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July 2013 • Volume 17, Issue 5

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Power Project Threatens Private Property Rights

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Yogurt Maker Expected to Tighten Milk Supply

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Idaho Farm Bureau

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Elementary Students Visit Washington County Ranch


Farm Bureau, Full Speed Ahead By Bob Stallman AFBF President

Baseball legend Yogi Berra once said that if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else. While this seems completely logical, I’m always surprised at how many organizations don’t have a strategic plan to achieve their goals.

Transmission Project Threatens Farms, Ranches By Frank Priestley President Idaho Farm Bureau Federation

An unknown number of unfortunate Idaho farm and ranch families are about to learn the mean-

Beware of a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing By Rick Keller CEO Idaho Farm Bureau Federation

Attributed to the ancient Greek slave storyteller Aesop, we are familiar with this story of a wolf: “Once upon a time a wolf resolved to disguise his appear2

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

The Ag Agenda At a time of Washington gridlock, when not much of anything is being resolved, Farm Bureau is not only seeing action on three of its policy priorities, we are setting the course. We are being proactive and strategic in recognizing and making the most of opportunities to move our policy agenda forward. The American Farm Bureau has set its policy goals and a plan of attack and we are now

moving full speed ahead.

ing of the phrase “Step back and let the big dogs eat.”

700 miles of the project is slated to cross private land.

Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power are preparing to create a right-of-way across southern Idaho to accommodate a massive power transmission corridor called Gateway West.

In spite of the fact that 63 percent of Idaho is controlled by the federal government and ample amounts of that public land are available for this and projects like it, the utilities are planning on taking the path of least resistance – in other words, private land. The cheapest, easiest, most efficient route provides the utility companies and their shareholders

We all need power and infrastructure upgrades are necessary. However, the proposed route of this 250-foot wide, 990 mile-long project will come at a significant cost to many landowners. Over

ance in order to secure food more easily. Encased in the skin of a sheep, he pastured with the flock deceiving the shepherd by his costume.” The meaning of the fable is there are individuals or groups who hide malicious intent under the guise of kindness. More and more often the U.S. Forest Service and the BLM are becoming the reality of this fable by hiding their malicious intent. In the West, these agencies are aggressively seeking to expand

Anchors Up First up on Farm Bureau’s agenda is passage of the farm bill. The Senate passed its farm bill in June and the House is expected to begin floor deliberation soon. We are pleased with the Senate bill, which protects and strengthens the federal crop insurance proSee STALLMAN, page 6

See PRIESTLEY, page 22

federal government ownership of state water rights by requiring modifications to permit renewals that would grant them joint ownership of water rights. If the permit is subsequently terminated by the individual, those jointly held water rights are relinquished to the federal government. These permits range from grazing permits to permits for ski areas. The agencies’ guise is to conserve and sustain forest and See KELLER, page 6


Volume 17, Issue 5

IFBF OFFICERS

President ................................... Frank Priestley, Franklin Vice President ..................................Mark Trupp, Driggs Executive Vice President .............................. Rick Keller BOARD OF DIRECTORS Bryan Searle ............................................................Shelley Scott Bird .......................................................... Pocatello Chris Dalley ....................................................... Blackfoot Dean Schwendiman ........................................... Newdale Danny Ferguson ........................................................Rigby Scott Steele ..................................................... Idaho Falls Gerald Marchant .................................................. Oakley Rick Pearson ................................................... Hagerman Mike Garner.............................................................. Declo Curt Krantz ............................................................ Parma Mike McEvoy..................................................... Middleton Tracy Walton ....................................................... Emmett Marjorie French .............................................. Princeton Bob Callihan . ...................................................... Potlatch Tom Daniel ............................................... Bonners Ferry Carol Guthrie ......................................................... Inkom Cody Chandler ..................................................... Weiser STAFF Dir. of Admin. Services ....................... Nancy Shiozawa Dir. of Organization............................... Dennis Brower Commodities & Marketing Assistant ........... Peg Pratt Member Services Assistant . ................... Peggy Moore Publice Relations Assistant ..................... Dixie Ashton Dist. I Regional Manager .......................... Justin Patten Dist. II Regional Manager ....................... Kendall Keller Dist. III Regional Manager .................. Charles Garner Dist. IV Regional Manager ..........................Brody Miller Dist. V Regional Manager ...................... Bob Smathers Dir. of Governmental Affairs ...............Russ Hendricks Asst. Dir. of Governmental Affairs ... Dennis Tanikuni Range/Livestock Specialist..........................Wally Butler Director of Public Relations ............. John Thompson Video Services Manager ............................ Steve Ritter Broadcast Services Manager .................... Jake Putnam Office Manager, Boise ................... Julie Christoffersen Member Services Manager ........................ Joel Benson Printed by: Owyhee Publishing, Homedale, ID GEM STATE PRODUCER USPS #015-024, is published monthly except February, May, August and November by the IDAHO FARM BUREAU FEDERATION, 275 Tierra Vista Drive, Pocatello, ID 83201. POSTMASTER send changes of address to: GEM STATE PRODUCER P.O. Box 4848, Pocatello, ID 83205-4848. Periodicals postage paid at Pocatello, Idaho, and additional mailing offices. Subscription rate: $6.00 per year included in Farm Bureau dues.

MAGAZINE CONTACTS: Idaho Farm Bureau Federation EDITOR (208) 239-4292 • ADS (208) 239-4279 E-MAIL: dashton@idahofb.org www.idahofb.org

Cover: Bear Lake County Farm Bureau President Jim Parker shot this photograph recently along the shore of Bear Lake. He was looking for a photograph of the full moon when a blackbird lit on a dead branch allowing him to frame up this unique image. Photo by Jim Parker

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo speaks during recent a press conference at the Chobani Yogurt plant in Twin Falls County.

Officials Support Adding Greek Yogurt to School Lunch Program By John Thompson Dairy industry officials who support an effort to include Greek yogurt in the school lunch program held a press conference on May 28th at the new Chobani plant in Twin Falls County. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo expects the U.S. Department of Agriculture to announce a four-state pilot project that will include Greek, or “strained” yogurt in school lunches. “We are hoping that Idaho is one of the four states,” Crapo said. “If we can get that designation we can help expand awareness of this incredible product across the nation.” Chobani Yogurt Company hosted the press conference and recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. The company’s second plant is a one million square foot facility in Twin Falls County that came online last fall. It is currently operating at about one fourth of its capacity and employs 600 people. Dairy and agriculture groups touted the economic development Chobani has produced in the Magic Valley. Bob Naerebout, executive director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association said Idaho’s all-milk price has increased by $1.20 per hundredweight in comparison to California’s all-milk price since Chobani started making yogurt last November. That’s an expected $160 million annual boost for the Magic Valley economy. See GREEK YOGURT page 4 Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

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GREEK YOGURT

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Idaho Farm Bureau President Frank Priestley said Idaho’s dairy industry supports farm families from all across the southern half of the state. “Idaho’s dairy industry has risen to the forefront of Idaho agriculture,” he said. “It’s a big economic driver. It supports farms that produce feed as well as hundreds of other jobs from veterinarians to truck drivers.” Priestley added that Greek yogurt is a healthy alternative to the many choices in the American diet today. It’s low in fat, low in sugar, high in protein, an excellent source of calcium and contains bacterial cultures that aid in digestion. “We believe this product should be added to USDA’s school lunch program and we thank Chobani for locating here in southern Idaho,” he said. Chobani Chief Financial Officer Jim McConeghy said USDA’s rules need to be changed in terms of allowing nutrition to be defined by protein content rather than

serving size in order to make them advantageous to Greek yogurt. Those discussions are underway and he complimented Senator Crapo for helping to influence the rules. Greek yogurt has risen rapidly in popularity among consumers in recent years. However, U.S. consumers only eat a fraction of some other nations on a per capita basis. Europeans eat seven times as much Greek yogurt per capita while Canadians consume twice as much compared to U.S. consumers, McConeghy said. The new Twin Falls plant, which is over one million square feet and was built in 326 days, is currently using two million pounds of milk per day, McConeghy said. Capacity is eight million pounds of milk per day. The company has a supply contract with the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA). Chobani officials are hopeful that they can ramp production up to capacity soon but are uncertain about procurement

in the Magic Valley where supplies are somewhat tight with competition from other milk processing companies and cheese plants. Chobani officials held a meeting the day following the press conference to discuss procurement with dairy organizations. Officials from Glambia Foods also attended the meeting. The Chobani company started in New York in a plant formerly owned by Kraft Foods. Founder Hamdi Ulukaya wanted to produce Greek style yogurt that he was used to eating in his home country of Turkey but was unable to buy here in the U.S. McConeghy said Ulukaya got a small business loan and spent about two years working on his recipe. The company produced its first yogurt for the market in 2007. “During the first month after Chobani opened we sold 200 to 300 cases of yogurt,” McConeghy said. “Last week this plant alone produced 900,000 cases.”

The largest companies processing Idaho milk into other products or selling fluid milk are as follows: Glanbia Foods is the world’s largest producer of American style cheese. The company processes about 11 million pounds of milk per day in Idaho.

Gossner Cheese, one of the nation’s leading Swiss cheese manufacturers, uses about 1.5 million pounds of Idaho milk per day.

Jerome Cheese, a division of Davisco Foods, processes three to four million pounds of Idaho milk per day.

Brewster Cheese, also a leader in Swiss cheese production uses about one million pounds of Idaho milk per day.

Idaho Milk Products produces milk protein isolate, milk protein concentrate, milk permeate and cream. The company processes about 3.5 million pounds of Idaho milk per day.

High Desert Milk produces powdered milk and butter; using 2.5 to three million pounds of Idaho milk per day.

Commercial Creamery produces specialty food ingredients and uses 3.5 to four million pounds of Idaho milk per day. Lactalis American Group, a producer of cheese and whey products, uses about four million pounds of Idaho milk per day. 4 #

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Darigold produces a wide variety of dairy products and uses two to three million pounds of Idaho milk per day. There are also two fluid milk plants in the Treasure Valley and several smaller operations using less than one million pounds of Idaho milk per day.


Chobani Expected to Tighten MV Milk Supply By John Thompson Once it’s up and running full steam, a new Greek Yogurt plant in Twin Falls County will process eight to ten million pounds of milk per day, making it the second biggest user of milk in the state. Chobani Yogurt is currently using about two million pounds of milk per day – about a quarter of the new plant’s potential. Chobani officials recently held a meeting to discuss milk procurement with farmers, other milk processing companies and dairy cooperatives. Industry insiders don’t expect Chobani to have any difficulty finding the milk they need, but that could spell trouble for other Magic Valley milk processing companies. Idaho’s dairy industry still has some room to grow, but not much. Most of the growth is expected in Minidoka and Cassia counties, where permits are in place to allow up to 85,000 head of milk cows. Jerome and Gooding counties, where a majority of Idaho’s 570,000 dairy cows are housed, are not likely to approve permits for any new dairies. Further east, weather is a limiting factor which forces dairy operators to construct free stall sheds rather than the open lot systems that are predominant in the Magic Valley. However, in spite of having permits for expansion in place, constructing new dairies is a high risk investment at the present time and is not expected, according to Rick Naerebout of

the Idaho Dairymen’s Association. “It’s a function of profitability or lack thereof,” Naerebout said. “Although we expect to continue to see a two to three percent annual production increase brought about by new technology and better genetics, we are seeing very little expansion on the producer side compared to what we have historically experienced.” Naerebout added that feed availability is the biggest hindrance to dairy expansion. High corn prices have continued to prop up the cost of all forages making margins too thin to make expansion economically feasible. Milk is currently returning about $18 per hundredweight to Idaho farms, which is at or near the break-even point. Chobani officials did not return telephone calls seeking comment for this article. The company has a full supply contract in place with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a 13,000 member cooperative based in Kansas City, Missouri. Naerebout says Chobani’s profit margins are higher than the commodity cheese plants located in the Magic Valley, meaning the yogurt maker isn’t expected to struggle to procure the raw product it needs. “Chobani has never asked for milk that hasn’t been able to show up in short order,” he said. “The reason is their willingness to pay a higher price for it. Getting the plant up to capacity is going to be more of a factor

Chobani, a Greek yogurt company based in New York recently began operating a one million square-foot plant in Twin Falls County. In this photograph, Idaho Farm Bureau President Frank Priestley, left, speaks with Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya.

of demand for yogurt that milk supply.” Currently, Idaho dairies produce about 37 million pounds of milk per day. According to the USDA, Idaho set a new production record in 2012. Idaho is currently the third largest milk production state in the U.S. behind California and Wisconsin. In 1970 Idaho dairies produced 1.4 billion pounds of milk, valued at $73 million with an average annual per cow production of 9,793 pounds. In 2011 Idaho had 577 dairy farm operations that produced 13.2 billion pounds of milk valued at $2.4 billion, with a per cow average of 23,863. Overall demand for yogurt is increasing by as much as 7.5 percent per year in the U.S. That growth is largely attributed to the increasing popularity of Greek yogurt, a healthier alternative with less sugar and more protein than traditional

yogurt. A recent report from Mintel, a market research firm, expects retail sales of all yogurts to grow by 5 to 7 percent per year through 2017. A report from Packaged Facts, another market research firm, estimates the U.S. retail market for yogurt at $7.3 billion this year, up 6.6 percent over last year. The Greek yogurt segment is singlehandedly responsible for the growth, according to the report. The surge in sales has happened over the last five years with Greek yogurt owning just a sliver of the market share in 2007. Innovative marketing is also fueling the growth in sales. Frozen Greek yogurt is gaining popularity and some companies, including Chobani, have released special packaging to induce children. It’s also been picked up by the food service industry with penetration on restaurant menus at 18 percent, a 20 percent increase over five years ago.

