2018 Variety Trials & Field Day Features Grain Marketing Specialist on June 28

Boundary County Variety Trials Field Day

The 2018 Boundary County Variety Trials and Field Day will be held Thursday, June 28, from 10am to 2:30 pm at Houck Farms, 5285 Farm to Market Road, Bonners Ferry, ID. The guided tour will examine the performance of dozens of new and old varieties of spring and winter wheat, spring and winter barley, spring canola and mustard planted by the University of Idaho on land owned by Houck Farms.

University of Idaho scientists will discuss results of their trials as well as pros and cons of various varieties, including yield, disease resistance, herbicide resistance, and general adaptation to different growing zones and practices. For the spring canola and mustard varieties, topics include variety selection, flea beetle control, new herbicides for canola, and disease control in Idaho.

A special presentation on marketing strategies will be presented by Brett Wilder, a University of Idaho graduate student in the Department of Agricultural Economics. With support from USDA Risk Management Education funds and the Idaho Barley Commission, Brett has created a nine-part video course entitled Commodity Marketing Using Futures and Options as a Risk Management Tool. It will be available for free on the University of Idaho Extension website, www.IdahoAgBiz.com later this summer. Brett will discuss the current market environment for our commodities, and different ways to maximize your returns while minimizing risk using common marketing techniques such as hedging tools, futures and options.

A hosted lunch provided by Houck Farms and Monsanto will be served. There is no charge for the tour. There will be two pesticide recertification credits offered for participants. Please call 208-267-3235 to reserve your spot. The field day agenda is available at https://tinyurl.com/2018VarietyTrials.


Cost-Share and Value-Added Producer Grants Workshop on Thursday, May 31

Please join us on Thursday, May 31, from 7-9pm, for a workshop featuring our North Idaho Rural Development and NRCS representatives to learn if you could benefit from grant programs for adding value to your farm business as well as cost-share programs for high tunnels and other projects. Government programs like these can be confusing, so our representatives will help guide you through the processes required for different programs. Bring your questions! There is a $3 charge for the class to cover handouts and refreshments. Please call 208-267-3235 to register, or email boundary@uidaho.edu. The class will be held in the meeting room at the Boundary County UI Extension Office, 6447 Kootenai St., Bonners Ferry, ID.

Field Day for Haygrowers Features Herbicide Updates, Pesticide Credits


The NE Washington Haygrowers’ Association is holding a field day on a farm near Newport, WA, this Saturday, April 21, from 9am-1:30pm. Topics include herbicide applications for timothy hay, ventenata control options, and problem weeds and insects in alfalfa will be discussed, as well as equipment calibration. Three pesticide recertification credits will be offered. Registration includes a catered lunch and is $10 for association members and $15 for nonmembers. The field day will be held at Black Cow Ranch, 6052 Deer Valley Rd., Newport, WA. To register, click here  or go to https://tinyurl.com/HayDay2018. For more information, see flyer.

What Can Soil Tests Do For You? Find out on Thursday, April 12, from 1-4 pm!


Our Thursday, April 12 class at the Boundary County UI Extension Office will teach you how to take soil tests and interpret their results. Gray Henderson, professor emeritus of soil science, will explain how various nutrients interact with soil properties and how best to amend your soil for your purposes. In addition, we will measure the pH of a soil and a water sample for you. Dr. Henderson will compare lab results from various regional laboratories in terms of cost (there is a huge variation), results, and interpretations. He also shows you results of a garden test kit that you can do yourself. There will also be a drawing for a free comprehensive soil sample ($50 value). Call 208-267-3235 or email to reserve your spot!

Bonners Ferry Cereal School Presents Market Updates, Blackleg Survey Results & More

The 2018 North Idaho Cereal School in Bonners Ferry on January 24 included market updates from the Idaho Wheat and Barley Commissions, as well as presentations on wheat quality issues, field burning updates, an herbicide update, the status of blackleg on brassicas in Idaho, and an economic update. You can view these presentations at the links below. In addition, you may be interested in some of the resources listed below.

