their infrastructure is being supported by the state’s farming community, which depends on these small railroads to move a wid...

EPA recommends approval of Idaho field burning program change

- Idaho farm groups are applauding EPA’s recommended approval of a change to the state’s field burning law that would avoid a large reduction in the number of allowable burn days for farmers.

Above average reservoir levels offset below normal Idaho snowpack

- Record or above-average reservoir levels in many parts of Idaho are providing irrigators with a little insurance heading into the 2018 growing season in case the below-average snowpack levels continue.

Legislature approves Idaho Wheat Commission rule change

- Like other Idaho farm commissions, the Idaho Wheat Commission now has the ability to collect the names and addresses of the state’s wheat farmers. Idaho lawmakers on Jan. 18 approved a rule change that will give the ...

Idaho lawmakers recommend passage of ag inmate labor bill

- Members of the Idaho Legislature’s Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee have given their unanimous approval to a bill that would allow all sectors of the state’s agricultural community to use state inmate labo...

Idaho Legislature has full slate of ag bills

- Several bills that could impact Idaho’s agricultural industry will be introduced during the 2018 legislative session, which convened Jan. 8.

Idaho ag department seeks eight new positions in its budget

- The Idaho State Department of Agriculture is experiencing a significant increase in demand for services and is asking lawmakers for permission to add eight positions to handle that growth.

Federal payments to Idaho agriculture drop 44 percent

- Federal government payments accounted for less than 5 percent of Idaho’s total net farm income, compared to 17.7 percent for U.S. agriculture overall.

Idaho total net farm income increased 15 percent in 2017

- Despite a 2 percent increase in overall farm expenses, net farm income in Idaho increased 15 percent in 2017 due to a 5 percent increase in farm revenues. It was the state’s first increase in net farm income in four ...

Committee will offer farm bill input to Idaho’s congressional delegation

- An 11-member committee representing Idaho’s ag industry will offer the state’s congressional delegation input on the development of the new farm bill.

Otter’s proposed budget excludes seed potato facility

- University of Idaho plans to build a new $5.5 million nuclear seed potato facility but Gov. Butch Otter’s proposed 2019 budget does not include $3 million in state funding sought by the university.

Idaho governor praises aquifer recharge efforts

- Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s annual state of the state address and proposed budget include a number of funding items and shout-outs to projects that affect the state’s farming and timber industries.

Both sides declare victory in 9th Circuit Court’s ‘ag gag’ ruling

- “Almost all of the law got upheld,” said Gayle Batt, a former state representative who sponsored the bill in the Idaho House of Representatives. “The meat of the bill survived.”

Idaho farm cash receipts up for first time in three years

- University of Idaho ag economists say many farmers are still struggling to make a profit due to low commodity prices.

Giant Idaho spud continues to garner national attention

- A children’s book has been written about the Big Idaho Potato Truck’s journey on a barge in front of the Statue of Liberty, and the giant spud will be featured in an upcoming Man vs. Food TV show.

Idaho ranks No. 2 in total irrigation withdraw

- When it comes to population, Idaho ranks near the bottom. But when it comes to total irrigation use, the state trails only California.

Wolf pack detected in foothills north of Boise

- A pack of wolves has been detected in the Boise foothills area for the first time. There have been sporadic, lone wolf sightings in the area for years but Idaho Wildlife Services is now keeping an eye on the seven-wolf pack.

Idaho Potato Commission extends bowl game deal

- A study determined the IPC’s title sponsorship of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl results in a media value of $13 million annually.