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STALLMAN

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gram while not reducing its funding. It also provides farmers varied safety net options through the commodity program. While the debate in the House will be more divisive than the Senate debate, the farm bill is still steaming ahead. I am optimistic we will see a new farm bill enacted this fall before the current one expires.

ers can’t wait any longer for an agricultural labor program that works. But, I am confident we are up to the task. All Hands

As soon as the Senate passed the farm bill, it turned its attention to another Farm Bureau priority—the immigration reform bill, which includes important agricultural labor provisions that Farm Bureau helped to create. We expect a robust floor debate, but I’m confident the Senate will pass this monumental legislation.

The Senate’s passage of the Water Resources Development Act in May was another major milestone on the American Farm Bureau’s policy agenda. About four years overdue for reauthorization, WRDA, which focuses on upgrading waterway shipping infrastructure such as locks and dams, is finally on the move in Congress. Having an efficient and reliable inland waterway system in addition to competitive ports are vital to America’s ability to provide affordable agricultural products domestically and to compete internationally.

The hill is steeper on the House side for immigration reform. Farm Bureau will need to work even harder to remind House members why farmers and ranch-

Again, because of politics as usual, things are expected to be more challenging on the House side. Farm Bureau members will need to urge their members of Con-

gress to rise above politics and support U.S. agriculture’s global competitiveness. To those representatives from states that don’t border the Mississippi River, its tributaries or other inland waterways, we’ll need to remind them that more than 60 percent of our grain exports move on our inland waterways system. Politics in Washington has always focused as much on who is up and who is down as it has on the details and content of actual policy. I believe the action so far on Farm Bureau’s issues shows that our new strategic way of representing our farm and ranch members clearly has us on the rise. While many only throw up their hands in despair against the stiff breeze of political gridlock, we adjust our sail, and powered by the force of our grassroots strength, we move deliberately toward our policy goals.

KELLER

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federal lands, ensuring the long-term sustainability of publicly owned natural resources on public lands. However, it is a covert design to wrest sovereign water rights from the states. The tragedy to the permit holders is that compliance is strongly implied in order to secure the much-needed permits. An overriding and fundamental concern of Farm Bureau is that the Forest Service and BLM must respect state water law and pertinent Supreme Court decisions. This perspective is borne out by congressional directives to the agencies. It is a matter of long-standing federal statute and it has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. There is no provision in federal law authorizing or permitting the Forest Service or the BLM to require that owners 6

An overriding and fundamental concern of Farm Bureau is that the Forest Service and BLM must respect state water law and pertinent Supreme Court decisions of lawfully acquired water rights surrender those rights, or a portion of those rights, to the agencies. By contrast, there are numerous instances in federal statutes that underscore just the opposite, viz., that existing water rights, as determined by state law, should be respected by the federal government. Farm Bureau strongly urges the Forest Service and BLM to:

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

• Not use the permit process to extort or coerce permit applicants to surrender rights they would not otherwise freely give up; • Respect and abide by state water law; • Where they may identify particular needs that cannot be met under the existing regimen, follow the lawful and accepted practice of making legislative recommendations to Congress, where such policy decisions rightfully should be decided. If you feel you are being strong-armed or forced to surrender your rights in order to obtain a permit, call your congressional representative. Idaho’s delegation are excellent advocates for these rights. The wolves in sheep’s clothing need to be stopped.


Leaky Canal Threatens Payette Crops Article and photos by Steve Ritter It all started June 1st. Leaking water, from the Northside Canal located directly above state highway 52 created small landslides forcing closure of the road. The canal is owned and operated by the Emmett Irrigation District. The water seeping from the 100 year-old concrete lined waterway had to be stopped. The canal supplies water to about a 1,000 farmers who irrigate 18,000 acres of cropland. And with warm temperatures crops are beginning to thrive. June 3rd – “We’re concerned; we have been for quite some time over that stretch of the canal. If we lose our water this corn behind me is done. It won’t make it and with $800 an acre into it we would be in bad shape,” says farmer Tracy Walton who has 1,000 acres of irrigated crops in the impact zone. “We are looking at several different methods of repair but in the short term farmers can help by conserving water use”, says Emmett Irrigation District Superintendent Mike Mitchell. Less use means less weight stress on the already weak mountainside that holds the canal in place. “It’s unnerving; to learn we may get our water shutoff,” says farmer Steve Ethington, “everything needs water right now.” June 10th. Emmett Irrigation District decides to temporarily shut down and repair the canal. Water shut-off to crops must occur but with cooling temperatures and a repair plan of five days, farmers are in agreement, it’s the best solution to avoid a total disaster.

Workers repair a section of the Northside Canal in Gem County.

By the afternoon, a wind arose that did a good job drying the concrete portions of the canal. The next day, Tuesday the 11th, sandblasting the canal started in preparation for the application of a product called Aquaplastic. By Wednesday morning, the product was being applied. It was also applied on Thursday. See CANAL REPAIR page 8 Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

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CANAL REPAIR

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Developed in Washington, the product was used to coat about 800 feet of the concrete canal. In most areas of the canal, the product will be up to 200 millimeters thick, Doug Harkness, foreman from Matheson Painting said. This product has been used for about 16 years in this type of application. In areas of deep cracks, a special membrane was put in place, sandwiched between two layers of the compound. Also, on June 10, the Board of Commissioners of Gem County signed a 30-day declaration for a local disaster dealing with the uncontrolled landslide above Highway 52. The declaration is a required first step to being able to obtain more funds and/or resources from state or federal agencies if the situation becomes worse, Gem County Deputy Prosecutor Time McNeese said. Friday June 14th - Water is turned back on. The temperatures moderated and farmers have dodged a crisis. “Some crops showed minor stress, but we came out of the week in pretty good shape”, said Walton. “We are real confident this will take care of

Gem County farmer Steve Ethington.

the leaks,” Mike Mitchell, EID water manager said. In the short term water is flowing and the highway department is able to manage the landslide and keep one lane of the road

open with a controlled stop light. In the long term, time will tell. A new canal may need to be cut through the rocky mountain to fix a long running problem for farmers and travelers along highway 52.

Highway 52 in Gem County has been limited to one lane of travel due to a canal leak that caused a landslide. 8

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The lifeblood of America . They’re the humble heroes who rise before dawn and battle the elements. They put clothes on our backs and food on our tables. Their genuine values and tireless work ethic are an inspiration to us all. We appreciate all that America’s farmers do and invite you to join us in saying thanks at www.fbfs.com/SayThanksToAFarmer.

/SayThanksToAFarmer FB02-ID (7-13)

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Focus on Agriculture

Conservation Compliance and a Strong Crop Insurance Program By Mary Kay Thatcher Farm Bureau recently joined with a large and diverse coalition of agricultural, crop insurance, conservation and environmental organizations to support the “re-linking” of compliance with conservation programs by farmers receiving crop insurance premium assistance. This came as a surprise to some people, as much of agriculture argued against including compliance amendments in the farm bill debated on the Senate floor in 2012.  Why did Farm Bureau join in this coalition effort? Because the other half of the agreement also brought all of these groups together to oppose means testing, payment 10

limitations or reductions in premium subsidies to the crop insurance program – in essence a commitment to do everything possible to protect and keep a strong crop insurance program. A close look at the compliance provision in the Senate-passed farm bill and being offered as an amendment to the farm bill being considered by the House reveals that it is much different than what was passed by the Senate  last year. That measure included provisions that could have been economically disastrous for farmers.  The conservation compliance linkage approved by the Senate and now up for consideration in the House provides balance,

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

fairness and a measure of certainty for farmers regarding the availability of risk management tools while helping to conserve natural resources. This “win-win” compromise was reached by Farm Bureau and numerous other organizations that came together under a banner of commonsense and collaboration. H.R. 2260, the House amendment to be offered by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) to the farm bill, continues crop insurance availability to help farmers manage risk and meet the requirements of their lenders. However, if a farmer is found to be out of compliance See FOCUS ON AG, page 25


Life on the Range

Sheep are dropped off next to a popular recreation trailhead in the Boise Foothills. The Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission uses press releases, Facebook, web sites and educational trailhead signs to give recreationists a head’s up that the sheep are moving through the hiking, running and biking trails.

A Year in the Life of Raising Sheep From lambing to spring turnout, shipping to shearing

Article and photos by Steve Stuebner

are still celebrated today.

Sheep ranching is an Idaho tradition that dates back to the 1880s. Scottish emigrants like Andy Little, who was known as the “Idaho sheep king,” brought sheep ranching know-how to Idaho and established the industry in a state with lots of open range.

At the peak in the 1930s, there were hundreds of sheep ranching outfits in Idaho, running more than 2.7 million sheep statewide. Nowadays, there are fewer than 40 large sheep ranchers and 180,000 sheep overall.

Basque sheep herders played a major role as well, finding jobs tending to sheep flocks in Idaho as they had done in the Basque region of Spain. The Basques brought cultural traditions to Idaho that

Frank Shirts is one of the last sheep ranchers standing. He runs 12 bands, or about 28,000 ewes and lambs, from the low country in Wilder to the high country in the Boise and Payette National Forests every year.

In the spring, Shirts’ flocks navigate through the Boise Foothills -- a popular recreation zone next to Idaho’s largest city. And in the high country, Shirts’ Peruvian herders cope with predators like coyotes, black bears, mountain lions and wolves. In August, after the lambs have hiked more than 120 miles in the rugged mountains, they’re ready to be shipped to the market. That’s when Shirts gets a deep sense of satisfaction. “You’ve got a pretty band of sheep, and

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Herders prepare to load lambs onto trucks after the summer grazing season ends.

you just love that, you love working with them, you love to make them good,” Shirts says. “At shipping time, you see those beautiful fat lambs going on the truck, and it swells you up for another go.” In this story on sheep ranching in Idaho, we’re going to follow Shirts’ flocks that graze through the Boise Foothills to the Boise National Forest. We’ll follow “a year 12

in the life of raising sheep” -from lambing to spring turnout, from the Robie CreekIdaho 21 crossing to range readiness, from shipping to shearing. Part One - Lambing Lambing begins at the Shirts ranch in Wilder in January. This is when the ewes give birth to the lambs in the first three months of the year. It’s a busy time.

