Saturday, July 31, 2010

Just in from Washington


Jake Putnam photo

Peterson Bill Reauthorizes Mandatory Price Reporting

Washington--House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota introduced legislation this past week to reauthorize the Mandatory Price Reporting law. The current law, requires the Agriculture Department to publish data on livestock and meat purchasing transactions but is scheduled to expire on Sept. 30.

The Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010 (H.R. 5852) would extend the program for another five years and include additional reporting requirements for pork wholesale cuts and exports.

On Tuesday, Sens. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) introduced a bill (S. 3656) that also provides for a five-year reauthorization of MPR. In addition to the additional pork reporting, the Senate bill instructs the secretary of agriculture to establish an electronic price reporting system for dairy products.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Just in from Washington


US Capitol, photo by Jake Putnam

AFBF Calls for Support of Renewable Energy Tax Incentives

Washington--American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman wrote to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin (D-Mich.) and ranking member Dave Camp (R-Mich.) Thursday, urging them to support extension of a number of renewable energy tax incentives at their current levels and to re-instate various expired biofuel tax incentives.

“The successful development of our nation’s ethanol industry stands as a testament to the effectiveness of tax incentives for renewable energy,” Stallman wrote. “This industry, which was launched with the aid of tax incentives during the 1980s, now has the capacity to produce 11.8 billion gallons of fuel. Tax incentives also have proven valuable in promoting the production of biodiesel made from oilseed crops and animal fats.”

“Unfortunately, existing renewable energy tax incentives are temporary, with varying expiration dates. Long-term extensions are needed to boost renewable technologies and support development of the market infrastructure necessary to make these technologies more competitive. In addition, the long-term extension of renewable energy credits will ensure industry stability and attract the capital necessary to realize the benefits of long-term planning,” Stallman told Levin.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eagle range fire--day 2


Steve Ritter photo

Eagle--Firecrews spent the night on the Highway 16 fire near Eagle but reported no new starts, they're still attacking hotspots this afternoon.

Dispite the intensity of the blaze, there were no injuries and just moderate property losses, three homes were destroyed and a brand new 2010 Porsche Cheyenne that was overrun by flames.

More than 100 firefighters remain on the scene and continue mop-up operations to keep flare ups under control when the afternoon winds pick-up.

The Highway 16 fire, ignited by lightning just after 12:30 Wednesday when a series of storms blew through the Treasure Valley and ended up burning just under 5,000 acres of range land in the Foothills north of Eagle and destroyed four homes in a North Eagle subdivision.

Firefighters were able to protect several homes in the area earlier in the afternoon from the blaze, but winds picked up around 3:30 p.m. yesterday and pushed the fire south towards Homer Road and ignited the four homes and took out the porsche.

Bighorn decision on the Payette


Forest Supervisor Suzanne Rainville briefs reporters after the record of decision--Putnam photo
Payette National Forest releases sheep management decision

McCall--The United States Department of agriculture will add 346,000 acres of habitat to the Payette National Forest in Idaho to separate Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep from domestic sheep and goats in an effort to curb disease in bighorn herds.

The Record of Decision amends the Payette's Forest Plan but reduces risk of contact among bighorn sheep and domestic sheep over a three year period starting in 2010 and ending in 2013.

"Many federal land management agencies and state wildlife managers recommended the elimination of shared use of ranges by bighorn and domestic sheep," said Suzanne Rainville, Payette National Forest Supervisor. "By separating the species and reducing the risk of contact, it will be possible to have both livestock grazing and a healthy population of bighorn sheep."




Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Eagle Range Fire


Near Homer and Linder road, Steve Ritter photo
Rangefire destroys three homes near Eagle

Eagle--A wildfire ripped through the Eagle foothills just after 12:30 Wednesday afternoon destroying three homes and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of Eagle residents.

By 7:15 firecrews dug containment lines around the fire, knocking down flames just as winds subsided. The Eagle Fire Department reports that three homes were destroyed in the area of Homer and Smoky Ridge road, not far from Highway 16 to Emmett.

The BLM says that the blaze scorched at least 4,857 acres and tore through the foothills toward Highway 55 after a thunderstorm brought hundreds of lightning strikes to the area. Most evacuated homeowners in the burned areas didn't return to their neighborhoods until late evening as fire crews continued to work hot spots.

Just in from Washington


Big Green Combine, originally uploaded by Steve's Photo Library.

