Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Organic farmers question USDA proposal - AgMinute for November 27, 2013

Organic farmers and others who rely on manure for soil fertility are worried about proposed food safety rules that would restrict the practice. Click here for the full story

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Farm Credit drops non-ag lending proposal - AgMinute for November 26, 2013

A proposal to allow lenders within the Farm Credit System to invest more in rural hospitals and other facilities has been scrapped by the federal government. Opponents feared it would allow them to overstep their lending authority, which is meant to target agriculture. Proponents claimed the proposal would have strengthened the rural communities that farmers rely upon. Click here for the full story

$1 million endowment approved for bean research - AgMinute for November 25, 2013

BOISE — Idaho Bean Commission members have voted to create a $1 million endowment that will fund a bean research program at the University of Idaho. Click here for the full story

Friday, November 22, 2013

Wolf delisting plan elicits cheers, protests

A federal proposal to remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List elicited emotional responses from speakers on both sides of the issue during a public hearing in Sacramento this evening, as some 400 people packed a hotel ballroom to voice their views. Beforehand, about 100 wolf advocates gathered for a rally outside the Marriott Courtyard Cal Expo, where the meeting was held. In the photos, from the top: Timothy and Sameena Crofton of Fremont hold a sign during the rally; others hold signs; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials (from left) Mike Jimenez and Gary Frazer listen as hearing officer Mike Chapel speaks; audience members listen intently to a speaker; and Beverly Williams of Merced holds up signs favoring the delisting. As could be expected when you hold a meeting like this so close to the Bay Area, a majority of speakers opposed removing protections for the wolf, and moderator Chapel had to ask them several times to stop cheering each other on and jeering those who voiced the opposite view. But there were numerous supporters of the delisting proposal, including Siskiyou County Resource Conservation District president Scott Murphy. "I've been involved in agriculture and producing food for you for 36 years," Murphy said. "As a livestock producer, I'm concerned about the impact that wolves would have on my livestock should they come to California." The federal officials made the case that wolves had recovered to the point that they no longer need protection. For my full coverage of this meeting and this issue, check soon.

Off-farm income supports U.S. farms - AgMinute for November 22, 2013

Most U.S. farms derive at least some income from off-farm employment, a USDA study found. Even large farms have a significant amount of off-farm income. Most off-farm jobs are in management and professional occupations. Click here for the full story

Bulging debt load burdens farmers - AgMinute for November 21, 2013

Farmers carry more debt than USDA surveys reveal, according to a study by a Kansas State University economist. The higher debt includes money owed to suppliers of seed and fertilizer. Click here for the full story

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

More green peas? Yes please! - AgMinute for November 20, 2013

Led by a large increase in green pea production in Idaho and Washington, total pulse crop production in the Pacific Northwest increased significantly in 2013. Contract prices offered by regional processors for green peas reached near-record levels earlier in the season. Click here for the full story

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Free pesticide disposal gains popularity - AgMinute for November 19, 2013

BOISE — The popularity of a free Idaho State Department of Agriculture pesticide disposal program continues to increase significantly, as more farmers discover it is a safe and easy way to get rid of unusable pesticides. Click here for the full story

Monday, November 18, 2013

Health insurance cancellation notices go out - AgMinute for November 18, 2013

Nearly 400,000 people in Washington state and Idaho have been notified that their health insurance policies will be cancelled next year, an Associated Press survey has found. For more information visit

Friday, November 15, 2013

The "giant spud" may roll again - Ag Minute for November 15, 2013

The Idaho Potato Commission is checking the costs of a likely third tour of the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck. Click here for the full story

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Spud estimates surprise industry leaders - AgMinute for November 14, 2013

Recent USDA estimates showing significantly increased 2013 Idaho potato yields have surprised industry leaders, though they anticipated the greater percentage of large tubers in the agency’s report. Click here for the full story

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spokane hosts tri-state convention - AgMinute for November 13, 2013

Wheat farmers from around the Pacific Northwest converge on Spokane this week for the grain industry's annual tri-state convention. Click here for more information

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Online sustainable Small Farming/Ranching course fills fast - AgMinute for November 12, 2013

University of Idaho officials encourage new small farmers and ranchers to sign up early for an online course offered in January. Click here for the full story

Monday, November 11, 2013

No E. coli risk for onion bulbs - AgMinute for November 11, 2013

Dry bulb onions grown in Idaho and eastern Oregon pose no risk of E. coli contamination, according to Oregon State University research. Click here for the full story

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