January 19-20, 2011 @ ISU-Pocatello

The University of Idaho will convene its annual IDAHO POTATO CONFERENCE in Pocatello, Idaho, at the ISU Student Union on January 19-20, 2011.  The Idaho Potato Commission would like to encourage members of our industry to support and attend the conference to interact with top experts on the crop that made Idaho famous. 

The Commission will again be hosting a hospitality room for Idaho Potato Industry members (growers, shippers & processors who pay the potato tax) in the Heritage Room of the Student Union.  The room will be open on Wednesday, January 19th from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Thursday, January 20th the hospitality room hours will be from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  SEE YOU THERE!   

Government Affairs Report  By Pat Kole

We are preparing for the NPC Public Policy Conference and Leadership Institute scheduled for March 1-3 in Washington DC. This will be the first set of Congressional visits Idaho Potato Growers will make to the Hill since the November elections. It's important that we use this opportunity to raise many of the issues we just discussed at last week's NPC Annual Meeting, such as labor and immigration, EPA regulations, Korean, Mexico and China Market access, water and other environmental issues, and so forth. As NPC Board Member Randy Hardy pointed out at the meeting, it's crucial for our elected officials to hear directly from Idaho growers on these issues. Please consider participating in the local meetings (the first is described below, or in any of the NPC meetings.

Industry Relations Report  By Todd Cornelison

Ag Affairs Meeting to be held Wednesday January 12, 2011
We are holding our first Ag Affairs meeting of the New Year at the IPC Office in Idaho Falls. Not a member of the Ag Affairs Committee? No Problem.  Just let me (Todd Cornelison 208-559-4792) know you are coming and we will have a seat ready for you. Lunch will be served and the meeting will begin at 12:00 p.m. At 1:30 p.m. we will join in on a webinar provided by Spudman entitled "The State of the Potato Industry," featuring John Keeling of the NPC and John Toaspern of the USPB.

Many of us have just recently returned from the NPC/Potato Expo and are updated on the most current events happening in the industry today.

EPA Announces New Soil Fumigant Toolbox
EPA recently placed information on its web site to assist in better understanding the soil fumigant label requirements. The link to the site is provided below and the site includes the following information.


NRCS extends sign-up period for Conservation Stewardship Program

Applications accepted through January 21, 2011

BOISE, Idaho, Jan. 5, 2011 - USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) extended the ranking period cut-off date for applications in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to January 21, 2011.

"NRCS extended the deadline for applications two more weeks to give agricultural producers more time to complete their applications," said Idaho State Conservationist Jeff Burwell. "We hope the extension will allow more producers to participate in this program."

CSP offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and who agree to adopt new conservation activities. The program has a continuous sign-up with announced cut-off dates for ranking periods.

The program is open to all producers on cropland, pastureland, rangeland and non-industrial forestland, Burwell said. "Private forest landowners may not be aware of the financial assistance this program presents," he said, "but CSP offers those landowners an opportunity to implement conservation practices that can significantly improve their forests' health."

"Organic producers can also benefit from this program. Because of the nature of organic production they may have already addressed resource problems on their operation; CSP can reward them for maintaining those practices and help fund additional conservation activities they plan to implement." 

A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if CSP is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, contract obligations and potential payments. It is available from local NRCS offices or online at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/csp.html.

From October 2009 through September 2010 Idaho NRCS funded 202 CSP applications and provided over $4.1 million to help farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners implement conservation practices on their land.

To learn more, interested applicants should contact their local NRCS office or go online to http://www.id.nrcs.usda.gov/


11   Introduction to Food Safety Workshop, Hilton Garden Inn, Idaho Falls, ID
12   IPC Ag Affairs meeting, IPC Office, Idaho Falls, ID
18   Cost of Potato Production Meeting, 10:00 a.m., Red Lion, Pocatello, ID
18-20   32nd AG EXPO, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID
19-20   43rd Annual Potato Conference, Pond Student Union, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID
25-26   IPC Meeting, Eagle, ID
14-15   Leadership Idaho AG, Double Tree Inn, Boise, ID
24-3   Potato Industry Leadership Institute, Bakersfield, CA and Washington, DC
28-3   NPC Public Policy Meeting, Washington, D.C.
8-10   Practical Food Safety & HACCP Workshops for Potato Packers, Twin Falls, ID
8-11   USPB Annual Meeting, Colorado Springs, CO
12   NASS Report: Stocks and Processing to March 1.
15-16   IPC Meeting, Eagle, ID
22-24   Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Workshop, Boise, ID
12-13   IPC Meeting, Eagle, ID
12-13   IPC Meeting, Eagle, ID
14   Annual IPC Marathon