Wheat Research, Production and Marketing Issues Update
by Britany Hurst, Idaho Wheat Commission

Barley Research, Production and Marketing Issues Update
by Kelly Olson, Idaho Barley Commission

Cereal and Cool Season Pulse Variety Update; Managing Soil Acidity
by Kurt Schroeder, UI Cropping Systems Agronomist

2017 Canola Variety Trials and a Report on the Blackleg Epidemic
by Kurt Schroeder, UI Cropping Systems Agronomist

Grass and Broadleaf Weed Control in Wheat Cropping Systems:
Recent field studies of new herbicides/mixes
by Traci Rauch, UI Weed Science Program Research Scientist

Today’s Profitability Crisis in Dryland Grain Production
by Kate Painter, Extension Educator, Boundary County 

Marketing and Budgeting Resources

Cereal School in Bonners Ferry features updates on herbicides, variety trials, and blackleg

laptop in field
This year’s North Idaho Cereal School in Bonners Ferry, ID, features industry leaders and university researchers bringing you the latest information on weed and disease control, pest issues, and variety trial results on Wednesday, Jan. 24, from 9am to 2pm at the Boundary County Extension Office,6447 Kootenai St., Bonners Ferry, ID. The Idaho wheat and barley commissions sponsor eight “cereal school” workshops across the state and provide lunch for participants. Pesticide recertification credits will be available as well. There is no cost for this workshop, but you need to call our office at 208-267-3235 or email kpainter@uidaho.edu to register for the event. For more information, or to register via mail, you can download the brochure here.


New Pasture Calendar is a Year-Round Management Guide

pasture calendar bulletin
Optimal management is described for forage producers throughout the year in this new guide for western Washington and western Oregon producers. You will find that this guide is quite relevant for North Idaho in many ways. It explains what your forages are doing at different periods of the year, and how you can positively or negatively affect forage quality and quantity.

This new bulletin describes how to manage each stage of forage production, from dormancy through regrowth and back to dormancy. Additional information is presented on pasture clipping, nitrates in forages, the nitrogen cycle, alternative forage crops, and endophyte toxins in forage. You will find a great deal of information in very usable graphic forms throughout this 55-page guide.

Cropping Systems Conference in Kennewick, WA, January 9-10, Focuses on Soil Health, Direct Seeding, and Healthy Food

laptop in field
The annual Cropping Systems Conference at the Tri-Cities Conference Center in Kennewick, WA, is producer oriented, focusing on improving yields and your bottom line, using the latest research, technology, and techniques. This two-day conference on January 9 and 10 has an extensive trade show featuring the latest machinery and technology.  There are six keynote speakers and six educational tracks, featuring cover crops, precision ag, soil health, direct seeding, ag business, and consumer trends and marketing.  Early bird registration ends this Friday, Dec. 15, so you may want to check out this year’s schedule and speakers. For more information, go to http://www.directseed.org/events/annual-conference/.

Growing Sustainable Small Farms in Idaho

IASFIYF with logos
Helping a new generation of farmers take root is the goal of a University of Idaho Extension workshop series, “Starting Your Sustainable Small Farm in Idaho.”

The workshop series will begin with an introductory webinar Jan. 8 from 6-7 p.m. PST, three all-day in-class sessions, a wrap-up event and two farm tours.

The all-day sessions are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 13; Saturday, Feb. 3 and Saturday, March 3 from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Pacific Time at several locations including: Bonners Ferry, Caldwell, Cascade, Driggs, Moscow, Sandpoint, Kamiah and Weiser. The wrap-up event will be March 29. Following the day-long workshops, farm tours will be scheduled for local participants at each location.

“The workshop series will help those aspiring to operate small farms and ranches take a realistic look at their goals and resources.” said Iris Mayes, UI Extension Latah County small farms and horticulture educator in Moscow.

“The goal is that at each site we build this community,” she said. “That’s very different from just watching a webinar.”

Jan. 6 is the registration deadline for the workshop series. Students will learn about:

  • Assessing goals and resources
  • Evaluating crop and livestock options
  • Completing a whole-farm plan
  • Exploring farming and ranching systems
  • Consulting with experienced farmers

The course fee is $115 for one registrant, $35 for additional adult registrations and $5 for additional youth registrants. Some partial scholarships are available.

More information and registration instructions are available online at www.cultivatingsuccess.org/syssf. UI Extension faculty in Bonners Ferry, Caldwell, Cascade, Driggs, Moscow, Sandpoint, Kamiah and Weiser will organize local sessions.

A $506,122 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture expands on a 15-year effort by the UI Extension Small Farms Program that has enrolled nearly 600 students across Idaho in the Cultivating Success training program. For more information, call Kate Painter at 208-267-3235.

Pesticide Applicators Recertification Training on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 1:30-5pm

This training if  designed for pesticide applicators that are currently licensed and need to earn recertification credits. Topics include controlling pocket gophers and other rodents using integrated pest management techniques; organic pesticide options for small orchard growers, and environmental fate of pesticides. Three pesticide recertification credits are anticipated.

Please call Boundary County Extension at 208-267-3235 to pre-register. $5 charge at the door. Class will be held at the Boundary County Extension Office, 6447 Kootenai St., Bonners Ferry. The same course is also offered in Bonner County from 8:30 to noon at 4205 N. Boyer Ave. in Sandpoint.