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“This is our night corral. This is where we bring the ewes before they give birth,” Shirts explains. “As they lamb, or their water breaks, we take them into the shed and take care of them all night long. With the cold weather, it’s vital to get them out of here fast.” During January, the temperatures can drop to near zero or single digits Fahrenheit. The lambing sheds provide cru-

cial cover for the ewes as they give birth, and the lambs are susceptible to freezing when covered with after-birth fluids. The sheds allow the ewes to care for the lambs right after birth in a warmer environment, cutting death loss to a minimum. “We bring the lambs into the shed. There’s a guy who checks the bags to see what kind of milk they have and that decides how many lambs


we put on ‘em. A lot of ewes have triplets but we only leave them two lambs,” Shirts says. “Every day, we’ve got a tractor and trailer, and we haul them out in groups. They’re all number branded, and each band has a different color of paint. “Every morning, we roll these lambs out of here and all of the pens are cleaned like they were 100 years ago with a wheel barrow and a pitch fork. When we’re really lambing, we’re taking 250300 ewes out of here a day.” Once outside, the lambs and ewes are put in pens with clean and fresh straw next to the lambing shed. Here, the lambs acclimate to their new life.

“These lambs came out of the shed this morning. They were probably born the day before yesterday. You can see the numbers ... there are all twins here ... No. 263 on the lamb, and No. 263 on the mother, and all down the line, they’ve been numbered until we get a full band.” Shirts says it’s best to the let the lambs feed with their mothers in a small-group setting with plenty of space for the best survival. “The slower you can go with the twins, the better,” he says. After several days, the crew moves the ewes and lambs into a larger pen with twice as many animals. Three days later, they’ll move into a pen

with triple the number of ewes and their lambs. This procedure gets the animals used to being part of larger groups. Eventually, they form a full band of sheep, or about 2,400 ewes and lambs.

ert north of Parma on the Black Canyon allotment and then they’ll work across to the Boise Front,” he says. “They’ve all got a designated route, and the herders know where they’re going.”

“That’s why it’s so much work,” Shirts explains. “We’ve got pens here for 3,000 ewes. Once you reach the end of that line, you’ve got the sheep in the front that have to be moved, and then every day, you have to make room for the next group of lambs coming out. You’re got to move, move, move, you’re moving a lot of sheep.”

Each band of sheep is cared for by two herders. The herders carry a wall tent and camp supplies on pack mules and horses, moving the camp every day or so as the sheep move through the country.

Shirts employs 25 Peruvian sheep herders year-round to take care of his sheep. The men who work during the lambing process are the same guys who herd the sheep through the mountains in the summer. Most of the herders come from Peru, and a few are from Mexico, including his foreman, Angel. Shirts covers their health insurance, room and board and salary. Lambing takes about 3-4 months to complete. Once they’re done, the crews clean up the corrals and get their gear ready for sprint turnout. “We clean up all the pens, take the tarps off the sheds, get the pack strings ready, the horses and the mules, by then, it’ll be time to go,” he says. Part Two - Spring Turnout In early April, it’s time for spring turnout. The sheep begin grazing on public land pastures as they green-up and produce forage for livestock and other critters. “We go out here on the des-

“I run pack strings in the mountains,” Shirts says. “About 80 or 90 percent of the sheep outfits run one guy per camp, but I run two because I’m in this rough, wolfinhabited country.” Each band also is accompanied by two Great Pyrenees guard dogs to help keep predators at bay. This is a best management practice that’s used by many sheep ranchers in the West. Shirts’ sheep arrive in the Boise Foothills in mid-April, just as the foothills are greening up. Shirts trucks the sheep to a variety of dropoff points to keep the bands spread out, including popular trailheads such as the Corrals Trailhead and Hulls Gulch. These trailheads have lots of recreation traffic, so the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission puts the word out in the local news media, recreation web sites and Facebook to give hikers, bikers, runners and dog-walkers a head’s up when the sheep are entering the foothills, and how to co-exist and interact with the sheep and the guard dogs.

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Two key things to remember are: Keeping dogs on a leash Getting off your bike and walking through sheep herds to avoid antagonizing the big guard dogs. “Unfortunately, when recreationists have their pet with them, the guard dogs consider that a predator. We don’t want to see any negative thing happen to somebody’s pet,” says Gretchen Hyde, executive director of the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission. Jim Guiffre, a Boise resident and mountain biker, saw a news report about the importance of getting off the bike when encountering sheep. He was on a bike ride in the Corrals Trail area when he and his son, Jess, ran into a band of sheep. “We dropped down the draw and sure enough, there were hundreds of sheep out there,” Guiffre says. “And I say I’m getting off my bike. And then two giant Great Pyrenees guard dogs come running down at us and come within 10 feet of us ... and then they stopped, looked at us, and went away. And Jess and I looked at each other and went, “It worked!” Frank Shirts says most people in Boise like seeing the sheep. “Ninety-five percent of them love to see the sheep,” Shirts says. “They say, “Gall, this is so neat! This is like old times.” You’ve got to run them right, and everyone has to respect each other. There’s no doubt about that.” Shirts and his herders move three bands of sheep through the Boise Foothills. Some bands graze over the top of the Boise Ridge to Robie Creek Park, next to Lucky Peak, and others stay low and graze across the Boise River Wildlife Management Area, managed by Idaho Fish and Game. Fish and Game officials say they like the sheep to graze on white top, a noxious weed. “The sheep have been at least as good as spraying with a lot less impact,” says Ed Bottum, manager of the 14

IDFG Boise River Wildlife Management Area. “They’ll eat skeleton weed early in the season - they really like it - and the same with cheatgrass,” Shirts says. Sheep grazing helps reduce fire danger in the foothills, too. “I think it’s vitally important. It takes a lot of the fuel load off of here, it has to,” he says. Part Three - Robie Creek Park-Idaho 21 Crossing When the sheep reach Robie Creek Park, the herders funnel the animals to a crossing where Shirts can count them, checking on the numbers three weeks after they’ve been released in the mountains. He does that to check on predator losses. “We had a lot of coyote problems on the Boise Front,” Shirts says. “I think the wolves are pushing the coyotes in there because we didn’t used to have that trouble in there.” After the count, the sheep move down the paved road to a steep, rocky embankment, where the herders work with the lead ewe to climb through a rough spot to Idaho State Highway 21. “When you get into a tight spot and they don’t want to go, we have a ewe that’s broke to lead,” Shirts explains. “Gotta have one in every band. She’s got a bell on her, and then she’s got a lamb that’ll follow her and then the ewes will follow the lead through those tough spots.” Indeed, Mario, one of the herders, grabs the ewe by the collar and helps her up a steep, rocky slope, and her lambs, and the rest of the herd follows. Once on top, Frank Shirts and his foreman, Angel, stop traffic on Idaho 21 as the sheep cross the highway. Motorists take photos and wave to the herders as the sheep move through.

shape this year. “I’m not griping,” he says. “You’ve got to keep them moving. It’s getting a little dry down low. It’s not as bad as it is in eastern Idaho. They missed some of the rain that we got.” Shirts has permits to graze his sheep on state, Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service land. He pays grazing fees to those agencies for the privilege of using the land. Part Four - Range Readiness Forest Service officials pay attention to range readiness before the sheep move onto national forest land. Prior to when Shirts is allowed to move his animals onto Forest Service land, Forest Service range officials check on range condition and look at specific plants in particular. Monte Miller, a range technician for the Boise National Forest, explains. “There are certain key species we look at,” he says, “Arrowleaf Balsomroot, Philla bilbosa and Agripyron, a wheat grass species. We also look at cheatgrass, and skeleton weed, an invader, a noxious weed. Ten days ago, it wasn’t quite ready. But it’s more than ready right now.” Indeed, as Shirts unloaded sheep to some Boise National Forest land next to Arrowrock Reservoir, the sheep began feeding on the Rush skeleton weed, bitterbrush and more. “We have several objectives in mind,” Miller says. “We want to graze the rosettes of Rush skeleton weed. They like to eat it this time of year. We also have biological controls -- a rust, a midge and a mite. We want the sheep to weaken that plant so the bio-controls can be more effective.”

From this point forward, the sheep will be grazing on state and Forest Service land as they follow the green up into the mountains.

The Forest Service keeps watch over the sheep grazing to ensure that the utilization does not exceed 50 percent. Most of the time, it’s less than 30 percent. “We want to look at proper management,” Miller says. “Frank is in the business of putting pounds on the lambs, and to do that, they have to keep them on fresh

Shirts says the range is in pretty good

See LIFE ON THE RANGE page 32

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013


Farm Bureau Volunteers Teach Students About Agriculture

Photos by Steve Ritter

Students from Pioneer Elementary School in Weiser recently attended a field day at Chandler Ranch to learn about livestock production.

Rancher and Idaho Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Chairman Cody Chandler teaches students about horsemanship during a recent field day held at the Chandler Ranch.

Third graders from Pioneer Elementary in Weiser recently spent a day learning about agriculture at Chandler Ranch. Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

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Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

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Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

