Welcome to the U of I Owyhee County Extension Office
Agriculture is the economic backbone of Owyhee County and represents 26.1 percent of the total employment, with total sales of $127 million. Nearly two‐thirds of the total agriculture sales are derived from livestock operations. Other areas of employment do exist and are important to the economy. However, agriculture is the single largest contributor.
Beef production in Owyhee County has a long history beginning in the early mining days with cattle that were trailed north from Texas. There are approximately 21,000 dairy cows, 30,800 beef cows, and 84,800 other cattle (feeders, replacement heifers, etc.) currently in Owyhee County.
The beef industry plays an important socio‐economic role in the county. Ranching families are the backbone of rural towns and communities. The Owyhee Cattlemen’s Association was formed in 1878 and still exists today for the purposes of working together to promote the beef industry, tackle common problems, and to protect ranchers’ private property rights.
A major portion of Owyhee County, Idaho’s second largest county, is rangeland. Owyhee County is comprised of a significant amount of public lands, with 75.8 percent federally owned (BLM) and 6.7 percent state owned. Only 17.5 percent of the total land area is in private ownership. Most of the federal and state lands are rangelands, and are used for livestock grazing by private landowners who hold grazing permits. The use of these lands is vital to the ranchers who utilize them.
- Mormon Cricket Infestations. The Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) Mormon Cricket and Grasshopper Control Program offers help to ranchers, farmers, and the general public in the suppression of economically damaging infestations on private or state owned lands. This program is managed by the ISDA Invasive Species program, however, grasshoppers and Mormon crickets are native species in Idaho. The program provides pest management information and insecticide bait for private landowners to control damaging populations of these pests. Our program also strives to minimize potential negative environmental impacts from application of insecticides. Participants are required to abide by the EPA approved product labels and follow principles of sound pesticide stewardship. If you need help with grasshopper or Mormon cricket infestations go to the ISDA contact information and complaint form page or call 208-332-8620, if you meet this criteria:
- land is used for ag production (grazing, crops, etc.); and,
- must be 5 acres or larger.
- Contracting in Agriculture guide now available from USDA – In 2016 the Drake University Agricultural Law Center requested your help through a survey about production contracting with farmers. That effort was part of their work to update a resource from USDA Farm Service Agency. The updated brochure Contracting in Agriculture: Making the Right Decision, Information for Farmers from USDA is now finished and is available at http://sustainableagriculture.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/2016-Drake-FSA-NSAC-Production-Contracts-Guide.pdf. This guide is designed to help you understand production contracts – and to help identify the questions you should consider as you decide whether contracting is right for you. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
- News regarding Sodium Channel Neuropathy in Angus calves:
- What is your Ag Legacy?
- Cover Crops for Grazing Use in Idaho, PNW 901, Lauren Golden, Jon Hogge, Steven Hines, Joel Packham, and Christi Falen
- 2016 letter from ISDA regarding Grasshopper and Mormon Cricket Program
- 2016 ISDA Grasshopper and Mormon Cricket Landowner Request for Assistance Form
- Idaho Private Rangeland Grazing–Lease Arrangements
- NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) for Ranchers