Idaho Department Of Agriculture

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Idaho is dispatching a trade mission to the Far East on November 10. Twenty-one organizations and businesses will have meetings in Taiwan and Vietnam over the course of the eight day trip.


Molly Messick / Boise State Public Radio

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the value of Idaho's agricultural production was down six percent in 2016.

Tatters / Flickr Creative Commons

A popular but toxic landscaping plant blamed for more than a hundred wildlife deaths over the last two winters isn’t going to be listed as a noxious weed.

Dan Brubaker Horst / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho officials have extended the deadline for farmers to dispose of spoiled or damaged onions following the collapse of many onion storage facilities in southwestern Idaho due to heavy snow.

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday that the March 15 deadline has been extended to April 15.

Agriculture Director Celia Gould says the temporary rule will give onion farmers some flexibility in dealing with the massive disposal effort. She says many facilities are reporting total losses.

Idaho Department of Agriculture

Officials from across the U.S. Northwest hope it's not too late to contain invasive mussels found for the first time in Montana.

State Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials announced Nov. 8 that larvae were discovered in the Tiber Reservoir, The Spokesman-Review reported.

During a meeting of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region coalition in Boise this week, officials from Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana and three Canadian provinces discussed the troubling development.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Earlier in this series, we told you about the importance of ground water in Idaho. The state relies on underground aquifers and private wells to quench the thirst of 90-95 percent of the population.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) is encouraging all its members to make a plan to protect pollinating insects and most states are doing that or have already adopted one. Dudley Hoskins with NASDA says the plans are needed because bees face a variety of threats.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

In 2014, Idaho ag exports hit a record value of more than $1 billion. Levels like that now seems like a distant memory.

Screengrab Idahowines.org

The Idaho Wine Commission will be working to promote and expand Idaho's wine industry thanks to two grants from the Idaho State Department of Agriculture.

The Capital Press reports that the grants, totaling about $118,000, are for two of 15 specialty crop projects submitted to USDA's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program for funding approval, expected in September.

Idaho has more than 50 wineries and 1,300 vineyards. According to the wine commission, the Idaho wine industry has about a $170 million economic impact.

Idaho Department of Agriculture

Idaho officials intercepted a boat Tuesday on U.S. Highway 93 that was carrying a potentially harmful invasive species.

The boat was moored in Lake Mead, Nevada, which is infested with quagga and zebra mussels. When it entered Idaho, the owners were required to stop at one of the state’s 16 inspection stations to ensure none of the invasive species were brought into the state.

But Lloyd Knight, with Idaho’s Department of Agriculture, said that’s not what happened.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Agricultural exports, a major segment of Idaho’s economy, took a 22 percent drop last year. That’s a decline of more than $200 million. Domestic ag sales were down in 2015 as well, as were the state’s non-ag exports, but neither saw as steep a drop as agricultural exports.

Roughly a quarter of Idaho ag products go overseas. And the going over the sea part was some of the problem according to Laura Johnson, market development manager at Idaho’s Department of Agriculture. Issues at west coast ports hurt sales to Asia.

Jean-François Chénier / Flickr

Ducks and geese may be missing from Idaho's county fairs as state officials are recommending a ban on waterfowl to fight the spread of bird flu.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the Idaho State Department of Agriculture plans to release a recommendation this week that fair boards prohibit showing ducks and other waterfowl. Such birds can be asymptomatic, meaning they can spread the disease while appearing healthy.

Rob Cruickshank / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture has set up 3,000 traps in southwest Idaho and budgeted $400,000 to fight a Japanese beetle infestation.

Agency spokesman Lloyd Knight says the department is also treating areas with insecticides to prevent the beetles from multiplying.

The beetles attack more than 300 different ornamental and agricultural plants, as well as flowers and fruit.

The larvae are also destructive, feeding on grass roots and damaging lawns, golf courses and parks.

Japanese beetles started multiplying in the Boise area in 2011.

Mike Cooper / Department of Agriculture

Little torpedo-like bug traps have recently popped up around downtown Boise.  They're designed to catch Japanese beetles.  Here’s why the Department of Agriculture has declared war on the insects.

“Roses, blackberries, fruit trees, I’ve seen them feed on dogwoods and apple trees, and a number of ornamentals” Mike Cooper, with the Idaho Department of Agriculture, lists off all the things Japanese beetles destroy.  In fact, the beetles feed on over 300 plants.