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Tobacco Beverage Companies opens 50th store

A Big Smoke store owned by Tobacco Beverage Companies. Photo courtesy of Andrea Jackson.

The Nampa-based Tobacco Beverage Companies opened its 50th store the week of July 20. All but four of the company’s stores are in Idaho. The latest is a 2,000-square-foot Big Smoke store that opened in Post Falls, said president Andrea ...

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Geothermal plant planned in southern Idaho

A geothermal company says it plans to build a $150 million energy facility near Malta in south-central Idaho. Aguacaliente spokesman Trent Yang tells The Times-News in a story on March 21 that the company recently finished drilling a third successful ...

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GenZ seeks manufacturer for pesticide equipment

GenZ's vineyard pesticide sprayer, which could use less pesticides, was tested last summer at Skyline Vineyards in Nampa.  Photo courtesy of GenZ Technology.

A Boise company has raised almost $400,000 to create a new pesticide applicator for farmers, and is aiming to start selling the devices later this year. GenZ Technology is also now in talks with large-scale agricultural manufacturers about making the ...

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Hummus drives chickpea growth; Idaho farmers benefit

The rising popularity of hummus across the nation has been good for farmers like Aaron Flansburg. Flansburg, who farms 1,900 acres amid the rolling hills of southeastern Washington, has been increasing the amount of the chickpeas used to make hummus ...

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Chobani founder asks Otter to veto ‘ag gag bill’

The founder of Greek yogurt maker Chobani asked Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter to veto a bill that jails for up to a year people who secretly film animal abuse at Idaho’s agricultural facilities. But Otter signed the bill Feb. 28. ...

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Idaho grain values down in 2013

grains of wheat - web

The value of Idaho grain production dropped in 2013 from 2012, according to a report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Per-bushel prices for wheat, barley and corn dropped between 2012 and 2013. The production value of all wheat in ...

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A word with Betty Munis, director of the Idaho Forest Products Commission

Photo by Patrick M. Sweeney

Betty Munis is the director of the Idaho Forest Products Commission, a state agency created by the Legislature to provide information about the use of Idaho’s public and private forest lands and about the state’s forest products industry. Timber is ...

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Disputed ‘ag gag bill’ advances in Idaho Senate

Milk producers convinced state senators Feb. 11 to back a bill aiming to halt spying on their operations, a measure prompted by animal activists who captured cruelty at a southern Idaho dairy on film in July 2012. The Agricultural Affairs ...

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Report: Irrigation shortages likely this summer

Jennifer Cuhaciyan, a technical hydrologist for Idaho Dept of Water Resources, and Ron Abramovich, a water supply specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, take snowpack measurements. Photo courtesy of NRCS.

With Idaho’s smallest snowpack accumulations at between 31 percent and 46 percent of normal as of Feb. 1, a federal report predicts the state will suffer irrigation shortages this year. Low reservoir storage and low streamflow forecast make irrigation shortages ...

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US companies push voluntary labels on modified foods

America’s large food companies are trying to head off efforts to enact mandatory labeling of genetically modified ingredients by proposing new voluntary labels nationwide. The food industry and farm groups are pushing Congress to pass legislation that would require the ...

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