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Weed Control on Forest Land & Handheld Sprayer Calibration The main goal of weed con- species. Adding 2,4-D to Oust volume to mix for the area of a trol on forested land is to give will help control thistles, which known dimension. desired tree seedlings a head Oust does not control. 2,4-D Calibrate handheld sprayers by start over their competition. works well on broadleaf weeds 1) spraying a known area using Once trees are 15-20 feet tall, and is relatively non-injurious water, 2) measuring the amount additional control is almost to Douglas-fir seedlings during of water applied, and 3) calcunever needed. Most weed and the runoff. Calibrating   a  handheld   or  bdormant ackpack  sseason, prayer  but can  will be  difficult   of  the   latingbecause   the number ofsize   gallons brush control inoforested ar-to  binjure ponderosa pine. Picloand  dimension   f  the  area   e  sprayed   and  difficulty   in  applying   uniform   spray   applied per acre (gpa). eas of the inland is ram always harms conicoverage   with  aNorthwest  single  nozzle.   The  nearly following   calibration   information  may  be  useful  in   with hexazinone, glyphosate, fers when direct application is For example, 1.5 gallons on determining  the  proper  amount  of  spray  volume  to  mix  for  the  area  of  a  known   and sulfometuron. 2,4-D, im- made, and should be limited to 1000 square feet is the same as dimension.     azapyr, picloram, triclopyr, site preparation or spot applica- 65 gallons per acre:   clopyralid, and atrazine are tions. Do not use a surfactant By Randy Brooks 43,560 sq.2)  ft.mper acre/1000 Calibrate   handheld   praying   a  known  area  using   water,   easuring   the   sq. used to a small extent.sprayers   These by   for1)  asrelease spray. ft. x 1.5 gallons = 65 gpa. UI Extension has written sev- products amount  give of  wbroad-spectrum ater  applied,  and  3)  calculating  the  number  of  gallons  applied  per  acre   eral articles for this column on activity (gpa).     on forest species. Most forested areas in Idaho The desired rate in lb/ac or pint/ are difficult to access, making weed control over the years, but Hexazinone   (Velpar and Proac can be used to calculate the hand-held or back-pack sprayweeds are such a constant threat none) wide 1application amount ofper   herbicide For  ehas xample,   .5  gallons  for on  1000  square  feet  is  the  same  as  65   gallons   acre:     to add to ers the logical choice. Handthat it’s good to see “refresher” controlling grasses, forbs, and the spray solution. If 3 pt/ac is   held sprayers are often used for material on the subject. Weed small shrubs. It piser  appropriate 43,560   sq.  ft.   acre/1000  sq.   ft.  x  1.5  gallons  =  65  gpa.       desired: control is managed somewhat for site preparation or release. spot treating patches of weeds The  desired  rate  in  lb/ac  or  pint/ac  can  be  used  to  calculate  the  amount  of  herbicide  to   differently on forested land Glyphosate (Accord) is effec- or for treating small areas or 3pt/ac / 65 gpa = 0.046 pt. or add  to  the  spray  solution.  If  3  ptree t/ac  plantings. is  desired:     coverage 0.73 fl oz Spray than agriculture lands, and her- tive on annual and perennial   should be uniform and thorbicides used can vary. grasses, forbs, and many shrubs. or 1.5 tablespoons per gallon of 3pt/ac   /  65  Spray gpa  =the  0.046   pt.  plants or  0.73   ough. target to fl  oz     In the fall it will selectively respray solution. Weeds are quick to sprout anythe point ofpbeing wet, but to solution.   or  1.5  tablespoons   er  gallon   of  snot pray   move brush and herbs from time the soil is disturbed or an of2runoff. Calibrating (16 fl oz = 1 pt; 2 tablespoons (16  fl  the oz  =point  1  pt;    tablespoons   =  1  fl  oz).   opening is made in the forest. conifers, but in mid-summer, a handheld or backpack sprayer = 1 fl oz).   Most forest weeds do not lend glyphosate will severely injure can be difficult because of the When  calibration  of  a  hand-­‐held  sprayer  is  not  possible  and  the  herbicide  used  is  safe  to   themselves to non-chemical conifers. Clopryalid (Stinger, size and dimension of the area When calibration of a handthe  environment   and  control non-­‐target  plants,  a  volume  of  50  to  70  gheld pa  csprayer an  be  aisssumed.   has good not possible and control as well as they do to Transline) to be sprayed and difficulty in However,   t he   a ctual   v olume   a pplied   c an   v ary   c onsiderably   w ith   t he   t ype   o f   s prayer,   over weeds such as knapweed the herbicide used is safe to the herbicides. Herbicides have applying uniform spray coverand yellow starthistle, but does environment and non-target spray   p ressure,   a nd   t echnique   o f   t he   a pplicator,   s o   c alibration   i s   s trongly   e ncouraged.   several advantages over other age with a single nozzle. The not injure trees. Sulfometuron plants, a volume of 50 to 70 Some   h erbicide   l abels   s pecify   a   p ercent   s olution   f or   u se   i n   h and-­‐held   s prayers.   T he   weed control methods (mefollowing calibration informa(Oust) can be used for site prepgpa can be assumed. However, following   t able   p rovides   m ixing   i nstructions   t o   o btain   s olutions   o f   v arying   p ercent   chanical, grazing, etc.) due to tion may be useful in determinor release for most tree the actual volume applied can concentrations.   their selective and rapid control aration ing the proper amount of spray and minimal soil disturbance.   They are effective on tough Calibration  Table   perennial grasses, forbs, and Desired   shrubs such as oceanspray, Solution                                                                          Concentration  of  Herbicide  %   ninebark, and snowberry. The Concentration                                  0.5                                  1.0                                  1.5                                  2.0                                  5.0   selection of an herbicide var(gal)                                                                              amount  of  herbicide  to  add,  in  fluid  oz.   ies with species and growth of 1                                                                            0.6                                  1.3                                  1.9                                  2.6                                  6.4   both the weed and tree. Prob2                                                                            1.3                                  2.6                                  3.8                                  5.1                                  12.8   lem weeds are best controlled 5                                                                            3.2                                  6.4                                  9.6                                  12.8                              32   during site preparation, as they 10                                                                        6.4                                  12.8                              19.2                              25.6                              64   can be more difficult to control 100                                                                    64                                    128                                192                                256                                640   once trees are planted.                  2  tablespoons  =  1  fluid  ounce     Idaho Farm Bureau producer 18   / JuLY 2013 In  Idaho  forests,  the  soil  can  get  pretty  dry  by  the  time  fall  rolls  around.  Chemical   control  works  best  when  the  soil  is  moist  and  the  plants  are  actively  growing.  For  


Most forested areas in Idaho are difficult to access, making hand-held or back-pack sprayers the logical choice for spot treating patches of weeds or for treating small areas or tree plantings.

vary considerably with the type of sprayer, spray pressure, and technique of the applicator, so calibration is strongly encouraged. Some herbicide labels specify a percent solution for use in hand-held sprayers. The following table provides mixing instructions to obtain solutions of varying percent concentrations. In Idaho forests, the soil can get pretty dry by the time fall rolls around. Chemical control works best when the soil is moist and the plants are actively growing. For herbicides to be

effective, the chemical needs to translocate down into the root system. Cooler temperatures are a signal to perennials to send most of the food produced by photosynthesis down into the root system, meaning fall is a good time to control perennials. Creeping roots or rhizomes found on many perennial weeds serve as food storage organs. It is the food storage of these weeds that we need to kill. It is easy to kill aboveground portions of weeds, but the difference between success and failure in perennial weed control is killing the underground parts.

Water stressed plants take up less chemical, which means less chemical is translocated down into the root system. Poor weed control will become obvious next spring or summer. The herbicide used must fit the situation or the trees that might be planted next year. Herbicides are not the only option in a weed management plan. They can be used in combination with scalping, burning, hand pulling, etc. Usually, a combination of practices works best, depending on terrain. Lastly, always wear your PPE (per-

sonal protective equipment) and always read and follow all label directions when using any herbicide or pesticide – the label is the law! For more information on calibrating backpack sprayers request publication number PNW 320, Calibrating and Using Backpack Sprayers from your local Extension office. Randy Brooks is a University of Idaho Extension Forestry Specialist based on campus in Moscow. He can be reached at: rbrooks@uidaho.edu

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

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Top Farm Bureau Agents

Rookie of the Month:

Jennifer Cook        Palmer Agency

Agent of the Month:

Perry Shank       Palmer Agency

Agency of the Month:

Newell Agency

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Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013


Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

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Priestley

Continued from page 2

with the optimum return on their investment. It’s much easier for the utility companies in the process of purchasing a right of way to insist on confidential negotiations with single landowners and bully them with the threat of eminent domain than it is to deal with the federal government and all its encumbrances, not the least of which is the Endangered Species Act. It’s much easier to cross flat farmland that somebody else already went to the trouble of clearing and leveling than it is to find a way through the foothills and sagebrush. It’s much easier to engineer and build roads to haul towers and construction materials and set up large areas for stretching cable on a farm. All of these things may make it easier, but none make it right. According to the American Farmland Trust, Idaho lost 32 million acres of crop and pasture land between 1997 and 2007. How will this project contribute to this disturbing trend? Agriculture is a significant contributor to our state’s economy. Gateway West will be a severe detriment to private land in Bannock, Power, Cassia, Twin Falls and Owyhee counties. Agriculture is an important sector of the economy in all these counties in terms of both job creation and revenue generated. A power line should not be made a higher priority than agriculture. In a recent interview, a Rocky Mountain Power spokesman said they will only negotiate with landowners on an individual basis. The same spokesman said they don’t know how many landowners are affected. Idaho Power deferred questions to Rocky Mountain Power. These responses provide some evidence of things likely to come. First, not know22

ing how many landowners are involved, or at least not being willing to disclose the information is a red flag. The process of negotiating the purchase of a right of way across 700 miles of private land with possibly hundreds of different landowners is a daunting task. There are dozens of things to consider and each property will be different. Things such as how much crop land will be disturbed and for how long, values of various crops, yield loss, irrigation refits, cost of access for future maintenance of the power line and many more. From the power companies’ perspective, it will be much easier if the landowners up and down the line can’t share information. Landowners in the path of this project have a lot at stake and should be compensated fairly.

We urge all Idaho farmers, ranchers and landowners to rally toward this cause. If this project is allowed to move forward as planned it will set a dangerous precedent for private landowners all across our state. Second, we’re puzzled why Rocky Mountain Power is speaking for Idaho Power, when the majority of the project is in Idaho Power’s service area? When we asked that question, we didn’t get a straight answer – another red flag. A BLM official has acknowledged that high voltage transmission lines are likely to create mechanical and electronic interference with irrigation equipment and GPS units used to guide tractors and other farm equipment. This is a serious problem with unknown implications and yet another very good reason to move this project away from farms. It’s close to impossible to calculate the loss to a

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

farm operation that no longer has reliable irrigation or GPS. Will stray voltage make farm equipment inaccurate? Can farmers expect constant interruptions or inadvertent interruptions? Our fear is that once the line is in place, no one is going to care about the effects of stray voltage on farms except the farmers who are forced to deal with it. Sage grouse and the Endangered Species Act are a big part of the reason private landowners are being forced to bear the cost of this project. This nonsensical scenario reminds us of another bird. The actions taken by the federal government to protect the spotted owl resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Sage grouse are a major hurdle in the path of the project. But we don’t believe it’s the sole responsibility of private landowners to bear that burden. We don’t want this project to usher these desert birds toward their demise, but we believe a greater public good comes from the production of food, the revenue it creates and the families it supports. We can anticipate the power companies’ response to moving their lines away from private land will be that power rates will increase. We also know that with or without this project, power rates are going to increase anyway. A lot remains unknown about this project and the future, but one thing we are certain of is that the power companies are going to continue to be profitable. If rates increase the cost of food production follows and those costs will be passed along to consumers. We urge all Idaho farmers, ranchers and landowners to rally toward this cause. If this project is allowed to move forward as planned it will set a dangerous precedent for private landowners all across our state.


Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

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Grain Marketing with Clark Johnston

Corn Crop Could Produce 15% Carryover By Clark Johnston It looks as though we will be short about 1 million acres of spring wheat and 4 to 4.5 million of corn due to the cool and wet spring. The estimates are looking like we will produce a 13.8 billion bushel crop of corn down slightly from the USDA projection of 14.1. Even with the reduced production, a corn crop of 13.8 will still be a lot of corn, leaving us with the potential for a 1.8 billion bushel carryover next year. This type of carryover will put us close to a 15% stocks to use ratio at the end of the year. Compare that with the 5% to 7% of the past few years. We do still have a long way to go before harvest but, for now the potential is definitely there and we should look at our marketing and/or purchasing program as if we will produce this much corn. One thing to keep in mind is that the world now produces corn year round and we need to compete for this business with those countries. They may not be large producers compared to the U.S. but they will be competitive in the market. For the most part the smaller producers will move their grain to the market at harvest just for the fact that they really don’t have the storage capabilities and they move their grain when the freight is available making it difficult for the US to compete at times throughout the year. So, in a nut shell, in order for us to sell corn into the global market, prices will need to be cheap. How low will the market move in order to achieve this objective is anybody’s guess at this time but, let’s not rule out December corn in the area of $4.50 to $4.75. The trade however still isn’t quite sold on the large crop and carryover as we aren’t seeing much of a carry from December 13 24

into the December 14 futures. We are however seeing a carry of 48 cents for September 13 Chicago wheat and September 14 wheat. This indicates that the market still feels as though there is and will be plenty of wheat to get us into next harvest. Even the Kansas City futures have a 48 cent carry from September to September. With this being the case if corn does move down into the mid to upper $4 area, wheat will have nowhere to go but follow it lower. If you still have some of your 2013 crop to merchandize you will need to stay on top of the markets from here on out in order to receive the prices you need to be profitable. We could very well be moving back into markets of just a few years ago when it paid producers to sell into the carry in the market. Basis for protein classes of wheat could see some strength this year as we move towards the fall. The domestic market may not need to get aggressive right at harvest but once the crop has been put away producers will probably need to see higher prices to persuade them to sell. We may also see a reduced inventory of higher protein wheat that will also make milling quality due to the drought conditions in Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. Having said this, don’t get caught waiting for higher bids and miss your opportunity to contract your crop close to your objective. This year is definitely setting up to be a fast moving market both up and down. It just doesn’t look at this time that the moves will be as great as the past marketing year and for now it does look like gravity is winning the fight for price movement. The soft white market could however be a different story now that we have some countries questioning the wheat shipping

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

Clark Johnston

out of Oregon. Whether or not there was some GMO wheat grown is almost immaterial as the perception is now there. Tighter restrictions could send exporters deeper into the south east region of Idaho to insure the integrity of the wheat for export. This could possibly set the stage for a slightly stronger market as the domestic mills compete for the local wheat. On the input news June experienced a rather large sell off in the heating oil futures. The historical charts still do indicate a move back higher from the end of June through the fall. Keep a close eye on the diesel fuel market as the potential is there for fuel prices to follow heating oil futures back higher. Every year is different and this year is shaping up to be different as well. Remember to make your decisions based on what you know and what we know is just what the market is telling us right now. The news and the market could and does change rapidly but I once had an experienced merchandizer tell me that the worst thing that can happen to us in our marketing is, for us to think we’re right and the market is wrong. Clark Johnston is a grain marketing specialist who is on contract with the Idaho Farm Bureau. He is the owner of JC Management Company in Northern Utah. He can be reached at clark@jcmanagement. net


