Farming

David G. Massey / AP Photo

We all know Idaho’s connection to potato chips and fries. But what about that peppermint gum you keep in your car?

Jimmy Emerson / Flickr Creative Commons

Last year, the cold and wet winter evolved into a cold and wet spring, presenting a swath of challenges for producers. But milder conditions have prevailed so far this season. According to the Capital Press, growers from Nyssa to New Plymouth are reporting a good start to the summer.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Winds from the Pacific coast bring much-needed rains to dry Southern Idaho this time of year. For wheat farmers, they may also carry a tiny threat: fungal spores, which cause stripe rust.

Sadie Babits / Boise State Public Radio

For the second year in a row, Idaho farmers will have ample water to keep their fields watered this season.

 


Diana Robinson via Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho may be known as the land of potatoes, but some farmers are beginning to turn to canola as a new cash crop.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

Idaho’s economy relies heavily on agriculture and farmers need good soil to keep their crops growing. But keeping soil healthy is a challenge around the globe and in Idaho.

Erin Colonna / Flickr Creative Commons

When it comes to hop farming, the Pacific Northwest is king. Washington State leads the pack but Idaho eclipsed Oregon in 2017.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A district judge has ruled in favor the Dry Creek Valley Coalition in the Treasure Valley.


Skip Russell / Flickr Creative Commons

The Magic Valley is known for its agricultural clout. But beyond giant dairy farms and the row crops, there’s an aquatic economy that’s literally hopping.

Julie Falk / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s been a frustrating spring for southwest Idaho farmers. Abnormal weather has been causing problems and delaying planting for many of those who grow sugar beets, onions and other crops.

Canyon County Extension agent Jerry Neufeld says the constant spring rain has really slowed the process down. Farmers who normally have all their spring planting done by now are seeing their workload start to backup.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Boise State University professor Jodi Brandt learned quickly after she moved to Boise a little more than a year ago that Treasure Valley residents are concerned about recent shifts in land use, as more farms are sold and turned into housing developments. Along with a team at Boise State, Brandt is building a map to chart and project these changes.

Purple Sage Farms

If you visit the Boise Farmers Market in the summer, you’ve probably seen Tim Sommer and his family selling greens. They’ve owned Purple Sage Farms in Middleton since 1988, and sell to local restaurants in the Treasure and Wood River Valleys.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

There’s a legal fight going on over control of water in the Treasure Valley. The rhetoric in the fight has been intense. One side even has an ad campaign. 

Imagine a movie-theater preview voice comes up over cheery music reminiscent of a babbling brook. 

“Irrigation water, it makes the Treasure Valley a lush green miracle instead of a desert landscape. Imagine a typical 105 degree summer day. Now imagine your irrigation water is completely shut off to your lawn, garden, farm or favorite park.” The music stops.

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

"Nitrate" may as well be a four-letter word in the small town of Ashton, Idaho.

The eastern Idaho town of 1,200 people is about 20 miles from the border of Wyoming. Settlers in the area in the 1890s quickly took advantage the fertile volcanic soil beneath their feet, and began diverting water to irrigate the land. Seed potatoes are the big cash crop, though wheat, barley and hay also contribute to the local economy.

Idaho Department of Water Resources

It’s no secret that Eastern Idaho has a water problem. There is too much demand and too little water in the Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer to go around. But how did we get to this point? That’s what this chart is all about.

About 100 years ago, there was roughly 4,000 cubic feet per second of water coming out of the aquifer at Thousand Springs. It’s important to note that’s not how much water was in the aquifer, just how much was flowing out.

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