AFBF, Others Outline Strategy for Doubling Exports

Washington--The American Farm Bureau Federation, the Coalition of Service Industries and the National Association of Manufacturers announced a comprehensive approach Monday to double U.S. exports in five years—a key goal laid out by President Barack Obama.

The three organizations have outlined policy changes needed to improve market access and level the playing field in a competitive global market. Doubling exports in five years is an ambitious but achievable goal if major changes are enacted.

“Growth in U.S. agricultural exports will be achieved with aggressive actions to expand market opportunities and reduce trade barriers,” said Rosemarie Watkins, AFBF director of international policy. “These measures are critical for increasing U.S. agricultural competitiveness around the world and meeting the growing world demand for food with U.S. agricultural products.”

Just in from Washington



American Farm Bureau Others Outline Strategy for Doubling Exports


Washington--The American Farm Bureau Federation, the Coalition of Service Industries and the National Association of Manufacturers announced a comprehensive approach Monday to double U.S. exports in five years—a key goal laid out by President Barack Obama.


The three organizations have outlined policy changes needed to improve market access and level the playing field in a competitive global market. Doubling exports in five years is an ambitious but achievable goal if major changes are enacted.


“Growth in U.S. agricultural exports will be achieved with aggressive actions to expand market opportunities and reduce trade barriers,” said Rosemarie Watkins, AFBF director of international policy. “These measures are critical for increasing U.S. agricultural competitiveness around the world and meeting the growing world demand for food with U.S. agricultural products.”

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Grain Truck are rolling


Grain Truck V, originally uploaded by Steve's Photo Library.

Grain trucks are still rolling in Emmett

On Clint Rohbachers farm near Emmett. It's harvest time—his grain is coming in at 130 bushels per acre—a mild surprise for what looked like a below average crop.

With harvest time comes harvest time worries---getting enough trucks to ship the grain to Washington. "If I can get the trucks, I'll be okay, so far it's all working out," said Rohbacher

Monday, July 26, 2010

Grasshoppers hatch


Grasshopper, originally uploaded by Steve's Photo Library.

Kuna--Grasshoppers have hatched across Southwest Idaho and according to Range Specialist Wally Butler they're hatching all at the same time and in scattered concentrations.

The Kuna Melba news reports that local farmer Sam Johnston has lost at least 130 acres of alfalfa in just two days. Johnson thinks he lost about $25,000.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gem County Grain Harvest

Emmett-The Gem County grain harvest got underway this weekend with combines working fields northeast of Emmett. Steve Ritter reports that Yields and Quality is excellent!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Just in from Milk Producers of Idaho



I.C.E. VISITING IDAHO BUSINESSES

Burley--Imigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have been visiting (raiding) businesses in Idaho over the past week looking for undocumented workers. Several employees were removed from a Treasure Valley Dairy last week and the agents are currently in the Magic Valley according to the Milk Producers of Idaho.


MPI reminds farmers that they're required to show the agents documentation regarding the nationality of employees (I-9) forms and that the I-9 documentation should be kept in a file separate from the full employee file. That's the file that farmers should present to the agents when asked for the documentation. If they want to interview employees, farmers can ask them to wait until the shift ends or set a future date for the interviews.


MPI says visits don’t appear to be full employment audits and the agents could be looking for specific individuals. MPI urges farmers to cooperate with the law enforcement personnel and let them know if they show up at their daries.


Western News


Map courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management

Ranchers Wage War of Words on Facebook

Boise--When the El Paso Corporation announced their shocking, precedent-setting, $20 million deal with two environmental groups to ‘not oppose’ the company’s planned Ruby Pipeline that runs through Wyoming to Oregon it raised some eyebrows. Western ranchers were shocked at first, now they’re fighting back on Facebook.

Tina Harrington of Lander, Wyoming posted her disappointment on El Paso’s Facebook page: “So sorry to see that you are involved with Western Watersheds. They have their own niche agenda, and it does not fit with what is practical and ethical. This alliance will make you VERY unpopular! Ranching is the heart of this country, and WWP would like to cut it out.”

El Paso will pay Jon Marvel’s Western Watersheds Project and the Oregon Natural Desert Association for not opposing the pipeline. They will be paid a mountain of cash for not filing lawsuits opposing the pipeline that will cut across prime range and wildlife habitat.

The week-old announcement is still playing out on Facebook and gaining momentum, with ranchers across three-state area outraged and perplexed by the multi-million dollar buyout and the reasoning behind it.