FOCUS ON AG

Continued from page 10

with conservation mandates, his or her eligibility for premium assistance would be eliminated until compliance conditions are satisfied. But the compromise worked out by the coalition focuses on providing more balance and fairness for farmers in the steps necessary to meet compliance compared to what was proposed in 2012. One of the biggest concerns about the version of conservation compliance included in the 2012 Senate-passed farm bill was the so-called “claw-back provision.” That meant that someone found to have converted wetlands to croplands 20 years ago could have been forced to repay the government all past insurance premium assistance received since the conversion occurred. This could have cost farmers hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, last year’s bill called for an

immediate cut-off from program assistance eligibility. That provision has been eliminated in the amendment now being considered. Instead, a farmer found out of compliance would only become ineligible for premium assistance in the crop year following the discovery of an infraction. With increased reliance on crop insurance as a primary risk management tool, this modification was imperative to ensure that farmers’ ability to acquire and secure operating loans is not jeopardized. Further, any farmers subject to conservation compliance provisions for the first time will have five years to develop and comply with the highly erodible land and wetland compliance requirements. Accelerated technical assistance will be available to these “first timers.” Farm bill language that would have un-

fairly penalized farmers who rent land if their landlords did not meet conservation requirements also has been eliminated by making only the farm where a wetlands violation occurred ineligible, rather than all the lands farmed by the tenant. This assumes the tenant made good faith efforts to meet conservation requirements and the landlord did not agree to cooperate. As during the Senate debate, agricultural, crop insurance and conservation groups are united in urging House support for a workable crop insurance program without new burdensome and harmful requirements, while preventing adoption of amendments that would drive farmers away from program participation. Mary Kay Thatcher is the American Farm Bureau Federation’s farm policy specialist.

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Bingham County Declares Drought By Jake Putnam Bingham County commissioners recently adopted a drought resolution declaring a disaster. “As a whole the summer is looking dryer and warmer than normal,” said Jay Breidenbach of the National Weather Service.

water this year. So even though we have full storage at Jackson and 95 percent at American Falls, Palisades puts a dent in my storage supply.” The Aberdeen-Springfield canal company developed a storage plan designed to conserve water until the last weeks of summer.

The lack of snowfall and a parched spring resulted in lower than average streamflows. That means a scarce Idaho water supply in August potentially drying up thousands of acres of sugar beets, potatoes, and hay officials say.

“Our hope is to stretch our water supply until September so we can manage our third cut of alfalfa and hopefully get a good start on the potato harvest and some of the beets. We’re going to keep our fingers crossed and get some of the natural flow back in September which is not an unusual thing and some timely rain might help also,” said Howser.

As early as last winter water masters saw the shortage develop and started working on the drought declaration designed to help farmers speed up water right transfers when needed.

The Aberdeen-Springfield Canal Company is still delivering to demand, but once they move to storage water, delivery will change for the rest of summer.

“At The Aberdeen-Springfield Canal Company, we’re looking at a water supply similar to 2003,” said Steve Howser of the Aberdeen-Springfield Canal Company. “Typically we don’t draw our natural flow water until the middle of July. This year we will go to natural flow any day now, which is going to make us a full month short of natural flow supply.”

“I’ll set the maximum delivery so we won’t deliver to demand any more. Then farmers will have to shut off and go the rotation line. Then we’ll get everything sequenced out. It’ll take a couple of weeks to get the timing right but I’m anticipating that most people will be running for six days then off two or three,” said Howser

In June Teton County also filed a disaster declaration.

Howser said the county resolution is the first step in declaring a drought. The declaration helps expedite emergency water transfer rights. He thinks the way weather patterns have settled in that they’ll need the rights sooner than later. “We have storage at American Falls, Palisades and Jackson but the lion’s share of our storage is Palisades and we didn’t get new-fill on that storage 26

Howser says they’ll inventory all the wells that are now irrigating grain and transfer those water rights to row crops using canal water. That’s part of the plan used during the drought of 2003. “With those limited water supplies we shut the canal off in August and saved some of our storage water and turned it back on in September up until harvest. While that works, it doesn’t work well for the hay growers.

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

In 2003 it coincided with hot weather and we saw problems with potatoes in the 20-day shutoff. This year we’re hoping to avoid the shut off entirely,” said Howser. The canal company increased capabilities in their automation with remote control of the canal system. The company is able to save considerably more water than it did in 2003. Howser says they’re running the canal system much more efficiently than it was designed to run. “My plan is to save 75 percent of my nominal spills. That’s a tall order from a system’s standpoint because the system is 100 years old. It’s designed to spill water at the bottom. If I can limit the spills to zero we can add that water to the mix,” said Howser. In addition the canal company says they’ll make changes to the head gates twice a day. The company will start shopping for rental water on the open market to stretch the water supply through August and into September. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says boaters can expect a short season because of low water at American Falls, Palisades Reservoir and Jackson Lake. Water levels at American Falls could drop to 6 percent, while Palisades will likely sink to 4 percent of capacity before the season ends, said Mike Beus of the Bureau of Reclamation. Jackson Lake could dip to 24 percent. The Aberdeen-Springfield Canal Company serves about 62,000 acres with 200 miles of canals and laterals in Bingham and Power counties.


SPOTLIGHT ON IDAHO FFA—State Career Development Event Winners State FFA Career Development Event Winners Named—Headed To Nationals Career opportunities abound within today’s agriculture industry. FFA Career Development Events (CDEs) help students develop the abilities to think critically, communicate clearly, and perform effectively in a competitive job market. Idaho FFA conducts 23 CDEs covering job skills in everything from communications to mechanics. Some events allow students to compete as individuals, while others are team competitions. Nineteen teams and five individuals were named State Champions in 2013 Idaho FFA CDEs held at the University of Idaho in June and during the State FFA Leadership Conference at the College of Southern Idaho in April. They will represent Idaho at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, KY, October 30 through November 2. For students who ask their teachers "When will I ever use this in the real world?" FFA CDEs are the answer. Since 1928, FFA has worked to create events that demonstrate the meaningful connections between classroom instruction and real-life scenarios. CDEs build on what is learned in agricultural classes and the

To learn more about Idaho FFA, please visit: www.idahoffa.org www.idffafoundation.org

FFA. The events are designed to help prepare students for careers in agriculture.

2013 Idaho FFA State Champion Career Development Event Winners Agricultural Communications Agricultural Issues Forum Agricultural Mechanics Agricultural Sales Agronomy Creed Speaking Dairy Cattle Evaluation Dairy Foods Dairy Handler Environmental and Natural Resources Extemporaneous Public Speaking Farm Business Management Floriculture Food Science & Technology Forestry Horse Job Interview Livestock Evaluation Marketing Plan Meats Technology Nursery/Landscape Parliamentary Procedure Prepared Public Speaking Veterinary Science

Marsing FFA Chapter American Falls FFA Chapter Preston FFA Chapter Meridian FFA Chapter Kuna FFA Chapter Shelby McNeilly, Kuna FFA Chapter Meridian FFA Chapter Kimberly FFA Chapter Mikaela Malnar, Meridian FFA Chapter Meridian FFA Chapter Amanda Hale, Rigby FFA Chapter West Jefferson FFA Chapter Shoshone FFA Chapter Preston FFA Chapter Fruitland FFA Chapter New Plymouth FFA Chapter Cassidy Berry, Kimberly FFA Chapter Homedale FFA Chapter Meridian FFA Chapter Rigby FFA Chapter Middleton FFA Chapter Fruitland FFA Chapter Brett Wilder, Meridian FFA Chapter Meridian FFA Chapter

FFA—Premier Leadership, Personal Growth and Career Success through Agricultural Education Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

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American farm bureau federation news AFBF: Death Tax Repeal Act ‘Gets the Job Done’ – The American Farm Bureau Federation supports legislation introduced today in both the House and Senate that would permanently repeal the estate tax. Sen. John Thune’s (R-S.D.) bill, The Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013, coupled with bipartisan legislation of the same title introduced by Reps. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), is welcomed by America’s farm and ranch families. While significant tax relief was enacted last year to help farmers cope with estate taxes, AFBF believes that permanent repeal is still the best solution to protect all farms and ranches. The legislation introduced today would repeal the estate tax, maintain steppedup basis and make permanent a 35

percent maximum gift tax rate and $5 million lifetime gift tax exemption indexed for inflation. “Individuals, family partnerships and family corporations own 98 percent of our nation’s 2 million farms and ranches,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “When estate taxes on an agricultural business exceed cash and other liquid assets, surviving family partners may be forced to sell land, buildings or equipment needed to keep their businesses running. This not only can cripple a farm or ranch operation, but also hurts the rural communities and businesses that agriculture supports.”

ranches is usually tied to illiquid assets, such as land, buildings and equipment, said AFBF. With 85 percent of farm and ranch assets illiquid, producers have few options when it comes to generating cash to pay the estate tax. Recent increases in agriculture cropland values, on average 15 percent from 2011 to 2012, have greatly expanded the number of farms and ranches that now top the estate tax exemption. “Farm Bureau believes the estate tax should be eliminated permanently,” concluded Stallman. “We fully support The Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013 to get the job done.”

The value of family-owned farms and

New Beef Educator Guides Available The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has released two new educational guides to accompany the books “Beef in the Story of Agriculture” and “Beef an A-Z Book.” Both guides are developed for elementary grade classrooms and follow Common Core and national standards for education. The educator guides give teachers resources to integrate agriculture education into Common Core and national learning objectives. Each guide focuses on several subjects including language, math, social studies and health and also gives the accompanying ob-

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jectives and supporting standards for each subject. The books are a great way to introduce students to different aspects of agriculture and are part of the Awesome Agriculture series by Susan Anderson and JoAnne Buggey. The “in the story” books follow five key concepts – food production, processing, distribution, marketing and consumerism. The “A-Z” books allow students to explore agriculture topics while taking a trip down the alphabet where A is for Agriculture, J is for Jobs and more. Other topics covered in the Awesome Agriculture series include “Soybeans

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

in the Story of Agriculture”(a Book of the Year winner), “Soybeans an A-Z Book,” “Pigs and Pork in the Story of Agriculture,” “Pigs an A-Z Book,” “Corn in the Story of Agriculture” and “Corn an A-Z Book.” Educator guides are available for the soybeans, pigs and pork, and beef cattle books. Corn educator guides are currently in development. All the books and educator guides are available on www.agfoundation.org under Resource Orders then AFBFA Materials.


Weather Challenges Reflected in June WASDE Report The June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report released today by the Agriculture Department reflects the slow corn planting season across much of the Corn Belt due to snow, rain and cool weather, according to analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation. Ninety-five percent of this year’s corn crop was planted as of June 9 (only 92 percent in Iowa), but later-planted corn faces the risk of pollination during seasonally warmer temperatures and drier weather expected in late July, which could reduce the yield. June’s WASDE report projected 156.5 bushels per acre for 2013, down 1.5 bushels per acre from May. Although reduced by 135 million bushels to slightly above 14 billion bushels, corn production, if realized, would still be record setting. The report also reduced projected corn use by 70 million bushels.

AFBF economist Todd Davis said the WASDE report still predicts ending stocks to build significantly over the 2012-13 marketing year levels.

cold weather,” said Davis. “Instead, it is expected that soybean planted acres will increase as farmers plant the crop instead of late planted corn.”

“June’s WASDE projects corn stocks are greater than the pre-report estimates, which reflects negatively on the corn market,” said Davis. “The projected increase in stocks will cause marketing-year prices to drastically fall to $4.80 per bushel for the 2013-14 marketing year compared to $6.95 per bushel in the 2012-13 year.”

U.S. soybean ending stocks are also still expected to more than double from 125 million bushels in the 2012-13 marketing year to 265 million bushels in 2013-14. The increase will drop the 2013-14 projected soybean price to $10.80 per bushel, down from $14.35 in the 2012-13 marketing year.