“It’s something we didn’t have to do. We chose to do it,” El Paso spokesman Richard Wheatley told the Elko Dailey Free Press on Friday. “The bottom line is we think it’s a preferable approach than being involved in litigation.” El Paso thinks the $20 million dollar deal is ‘in line with the company’s outreach efforts to be good stewards of the land,’ Wheatley said.

Wyoming, Idaho and Oregon Ranchers are outraged that the astronomical amount of cash will fill environmental group coffers with no oversight and worse yet will fund groups hell-bent on their destruction. The ranchers point out that the Watershed project has done very little habitat improvement on the range and say almost all the money will pay for lawyers that will in turn kick them off the land.

Rancher Jon Griggs of Elko, Nevada wrote on El Paso's Facebook Wall: “I admire your environmental efforts on Western lands but these groups you're funding will spend your money on litigation rather than conservation (unless you're really just buying them off, that I can totally understand).”


Rancher Troy Hadrick of Falkton, South Dakota posted a plea to the Natural Gas Company asking them to explain their reasoning for the buy out.


“I’m looking forward to a call back from your Community Relations department,” posted Hadrick. “About why you have chosen to give $20 million to environmental groups that are trying to put ranching families out of business.” The El Paso Corporation, besieged by posts, promised to call the rancher back.


Western Watershed’s Jon Marvel told the Elko Dailey Free Press that they would not delay or litigate Ruby Pipeline, he told the Press that El Paso is setting up a $15 million conservation fund for Western Watersheds and $5-million for the Oregon environmental group. He said they’ll use the cash to buy grazing permits from ranchers. He added that they will ask Congress to permanently retire grazing permits in these cases.


“It’s unprecedented to have the support of industry to work for the retirement of public grazing permits,” Marvel he told the Press, emphasizing that the fund would only buy permits from “willing sellers.”

On Western Watershed’s Facebook site there’s no mention of the buy out from El Paso Corporation. Ranch insiders say that's curious for a group that boasts their victories in court yet deftly spins major setbacks.

Marlina Jones from Owyhee county posted on the El Paso site asking questions, “why would you buy off Western Watershed? Just to save some time and litigation? I don't understand. Are you aware of the damage this group does to the American Rancher/Farmer, I suggest you do a little research on this group. I do not mean go to their website and read their propaganda, but the real stories of hard working people that they have ruined.”

Facebook users asked over and over again for El Paso to explain and examine their decision closely. They’re worried that the money that bought the group’s silence will in turn fund their destruction forever ending the legacy that not only settled the west, but feeds the country.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Panhandle Equine Rescue


Kiss my Horse 2, originally uploaded by Steve's Photo Library.

Athol--Why is this Mustang kissing Tony Mangan of Athol, Idaho? Well, Tony is a horse rescue advocate who rescued this magnificent wild mustang.

Read more about this compelling story in Quarterly magazine coming out in August. John Thompson and Steve Ritter spent the afternoon at Panhandle Equine Rescue in Athol and met the kissing Mustang; and learned about this compelling rescue operation from one of our North Idaho members.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

County Presidents' Summer Meeting


DSC_0788, originally uploaded by IdFarmBureau.

Idaho Farm Bureau County Presidents Meet

Post Falls--County Presidents will meet for the second day at Templin's Resort in Post Falls. Today the President will hear from Idaho's Congressional Cadidates, be briefed by Governmental Affairs and will recieve 'white papers' on state and national issues.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

IFBF Summer Presidents Meeting


Idaho Farm Bureau President Frank Priestley Greets Summer Presidents
Post Falls--Idaho Farm Bureau President Frank Priestley welcomed county presidents to the annual Summer Presidents meeting at Templin's Resort in Post Falls.

Priestley told the Presidents that he had just returned from Calgary and the PNWER meeting where they were briefed on the spreading of invasive weeds and species that have spread throughout the Northwest over the past decade.

Priestley also had the chance to attend the Calgary Stampede and the had the chance to cheer on Idaho's Matt Shiozowa who was the surprise winner of the calf-roping event.

"It was real exciting to be there," Priestley told the delegation, "The Canadian people next to us asked if by any chance we were from Pocatello," laughed Priestley.

Summer Presidents Meeting, Post Falls


Spokane River, by Jake Putnam

Coeur D'Alene--Idaho Farm Bureau County Presidents are meeting this morning in Post Falls for the annual Summer Presidents meeting. Here's the agenda for meetings today at Templin's Resort.