The report showed no change in planted or harvested acres for corn or soybeans as the World Agricultural Outlook Board, who publishes the WASDE, waits for the release of the acreage survey, on June 28.

Davis said the weather will keep the market captivated during the next three months in an attempt to better understand what proportion of the corn crop was planted later than normal and is at risk of pollinating during adverse conditions.

“Trade projections are that about 2 million acres will not be planted to corn this year due to the late season rains and unusually

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

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July is Idaho Beef Month Attention Beef lovers! It’s time to celebrate!

Whether it’s the All-American hamburger or a thick juicy steak fired up on the grill, this is the season for outdoor activities and backyard barbecues. Not only that, in recognition of the significant contributions the beef industry makes to Idaho and the important role of beef in the diet, July has been declared Idaho Beef Month by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter. 2013 marks the 12th annual month-long celebration. Idaho beef producers are committed to providing wholesome, nutritious, safe and delicious beef to consumers. They are proud of their role in feeding our nation. That’s why, through their Beef Checkoff Program, Idaho beef producers are celebrating Idaho Beef Month in July. Beef Month, coordinated by the Idaho Beef Council, promotes consumer awareness of beef’s versatility, nutritional value and economic contributions to Idaho. 30

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

The Idaho Beef Council encourages all beef lovers to celebrate Idaho Beef Month by enjoying their favorite beef dishes. And, to help consumers enjoy beef this month, the Idaho Beef Council is offering two new Grilling brochures called “Where There’s a Grill, There’s a Way” and “Rub Me Tender” to anyone who would like a copy. These brochures feature mouthwatering beef recipes, cutting edge rubs and marinade recipes, a chart that includes both charcoal and gas grilling guidelines to assure foolproof results whatever your grilling choice – steaks, burgers or kabobs. To obtain your free copy, contact the Idaho Beef Council at beefcouncil@idbeef.org or by calling (208)376-6004. For more delicious recipes to celebrate Idaho Beef Month or anytime, you can also visit www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.


Idaho May Red Meat Production up 3 Percent from Last Year

Commercial red meat production at Idaho packing plants for May 2013 totaled 3.8 million pounds, up 3 percent from May of last year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Accumulated red meat production for the January-May 2013 period totaled 19.0 million pounds, up 7 percent from the comparable period a year earlier.

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.15 billion pounds in May, down 1 percent from the 4.18 billion pounds produced in May 2012. Beef production, at 2.23 billion pounds, was slightly below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.86 million head, down slightly from May 2012. The average live weight was up 9 pounds from the previous year, at 1,289 pounds. Veal production totaled 9.1 million pounds, 12 percent below May a year ago. Calf slaughter

totaled 58,200 head, down 2 percent from May 2012. The average live weight was down 29 pounds from last year, at 266 pounds. Pork production totaled 1.90 billion pounds, down 1 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 9.22 million head, down 1 percent from May 2012. The average live weight was down 1 pound from the previous year, at 276 pounds. Lamb and mutton production, at 14.3 million pounds, was up 5 percent from May 2012. Sheep slaughter to-

taled 204,500 head, 14 percent above last year. The average live weight was 140 pounds, down 11 pounds from May a year ago. January to May 2013 commercial red meat production was 20.3 billion pounds, up slightly from 2012. Accumulated beef production was up slightly from last year, veal was down 7 percent, pork was down slightly from last year, and lamb and mutton production was up slightly.

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

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LIFE ON THE RANGE

Continued from page 14

feed all the time. But very rarely will they graze over 30 percent use.” “Livestock grazing stimulates the growth of grass as long as there’s proper management,” Miller continues. “Same as the utilization of bitterbrush. We want to graze it enough so that it stimulates leader growth.” Allowing the sheep to graze on bitterbrush makes the browse species more palatable for mule deer in the winter, he says. “Frank Shirts is a very good permittee, very proactive,” Miller says. Shirts trains his herders to graze the country once over lightly as the pass through, but still, he wants them to be thorough. “Sheep aren’t what you call a grass-eater,” Shirts explains. “If they’ve got the brush and the forbs, that’s what they want to eat. And just like a kid in a candy store, they pick off a flower here, and a little brush there, tasting everything.” “They’ve all got a designated route, and the herder knows where they are going,” he says. “Every day they work those little canyons. They’ll go down the draw in the morning, buck up and take their siesta, and graze along eating the brush and the forbs. “They work all of that underbrush and it helps the forest an awful lot. It takes a lot of that fire out of there. Herders want to give them fresh feed. They go down one time, and come up and that area never gets grazed again until the next year. How can you overgraze it?” At night, the sheep naturally climb to the top of the hill for the evening. The animals like to climb. It’s just part of their nature. “Then they come up and sleep on top of the ridge.” Every two weeks or so, Shirts and his foreman resupply the herders in the forest with fresh groceries and supplies. 32

This is a time to catch up on how the sheep are doing, talk about predators and life in general.

and enjoy the camaraderie and the families. You can see there’s a lot of kids out here this morning.”

Part Five - Shipping

Boyd says Shirts is a large sheep operator for Idaho. “Frank Shirts is one of the largest operators in the western United States,” he says. “We have 45 sheep producers in Idaho that use public lands during the year, and 60-70 percent of the lambs come right off the range, living on nothing more than mother’s milk and green grass. There are no antibiotics or food additives. It’s a natural lamb.”

In early August, it’s time to herd the ewes and lambs into a corral and ship the lambs to market. Shirts has a sheep corral in Meadow Creek, east of Idaho City on the Boise National Forest, where they gather the sheep. A lot of friends camp out with Shirts to help. When the sheep arrive at the corrals, the herders drive the sheep into the large pen while Shirts counts them. Shirts yells out “one-hundred,” and his herder, Mario, makes a notch on a stick for every 100 sheep that moves into the corral. “It’s shipping time,” Shirts says. “We’ve been taking care of them since they were lambs. Started in Wilder, and they come up here over the high mountains, and it’s time to send them to the market. “They look good. They’re a beautiful mountain lamb. I’m pleased with them.” Shirts says he lost about 80 head of sheep to coyotes, wolves and black bears this year. He also lost a few sheep to falling timber in old burn areas. “These mountains, you’ve got lots of things to deal with. Every year, we’ll get a bunch of sheep killed by those trees.” Shirts sees those losses as a cost of doing business, running sheep on public lands. At shipping time, the mood is upbeat. It’s time to celebrate. “We’ll have a nice lamb dinner tonight and a few beers.” Stan Boyd, executive director of the Idaho Wool Growers Association, attends the shipping event, as he does for many sheep producers in Idaho. Boyd arranges for several truck drivers and sheep trailers to transport the sheep to market. “For these folks, they work all year, and now it’s pay day,” Boyd says. “They hope it’s a good one. It is a celebration. It’s a perfect excuse to get into the mountains

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

Early the next morning, the crew gets the loading chutes in place next to the sheep corral for loading the sheep onto special truck-trailers made especially for hauling sheep to market. “We load them correctly so there’s no death loss,” Boyd explains. “We’re putting 35 in the basket, 52 on the top, and 54 in the middle two decks so they have room to move around. Federal law says they have to be unloaded within 36 hours for food and water, but what time is it now, they’ll be in Denver by 1 o’clock tomorrow morning. They don’t mess around. Their mission is to get these sheep off the trucks in good shape. They’ll sleep on the way home.” Each trucker will haul about 195 lambs to a feedlot in Denver, where they are sold by national meat-packing companies to wholesale outlets. The truckers make about $3,800 per load to Denver. Then they deadhead back to Idaho, and do it again. “It’s their pay day too,” Boyd says. While the lambs are being loaded into trucks, the ewes are placed in a separate corral with rams for breeding. “We put a couple of bucks in there tonight, and put some of those rams in, and some of these mamas will have lambs in their bellies tomorrow night, so we start it all over again,” Shirts says.


Part Six - Coming Home After the lambs are shipped, the herders trail the ewes and rams back through the forest and foothills toward the Shirts home ranch in August, September and October. In October, the sheep pass through the Boise Foothills and cross Idaho 55 near Beacon Light Road in Eagle, stopping traffic momentarily. Shirts makes arrangements with farmers in the Treasure Valley so his sheep can graze their way home, eating stubble in hay fields along the way. “We gotta use that feed,” he says. “With the price of hay and corn, you have to utilize every bit you can. “The sheep come in and eat the hay, and it really helps the ground. We electric fence it, and they move across the field and fertilize the fields. You can’t believe how it helps with the rodents and the mice.”

“You start on the brisket and take the belly wool off,” he says. “You throw it aside, the wool on the belly is kind of short, and they like to keep that bagged separate. And then you’ll go down and crotch them all out, and start on this leg, and take the leg off, and then come up to the neck, and take this front shoulder off, and then turn that sheep around, and take this whole side off. When you get done, that sheep can just jump out the door behind you, and the fleece you can throw it out as a blanket. And it will all stay together.” It’s critical that the shearer cuts the wool off close to the skin, and it needs to be cut off as a full cape, Balderson says. “Part of it is to keep the wool in one piece, and part of it is to keep the sheep tight, so you don’t take the hide off,” he says. “Your hide-cutter will take the hide right off if it’s in the wrong position.”

Part Seven - Shearing

A number of workers watch for the wool capes in front of the shearing trailers, and stuff them into a motorized compactor nearby. The machines compact the wool until they are full. Then, a worker closes the top of the bale and loads it into a truck. Each bale of wool weighs about 400-500 pounds.

In November, as the sheep are grazing the fields, Shirts brings the sheep to a ranch along the way to shear the wool from the ewes and rams.

Back in the day, the shearing crew compacted the wool by foot. One of the workers would stand and stomp on the load and then climb out when it was full.

He hires several shearing crews to do the job. Each shearing crew has a customized shearing trailer with all of the tools and equipment needed for shearing sheep. One crew is led by John Balderson of Council. The other is led by Bernie Fairchild of Buhl. His shearers are from Uruguay.

Balderson has been shearing sheep yearround in Idaho and elsewhere since he was in high school. “I shear for everybody from two head to 5,000.”

The herders time the trip -- and stretch it out accordingly -- so the sheep don’t arrive at the home ranch until January, when lambing begins.

Shirts’ herders funnel the sheep into a chute leading to the shearing trailers, and work the animals through one by one. There are 3-4 men that shear the sheep in each trailer.

Balderson’s pay depends on how fast he can shear the sheep. He gets paid about $4 per sheep. “When I was younger, I’d try to do 20 an hour,” he says. “On a good day, 25 an hour, or 150-200 a day. When I was 58, I was still going pretty strong, but I’m 65 now, and I don’t care anymore,” laughing at the thought. “If I do 90 or 100 a day, I feel good.”

Balderson has been shearing sheep for over 30 years. He explains how it’s done.

Shirts likes to shear the sheep in the fall before lambing season in the winter. “It makes them milk better. The lambs can

find the udder a lot better,” he says. Balderson says it’s hard to find anyone in America who knows how to shear sheep anymore. “Extremely hard. That’s why we have a trailer-full of guys working here from Uruguay. We used to have guys come here from New Zealand, but the dollar is so weak, that they don’t come here anymore. Most of the guys who come here are from countries that are quite poor.” That has something to do with the relative low price of wool. Shirts keeps the bales of wool in storage until the wool prices are best. Sometimes, he’s held onto the wool for several years, until the price is right. He sells the wool through a global distributor. “It’s medium to fine grade Rambouillet wool. They’ll make good shirts, blankets, that kind of stuff,” Balderson says. Finale Frank Shirts has been in the sheep business for most of his life. His dad was a sheep shearer, and they had some sheep at home, too, about 400 head. About 30 years ago, he bought several bands, and worked to obtain grazing permits from the BLM and Forest Service. Over time, he built up the herds. About 10 years ago, he purchased several bands from Lt. Gov. Brad Little, who decided to sell out and concentrate on the cattle business. Shirts has seen the lamb and wool markets go up and down, and he’s dealt with a lot of other issues over the years. But he loves to raise sheep. It runs in his blood. And he makes darn sure the sheep are properly cared for, from the time they are born to the day they’re shipped to market. “I’ve fought the markets all of my life,” he says. “When you get a pretty band of sheep, you think, gosh damn, you love that, you love working with them, you love making them good. It’s something you’re proud of, but they’ve got to be taken care of. Someone is with them 24 hours a day. And they’re taken care of.”

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

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TaxReform.gov Website Launched

TaxReform.gov is a new website dedicated to obtaining input from the American public on tax reform. The site was launched by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.). The website was developed in partnership with the Joint Committee on Taxation. The creators of the site anticipate receiving input from visitors that will be valuable as legislation is crafted. The site also incorporates many Twitter tools that allow the public to weigh in by following @simplertaxes. The last successful overhaul of the U.S. tax code was completed in 1985, according to a news release posted to the House Ways and Means Committee website. Protecting farmers’ and ranchers’ tax interests in debates on fiscal policy and tax reform is a priority included in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s strategic action plan for 2013.

Grocery Chain Connects Farmers with Consumers

Safeway, a nationwide grocery chain, is connecting local farmers with consumers through its “Fresh from our Farm” campaign. The retailer offers an interactive map on its website providing descriptions and the location of its 150 local suppli34

ers. Consumers can also watch local producer’s video profiles on the grocer’s website and Facebook page.

Food Waste Challenge Launched

The Agriculture Department and the Environmental Protection Agency joined forces to launch the U.S. Food Waste Challenge on Tuesday. The government agencies are asking food producer groups, processors, manufacturers, retailers, communities and other government agencies to join the effort to reduce, reuse and recycle food waste. “Food waste [is] the single-largest type of waste entering our landfills—Americans throw away up to 40 percent of their food,” said Bob Perciasepe, EPA’s acting administrator. The goal of the challenge is to shift how Americans think and manage food and food waste while partnering with 1,000 organizations by 2020.

Ag Exports Promising

The Agriculture Department released its fourth Outlook for U.S. Agriculture Trade of the fiscal year recently, projecting $139.5 billion in agricultural exports in fiscal year 2013. If realized, the projection would be record setting. Projections have continued to climb since 2009 from $96.3 billion to this year’s forecasted figure.

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

USDA RMA - Funding Opportunity

The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), operating through the Risk Management Agency (RMA), announces its intent to award approximately $3,000,000 to fund the Risk Management Education Partnerships Program. Please note the following: 1. Applications must be submitted to rma.agrisk.umn.edu 2. A tutorial on how to apply is also available online at rma. agrisk.umn.edu. Please read the RFA and tutorial before submitting an application. 3. RMA will provide training on RFA changes from last year as well as how to apply on this new system on June 14 and June 27. To register for this free training, please send an email to RMA.Risk-Ed@rma. usda.gov or call 202-720-0779. 4. Applications will not be accepted through Grants.gov. 

8. Required documents to be completed, signed and uploaded to the application system prior to submitting the application are: a) OMB Standard Form 424, “Application for Federal Assistance” b) OMB Standard Form 424-A, “Budget Information – Nonconstruction Programs” c) OMB Standard Form 424-B, “Assurances, Non-constructive Programs” d) OMB Standard Form LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities” e) AD-1049, “Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace” f) “Current and Pending” These forms are available in the application system on the “Tutorials and Application Resources” page. Applications submitted without these required forms will be rejected.

Questions may be forwarded to USDA–RMA– RME, phone: 202–720–0779, e-mail: RMA. 6. Applicants must be regis- Risk-Ed@rma.usda.gov. You tered in the System for Ac- may also obtain information quisition Management (SAM) regarding this announcement which has replaced the Central from the RMA Web site at: Contractor Registry (CCR).  ht t p://w w w.r ma.usda.gov/ Please visit www.SAM.gov for aboutrma/agreements. information on how to register. 5. Hard copy applications will not be accepted.

7. Application process closes July 22 at 11:59 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). NO EXCEPTIONS. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications early.

Generation Influences Milk Consumption

A recent study published by USDA examines milk consumption by different gen-


erations. The report examines trends in Americans’ fluid milk consumption, including average portion sizes and generational differences in the frequency of milk drinking, to investigate possible explanations for the continued decreases. One explanation is that younger generations drink less milk at mealtimes, reducing the number of consumption occasions. USDA finds that Americans born after 1930 begin the decline in consumption and each subsequent generation drinks less and less fluid milk per day on average. Differences across the generations in fluid milk intake may help account for the observed decreases in per capita fluid milk consumption in recent decades despite public and private sector efforts to stem the decline.

What Does Rural Really Mean?

A recent Washington Post article proved answering the question “What does rural

World Food Prize Awarded to Biotechnology Scientists

Recently, the Council for Bio-

mean?” is more difficult than one might think. By government standards, there are 15 definitions of the word rural, 11 alone being used by the Agriculture Department. The most expansive definition claims rural is less than 50,000 residents, while fewer than 2,500 people is the smallest government definition of rural, causing problems to those seeking rural development grants. The recently passed Senate farm bill would lower the government’s list of definitions to nine, but the article claims there is already talk of additions to the list come January.

New Online Tool to Improve Conservation Methods

USDA in collaboration with Colorado State University has created a free online tool to assist farmers in calculating how much carbon their conservation actions can eliminate from the atmosphere. COMET-FARM

technology Information announced the laureates of the 2013 World Food Prize recipients. Mary-Dell Chilton, founder and distinguished fellow of Syngenta; Robert Fra-

can also calculate and explain how land management decisions affect energy use and carbon emissions. To use COMET-FARM, visit www.comet-farm.com.

Woody Biomass Sales Benefit Independent Forest Owners

A recent Wall Street Journal article by Chuck Leavell—a forest owner, Rolling Stones keyboardist and American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture “Book of the Year” author—addressed the current debate on utilizing U.S. wood as an energy source in European Union countries from an independent forest owner’s perspective. “Europe’s increasing use of woody biomass, such as wood pellets, has not resulted in the inappropriate over-harvesting of U.S. forests that some fear,” wrote Leavell. “The demand has created a viable use for woody material from forestry operations that typically goes to waste.”

ley, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Monsanto; and Marc Van Montagu, chairman of the Institute for Plant Biotechnology Outreach at Ghent University

He explained Americans are good stewards of the land, forest owners utilize sustainable methods and proper regulations are in place. “Forest owners who sell timber have an incentive to ensure that their forests remain healthy, productive and sustainable.”

USDA Develops New OPP Test

Researchers at the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Research Service have developed a genetic test to help sheep producers recognize animals at risk for ovine progressive pneumonia. OPP symptoms include those associated with pneumonia, lameness and “hard bag” syndrome. Sheep diagnosed with OPP have decreased productivity and give birth to fewer lambs. The new test will detect sheep that are genetically less susceptible to the virus, lower the number of cases and select breeding stock with low-risk genetic factors.

were pioneers in agricultural biotechnology and helped to improve the quality of life for both farmers and consumers.

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

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Farm Bureau Members Pay Less For Choice Hotels!

FARM BUREAU COMMODITY REPORT GRAIN PRICES

A $60 room will be closer to

Old Crop N.Q. 8.20-8.58 9.12 275.00

N.Q. - 48 to - .11 - .21 - 10.00

Ogden:

Old Crop 7.80 7.22 7.85 11.70

New Crop 6.55 6.65 7.79 9.31

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Pocatello:

Old Crop 7.48 7.55 7.48 11.35

New Crop 6.10 6.63 7.47 9.16

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Burley:

Old Crop 7.50 7.04 7.73 11.25

New Crop 6.35 6.34 7.28 9.75

-----

Nampa:

Old Crop 11.83 7.10

New Crop 7.00 6.40

---

7.45 221.50

7.15 216.50

- .30 - 5.00

5/21/2013

6/21/2013

White Wheat 11% Winter 14% Spring Barley White Wheat 11% Winter 14% Spring Barley White Wheat (cwt) (Bushel)

$48 A $90 room will be closer to

White Wheat Barley

LIVESTOCK PRICES Under 500 lbs 500-700 lbs 700-900 lbs Over 900 lbs

1.800.258.2847

Farm Bureau Discount Code

00209550

Lewiston:

Feeder Steers

$72 advanced reservations required

Feeder Heifers Under 500 lbs 500-700 lbs 700-900 lbs Over 900 lbs

Holstein Steers Under 700 lbs Over 700 lbs

Cows

Utility/Commercial Canner & Cutter

Stock Cows

Bulls

Slaughter

BEAN PRICES: Pinto Pink Small Red

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

Trend

122-158 119-151 105-135 89-115

128-162 120-151 111-136 91-123

+ + + +

118-143 109-135 90-124 80-108

116-143 110-137 98-127 85-114

- 2 to steady + 1 to + 2 + 8 to + 3 + 5 to + 6

73-106 76-95

84-95 69-100

+ 11 to - 9 - 7 to + 5

60-85 55-74

60-82 60-73

steady to - 3 + 5 to - 1

800-1200

850-1275

+ 50 to + 75

68-110

65-105

- 3 to - 5

33.00-34.00 38.00-40.00 38.00-40.00

34.00-35.00 38.00-40.00 38.00-40.00

+ 1.00 Steady Steady

Compiled by the Idaho Farm Bureau Commodity Division 36

Trend

Old Crop 7.65 8.68-8.69 9.33 285.00

White Wheat 11% Winter 14% Spring Barley

$32

6/25/2013

Portland:

White Wheat 11% Winter 14% Spring Corn

A $40 room will be closer to

5/21/2013

6 1 6 2

to to to to

+4 steady +1 +8


The Table below is the same information as above, yo

IDaho Hay Report June 21, 2013 Tons: 12,400 Last Week: 250 Last Year: 7180 Compared to last week, Alfalfa steady. Trade turned moderate to active this week. Retail/feed store/horse not tested this week. Buyer demand good with light to moderate supplies. All prices are dollars per ton and FOB unless otherwise stated.

IDAHO HAY – 6/21/13 Tons: 12,400 Quality Tons Price Range Avg. Price All prices are dollars per ton and FOB unless otherwise stated. Premium/Supreme 5,800 Premium 1,600 Fair/Good 3,000 Alfalfa Large Square

235.00 225.00 200.00

235.00 225.00 200.00

Fair - Delivered 2,000

202.00

202.00

Alfalfa/Grass Mix Large Square http://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/ML_GR312.txt USDA Market News, Moses Lake, WA 509-393-1343 or 707-3150

POTATOES June 18, 2013 IDAHO---Open-market trading by processors with growers was inactive.

5 Year Grain Comparison

Grain Prices.................6/23/2009.....................6/23/2010.....................6/28/2011.................... 6/25/2012....................6/25/2013 Portland: White Wheat..................... 5.75 ..............................4.53 ..............................6.70 ..........................7.33 .............................N.Q. 11% Winter...................6.15-6.30 .....................No Bid.........................7.43-7.64.......................7.63-7.93......................8.20-8.58 14% Spring.........................7.78 .............................66457 ..........................10.42 ...........................9.38 ...........................9.12 Corn...................................171.75.........................161-161.25....................286-288.50...................282-284.25...................... 275.00 Ogden:.................................................................................................................................................................................... N.C. White Wheat.....................4.64 .............................4.00 ..............................6.60 ............................6.60............................. 6.55 11% Winter....................... 5.28............................... 3.76 .............................6.34 ............................6.51............................. 6.65 14 % Spring...................... 6.62 .............................5.29 ..............................9.48 ............................7.84.............................. 7.79 Barley.................................6.86 .............................6.30 .............................11.75.............................10.20............................. 9.31 Pocatello:................................................................................................................................................................................ N.C. White Wheat..................... 4.55 .............................3.70 .............................6.00 ............................6.25............................. 6.10 11% Winter....................... 4.74 ..............................3.59 ..............................5.96 ............................6.06 .......................... 6.63 14% Spring........................ 6.43 ..............................5.21 .............................9.56 ............................7.95 ........................... 7.47 Barley................................. 6.65 ............................5.94 ..........................11.35 ..........................10.10............................ 9.16

UPPER VALLEY, TWIN FALLS-BURLEY DISTRICT, IDAHO---Shipments 580-701683 (includes export of 4-3-3)---Movement expected to remain about the same. Trading baled very active, cartons active. Prices baled higher, cartons generally unchanged. Russet Burbank U.S. One baled 5 10-pound film bags non size A mostly 5.00-6.50, 50-pound cartons 40-100s mostly 10.50-11.00. Shipments for the week ending June 15, 2013 were generally Russets Burbanks.