County Presidents' Summer Conference

Tuesday, July 20


1:00 p.m. Welcome - President Frank Priestley


Merganser & Red Head Rooms


1:15 p.m. Things you need to know to keep out of jail -


Member Services


2:00 p.m. Keeping you out of trouble - Phil Joslin


2:20 p.m. Break. Get ready to go on the tour.


2:30 p.m. Buses leave promptly for Chilco Mill.


5:30 p.m. Return to Templin's.


6:30 p.m. Dinner on East Beach

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nez Perce County Hay


Nez Perce County Hay, originally uploaded by Jake Putnam.

The hay crop is late in Nez Perce County. This field will bring top dollars for dairy grade hay. Long time Farm Bureau Field hand Wally Butler says this crop is one of the best he's seen in decades. Putnam photo

Idaho News


Matt Shiozawa ropes in Pendleton, Courtesy of the Pendleton Roundup
Idaho Roper wins Calgary Stampede

Calgary--Matt Shiozawa of Chubbuck won the final round of the Calgary Stampede on Sunday bagging $100,000 in prize money.
Shiozawa beat out Fred Whitfield in a rope-off after posting 7.4-second runs. In the rope-off, Shiozawa tied his calf in 6.5 seconds while Whitfield posted a 8.5 seconds. Shiozawa will comepete in the Snake River Stampede in Nampa on Friday.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Wheat Harvest 2010


Steve Ritter photo
Idaho Farmers could start harvesting next week

Boise--With a mini-heat wave working in favor of farmers, Treasure Valley farmers could start their 2010 harvest within the next 10 days. Some fields are tipping over due to heavy heads but a dry weather trend is favoring farmers.

North Idaho farmers started harvesting in some areas of the Palouse, Eastern Idaho is still two weeks to three weeks behind because of the long, cold spring.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Idaho Potato News


Camas County, Steve Ritter photo

Potato Acreages down in 2010

Washington--Too many potatoes on the market ruined what should have been a banner year for Spud farmers in 2009, This year farmers planted fewer acres with hopes of a brighter 2010 harvest.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Idaho growers planted an estimated 295,000 acres this year, that's down 8% from last year and the fewest acres since 1980. While the the United Potato Growers of Idaho say 292,571 acres were planted, the lowest acreage total since 1965.

Idaho farmers produce about 13 billion pounds of potatoes each year adding up to about one-third of the nation's fall spud crop. According to USDA stats, potato yields in Idaho last year were 411 hundredweight per acre, surpassing the previous record of 386 cwt.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

President's Editorial



Farm Bill Discussion Underway on Capitol Hill

by Frank Priestley, Idaho Farm Bureau President


Chances are good the 2012 Farm Bill will be negotiated and written during a difficult economic period. As history indicates, that means cuts to some farm programs are likely. As Congress begins the debate over crafting new farm legislation the American Farm Bureau Federation has outlined five key principles that should be followed as the new legislation is written.

The biggest challenge will be the budget. The budget baseline for many farm bill programs has decreased since the passage of the last farm bill in 2008. More than 30 programs included in the last bill do not have any baseline at all and the standard re-insurance agreement currently being negotiated threatens to rob even more spending baseline.

Most farmers are generally supportive of the safety net provided in the 2008 farm bill, but some believe the crop disaster program is inadequate. In some cases the coverage may be duplicative, according to AFBF. Crop disaster assistance is provided to farmers to help protect crops from natural disasters. This and many other farm programs help keep farms solvent during difficult economic periods. These programs, while some need reform, are vital to maintaining a domestic supply of food and in turn they help maintain our nation’s security.

The 2012 farm bill will be written in a difficult budget environment, but AFBF believes that five key principles should be followed during the rewrite process. The Farm Bureau’s five farm bill principles as follows:


  • The options AFBF supports will be fiscally responsible.

  • AFBF believes the basic funding structure of the 2008 farm bill should not be altered. In other words, money should not be shifted from one title of the farm bill to another.

  • The proposals AFBF supports will aim to benefit all agricultural sectors.

  • AFBF believes world trade rulings should be considered.

  • And AFBF believes consideration should be given to the stable business environment that is critical to success in agriculture.

An AFBF spokesman testifying in front of a congressional subcommittee said that today both crop insurance and the farm bill Commodity Title programs provide the option of support to farmers based on revenue losses and not strictly price or yield risk. Yet, despite this convergence of farm programs and crop insurance, there are still many farmers who fall between the cracks and have little protection from volatile markets and weather.

The bottom line is that crop insurance and farm programs have changed significantly over the past 20 years and these changes have left producers with different safety nets.

While many concepts, such as whole-farm revenue options, will undoubtedly be floated during the farm bill rewrite, Farm Bureau intends to keep an open mind, but will be guided by its five farm bill principles.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Idaho Summer Moon


July 13, 2010, originally uploaded by Jake Putnam.

Idaho sunsets are spectacular this time of year, last night's moon was no exception. With a low pressure system moving across the Gem State, the heat wave broke for a few days. Weather forecasters say that the hot days will return on Friday.

Just in from Washington



Farm Groups Urge Approval of Free Trade Agreements

Washington--The American Farm Bureau Federation and 41 other farm groups are urging Congress to swiftly approve free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. In a letter sent to Senate and House leaders, the farm groups urged congressional leaders to work with the administration to remove impediments to rapid implementation of FTAs with Colombia, Korea and Panama.

U.S. agriculture is losing sales to competitors in Canada, the European Union and other countries, which have moved to lock up trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, the groups noted in the letter.

The letter also pointed out that according to AFBF analysis, the U.S.-Colombia FTA, if and when it is implemented, would result in U.S. agricultural export gains of more than $815 million per year at full implementation.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Just in from Washington


US Capitol, originally uploaded by IdFarmBureau.

Farm Groups Urge Approval of Free Trade Agreements

Washington--The American Farm Bureau Federation and 41 other farm groups are urging Congress to swiftly approve free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

In a letter sent to Senate and House leaders, the farm groups urged congressional leaders to work with the administration to remove impediments to rapid implementation of FTAs with Colombia, Korea and Panama.

U.S. agriculture is losing sales to competitors in Canada, the European Union and other countries, which have moved to lock up trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, the groups noted in the letter.

The letter also pointed out that according to AFBF analysis, the U.S.-Colombia FTA, if and when it is implemented, would result in U.S. agricultural export gains of more than $815 million per year at full implementation.

Just in from Butte County


Butte County spuds, Steve Ritter photo
Arco-Butte County Farmers know their spud crop is late, but they say so far its looking good. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reports that the all-potato price for June, at $8.28 per cwt., was down $1.20 from the year before at the same time, and 29 cents lower than in May 2010.

The USDA’s Economic Research Service reports that from January through April, grower prices for fresh spuds averaged 18% lower than during the 2008-09 marketing season.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jerome County YF &R News


Jerome County Young Farmers and Ranchers, Summer Event, Held at Steadman's in Raft River.
Raft River--In this photo: John Greber, Megan Greber, Jason Anderson, Stephanie Anderson, Jordan Leak, Barbara Leak, Morgan Brune, Rick Brune, Caroline Clark Andersen, Mrs. Brandon Andersen

Friday, July 9, 2010

Camas County 1st Crop Hay


Camas County 1st Crop Hay, originally uploaded by Steve's Photo Library. Steve Ritter photo.

Camas County hay late

Fairfield--Camas County Farmers near Fairfield are cutting their first crop of hay this week, but farmers say the quality is excellent. The hay crop is two to three weeks behind schedule because of a late spring that saw snow into June and 30-degree morning temps over the 4th of July!

Just in from Washington


Ridley's market, photo by Steve Ritter

Retail Staple Food Prices Edge Higher in Second Quarter

Washington--Retail food prices at the supermarket increased slightly during the second quarter of 2010, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey. The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $47.20, up $1.66 or 4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2010. The total average price for the 16 items increased about 2 percent compared to one year ago.

Of the 16 items surveyed, nine increased and seven decreased in average price compared to the prior quarter. Sirloin tip roast, sliced deli ham, bacon, boneless chicken breasts and ground chuck increased the most in dollar value from quarter-to-quarter. Foods that dropped in price compared to the prior quarter included Russet potatoes, eggs, vegetable oil, shredded cheddar cheese and whole milk.

The year-to-year direction of AFBF’s Marketbasket Survey tracks with the federal government’s Consumer Price Index (www.bls.gov/cpi) report for food at home.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New Farm Bureau Member Benefit


Boise gardener Heather Glass--Putnam photo


Farm Bureau’s Farmer’s Market helps Members Market Crops

Pocatello-Idaho Farm Bureau Members now have a way of marketing homegrown produce and meats. Earlier this summer, the Idaho Farm Bureau started providing free advertising for produce through a new member benefit called the ‘IFBF Farmer’s Market.’