Burley: White Wheat..................... 4.35 .............................3.70 .............................6.20 ............................6.36............................. 11% Winter....................... 4.99 .............................3.73 ..............................6.06 ............................6.11 .......................... 14% Spring........................ 6.28 .............................5.05 ..............................9.36 ............................7.51 ........................... Barley................................. 5.75...............................5.25 .............................11.25 ...........................9.50 ...........................

6.35 6.34 7.28 9.75

Nampa: White Wheat (cwt)...........7.75 ..............................6.08 ..............................9.58 ...........................10.60............................ 7.00 (bushel)........... 4.65 .............................3.65 ..............................5.75 ............................6.36............................. 6.40 Lewiston: White Wheat..................... 5.45 ..............................4.25 ..............................6.40 ............................7.10...............................7.15 Barley............................... 125.50........................... 111.50 .......................216.50...........................204.50...........................216.50 Bean Prices: Pintos..................................N/A..........................28.00-30.00........................30.00.............................50.00.......................34.00-35.00 Pinks...................................N/A...............................30.00....................... 30.00-32.00.................45.00-48.00.................38.00-40.00 Small Reds..........................N/A...............................30.00...............................N/A............................... N/A.........................38.00-40.00 ***

IDAHO Milk production UP 0.3% June 20, 2013 Idaho milk production during May 2013 totaled 1.18 billion pounds, a 0.3 percent increase from the same month last year, but up 5.2 percent from April 2013, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. April 2013 milk production was revised to 1.12 billion pounds, up 3 million pounds from the preliminary estimate. Milk production in the 23 major States during May totaled 16.5 billion pounds, up 0.9 percent from May 2012. April revised production, at 16.1 billion pounds, was up 0.2 percent from April 2012. The April revision represented a decrease of 20 million pounds or 0.1 percent from last month’s preliminary production estimate.

Special Note: Due to sequestration, administrative data will be used for all releases of this report through the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2013. Releases will contain milk production data only. No information on the number of cows or milk per cow will be released. Please check the NASS website at www.nass.usda.gov for any future updates on NASS programs.

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

37


5 Year livestock comparison ......................................6/23/2009.....................6/22/2010.....................6/27/2011.....................6/18/2012.................... 6/21/2013 Under 500 lbs.................94-124 ......................101-140..........................125-161 ................... 140-189 ................... 128-162 500-700 lbs..................... 88-115 ........................97-132 .........................112-152.........................131-169........................ 120-151 700-900 lbs.....................77-107 .........................85-110 .........................102-140 .......................119-155.........................111-136 Over 900 lbs....................80-86 ..........................88-98 ..........................95-108..........................110-134......................... 91-123 Feeder Heifers Under 500 lbs................. 85-113 .........................97-132...........................115-153 ....................135-165........................ 116-143 500-700 lbs..................... 83-114 .........................87-125 ..........................91-136 .....................129-161........................ 110-137 700-900 lbs......................74-94 ...........................73-90 ..........................82-121..........................114-141.........................98-127 Over 900 lbs...................No Bid...........................No Bid .........................82-105...........................89-125 ....................... 85-114 Holstein Steers Under 700 lbs..................48-74 ..........................65-102...........................65-115...........................75-129...........................84-95 Over 700 lbs....................45-60 ..........................65-81 ...........................65-95 ..........................75-112..........................69-100 Cows Utility/Commercial...........33-53.............................43-68.............................52-83............................ 65-86............................60-82 Canner & Cutter..............22-45.............................35-60.............................40-72............................55-79............................60-73 Stock Cows.....................570-1080........................700-900 ......................850-1500....................1000-1300.....................850-1275 Bulls – Slaughter............43-67.............................47-84.............................60-95 ......................... 75-104..........................65-105

Idaho Cattle on Feed Down 2 Percent from Previous Year

June 21, 2013 Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Idaho from feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head on June 1, 2013 totaled 205,000 head, down 2 percent from the previous year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The cattle on feed inventory is also down 2 percent from May 1, 2013. Placements of cattle in feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during May totaled 41,000 head, up 12,000 head from May 2012 placements. Marketings of cattle from feedlots with 1,000 head or more during May totaled 45,000 head, up 13,000 head from last year. Other disappearance totaled 1,000 head during May. Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.7 million head on June 1, 2013. The inventory was 3 percent below June 1, 2012. Placements in feedlots during May totaled 2.05 million, 2 percent below 2012. Net placements were 1.95 million head. During May, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 390,000, 600-699 pounds were 304,000, 700-799 pounds were 555,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 800,000. Marketings of fed cattle during May totaled 1.95 million, 3 percent below 2012. Marketings are the second lowest since the series began in 1996 for the month of May. Other disappearance totaled 100,000 during May, unchanged from 2012.

Cattle Outlook June 21, 2013

Today’s cattle on feed report said the number on feed at the start of June was 10.736 million head, up 1,000 head from the month before but down 3.1% compared to a year ago. The report was a bit bearish as placements were higher than pre-release trade estimates and marketings were lower. Choice retail beef prices averaged $5.241 per pound in grocery stores during May. That was down 2.3 cents from April, but up 27.6 from May 2012. All fresh beef averaged $4.877 per pound in May. The record for retail beef prices was set in March 2013 at $5.30 per pound. The 5 area average price for slaughter steers in May was $127.50/cwt. That tied the record set the month before and was up $6.40 from May 2012. As of June 16, 64% of corn acres were rated in good or excellent condition. That is up 1 percentage point from the week before and also up 1 point from a year ago. 23% of U.S. pastures were rated in poor or very poor condition on June 16, down from 28% poor or very poor a year ago. Fed cattle prices were lower this week on good volume. Through Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was $121.37/ cwt, down $2.84 from last week, but up $3.57 from the same week last year. Steer prices on a dressed basis averaged $193.57/cwt this week, down 74 cents from a week ago, but up $5.70 from a year ago. This morning, the boxed beef cutout value for choice carcasses was $199.54/cwt, down 61 cents from the previous Friday, but up $2.64 from a year ago. The select carcass cutout is at $186.41/cwt, up $2.86 for the week. The choice-select price spread dropped $3.46 this week to $13.14/cwt.

38

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

This week’s cattle slaughter totaled 659,000 head, up 2.3% from last week and up 0.8% from a year ago. The average steer dressed weight for the week ending on June 8 was 853 pounds, up 3 pounds from the week before and up 5 pounds from a year ago. The last time steer weights were below the year-earlier level was the week ending January 7, 2012.Year-to-date cattle slaughter is down 1.5%, but yearto-date beef production is down only 1.0%. Oklahoma City feeder cattle auction prices this week were steady to $3 higher with prices for medium and large frame #1 steers: 400-450# $170, 450-500# $168$175.50, 500-550# $159.50-$170, 550-600# $150.25-$166.50, 600-650# $140.50$153, 650-700# $137.50-$146, 700-750# $133-$142, 750-800# $134-$141.35, 800-900# $130-$139, and 900-1000# $120-$127/cwt. The June live cattle futures contract closed at $121.25/cwt today, up $2.25 from last week’s close. The August fed cattle contract gained $3.28 from last Friday to settle at $121.60/cwt. October fed cattle futures settled at $125.12/cwt and December at $127.10/cwt. August feeder cattle futures settled at $146.92/cwt, up $3.52 for the week. The September contract gained $2.93 from last Friday to close at $149.93/cwt. Provided by: University of Missouri


Classifieds

Animals

Real Estate/Acreage

Vehicles

Wanted

ASCA registered Australian Shepherd pups. Working line since 1968. Full satisfaction guaranteed. All four colors available. Boise, Id 208-484-9802

Mobile Homes: 1974 Marlette, 14x70 $7,500 Tip-out. Near new furnace/hot water heater. 1974 Skylark 12x60 $6,000. 1974 Academy 14x60 $6,500. Good Condition. Sold “AS IS”. Natural Gas. Mobile Home Rehab Law Applies. Must be moved. Shelley area. For more Info call 528-5337. Leave message.

2003 Silverado Pickup, 2500 HD, extended cab, 6.6 turbo charged diesel, well cared for and in excellent condition. Asking $13,000. Nampa, Id. 208-250-7155

Paying cash for men’s vintage/old clothing from the 1950s and back. Includes denim (jeans, jackets, bibs), leather jackets, boots, suits, shirts, pants, and WW2 U.S. Clothing. Condition can vary! Call 208-241-5366

Recreational Vehicles

Wanted

37’ Fleetwood 1994 RV, Southwind special edition, with 57,128 miles. Sleeps 6, seats 10. 8 outside storage compartments. Ford 460 fuel injected gas motor, hydraulic jacks, air conditioning. Asking price is $12,000. Pocatello, Id. 208-251-3435 or 251-4411

Paying cash for German & Japanese war relics/souvenirs! Pistols, rifles, swords, daggers, flags, scopes, optical equipment, uniforms, helmets, machine guns (ATF rules apply) medals, flags, etc. 549-3841 (evenings) or 208-405-9338.

2003 Montana 5th wheel. 2 slides. Loaded, no pets, non-smokers, clean and fancy. Salmon, Id 208-756-1475

Old License Plates Wanted: Also key chain license plates, old signs, light fixtures. Will pay cash. Please email, call or write. Gary Peterson, 130 E Pecan, Genesee, Id 83832. gearlep@gmail.com. 208-285-1258

Registered Quarter Horses - Proven bloodlines that make super working cow horses, cutting horses and roping horses. A great selection with plenty of color and chrome. Yearling to 4 yr olds. Older horses started with 30 day training. Hamer, Id 208-589-1951

Farm Equipment Balewagons: New Holland self-propelled or pull-type models/parts. Also interested in buying balewagons. Will consider any model. Call Jim Wilhite at 208-880-2889 anytime

Miscellaneous Horse size Biothane harness, excellent condition. $800. Lots of extras. Juliaetta, Id. 208-276-7540 Western saddle: 15½ “ seat, natural-gold leather with cowboy floral corner tooling and conchos, double-dee rigging, weight 35 lbs, 2” post + 3½ “ cap horn. Extra set of stirrups - tapederos w/floral tooling. Wendell, Id 208-536-6724 Two Antique Union Pacific Railroad Jackets; Two, 2500 bu. Grain bins in good condition; New Albers self-locking stations, 350 holes; New Cornell chopper pump 4” discharge with 3 hp. 3 phase motor; Oliver One Row Potato Digger field ready. All at Best offer. Wendell, Id 208-536-6448 27 lengths 3 inch hook and latch sprinkler pipe $540; Craftsman 10” radial arm saw, good condition $150. Ashton. Id. 208-6527214

Trailers

1976 Chevrolet Caprice Classic. 4 dr, has 4 snow tires on rims. Moscow, Id 208-8830511

DEADLINE DATES: ADS MUST BE RECEIVED BY

AUGUST 20 FOR NEXT ISSUE.

1988 Coleman MC Trailer - Burgundy w/ Chrome, Spare Tire. Stainless Coleman Cooler attached. $1,500. Gooding, photos on request. ddonnae@gmail.com 208-731-7845 Heavy duty 24 ft drop deck fifth wheel equipment trailer. 35 ton cap. Air brakes. Could be used for bulk chemical tank transport. $4000 or trade for 12 t (or greater) tilt trailer. Potlatch, Id. 208-3052929

Vehicles 1981 GMC Cabalaro. 90 percent restored. Have 10K invested. Saint Maries, Id. 208245-3053

FREE CLASSIFIED ADS

FOR IDAHO FARM BUREAU MEMBERS send to: dashton@idahofb.org

Idaho Farm Bureau producer / JuLY 2013

39


July 2013, Volume 17, Issue 5  
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