“The concept is simple,” explains Idaho Farm Bureau Benefits manager Joel Benson. “Our Idaho Farm Bureau website idahofb.org now has a site that lists all Farm Bureau members who sell produce locally.” Benson adds that from time to time the Farm Bureau magazines Quarterly and Producer will carry the list.

“At this point we will list produce or meat products for human consumption,” adds Benson. “Things like hay, crafts and tractors won’t be listed here.” Benson says that all you have to do to place an ad is to email, mail, or fax him: member’s name, FB membership number, list of produce available, when it’s available, how to locate the producer, phone number, and any special instructions.

You can email the information to Benson at: jbenson@idahofb.org, or call 208-239-4289.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Just in from Washington



AFBF Seeks Extension of Packers Rule

Washington--American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman wrote to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack seeking an extension of the comment period for proposed rules regarding the Packers and Stockyards Act. Stallman wants the Aug. 23 deadline be extended to Dec. 21 to provide more time to analyze the proposals.

"While we applaud USDA’s work to implement the provisions required under Title XI of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, this rule makes a multitude of additional changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act. The regulatory changes will impact each operation differently. The impact of this rule on producers will vary depending on the type of animal produced on an operation, the ways the producer markets his or her product, and the location of a producer’s operation relative to slaughter and processing facilities,” Stallman wrote.

At first glance, the rule addresses many of Farm Bureau’s concerns with the relationship between livestock and poultry producers and the processors. For example, the rule limits the circumstances under which processors can demand capital investments from poultry and swine producers. However, many other portions of the rule go beyond those issues clearly covered in policy and will require additional analysis before comments can be drafted.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

National Farm News


Beet dump near Parma


USDA: Farmers Prefer Biotech Crops--and saving money

WASHINGTON-American farmers are choosing genetically engineered crops over conventional counterparts, according to a new USDA report released just before the holiday break.

USDA’s report, Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the U.S. found that:

  • Adoption of GE soybeans is 93 percent in 2010.
    (up from 91 percent in 2009)

  • Adoption of all GE cotton climbed to 93 percent in 2010.
    (up from 88 percent in 2009)

  • Adoption of all biotech corn reached 86 percent in 2010.
    (up from 85 percent in 2009)

Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, Executive Vice President, Food and Agriculture for the Biotechnology Industry Organization said that farmers are looking to save money by cutting labor costs and pesticide use.

“As expected, this year’s data on adoption of genetically engineered crops provides more evidence that U.S. farmers continue to value biotech varieties of soybeans, cotton and corn for the economic and environmental benefits they provide," she says and since 1996 new innovations in science and technology have made modern agriculture more sustainable, "and agricultural biotechnology has played a key role in that trend,” said Lauritsen.

Canyon County Wheat cures


Wheat, originally uploaded by Steve's Photo Library.
Wheat Looking Good

Caldwell--Canyon County wheat is turning from green to gold over the long 4th of July weekend. Long hours of sunlight helped the process but cutting is still three weeks away.
--Steve Ritter photo

Friday, July 2, 2010

Just in from Washington


Jake Putnam photo


Stallman: Farm Bill Structure, Funding Critical to Safety Net

Washington--The 2012 farm bill must continue to provide the nation’s farmers a dependable safety net, but given today’s tight budget outlook, the legislation must also be fiscally responsible. The best way to do that is to maintain the basic funding structure and baseline of the 2008 farm bill, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman told members of the Senate Agriculture Committee before the holiday break.

Stallman told the committee that an overriding farm bill priority for Farm Bureau is to maintain balance and benefits for all farm sectors.

“It can be tempting for a single interest organization to say Congress should allocate more funding for programs that benefit only its producers without worrying about the impact of that funding shift on other commodities,” Stallman said. “Farm Bureau does not have that luxury and will seek balance for all producers.”

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bean news


Beans thriving in Gem County-Steve Ritter photo
Beans looking good, so far

Emmett--Idaho farmers planted about 100,000 acres of dry beans last year, and acreages should be about the same in 2010. Production is forecast to be 1.78 million hundredweight, but with inclimate weather and a late start its hard to project year end totals. Pinto beans will account for 35,000 acres in Idaho this year, followed by chickpeas or garbanzo beans, with 33,500 acres.

Jefferson County Fair

At the Jefferson County Fair in Rigby its fair time and all the action on this day is in the livestock barn.