Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 29, 2017)
December 29, 2017
Idaho potato group extends bowl game deal
EAGLE, Idaho — The
Idaho Potato Commission has
announced a five-year exten-
sion of its sponsorship of the
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
The IPC has sponsored the
college football bowl game
since 2011 and will continue
to spend $450,000 a year for
at least the next five years to
remain its title sponsor.
The IPC this year commis-
sioned a study by an indepen-
dent group to determine the
return on investment the com-
mission gets from its sponsor-
ship of the game, which aired
The study put the media
value of the sponsorship at
$13 million annually, said
IPC president and CEO Frank
“We see this as a very good
return on investment in terms
of the media value we get
from it,” he said.
During the commission’s
regular meeting Dec. 21, IPC
board member and Oakley
farmer Randy Hardy asked
fellow board members some
questions to demonstrate the
value of the sponsorship.
He asked them if they
knew who the title sponsor
of that day’s bowl game —
the Gasparilla Bowl — was?
The answer was a unanimous
The contract the IPC nego-
tiated with ESPN to sponsor
the game requires that every
time the network mentions it,
they have to refer to it by its
full title — “Famous Idaho
Hardy said that leaves
viewers with no doubt about
which industry sponsors the
“No other bowl does that,”
he told Capital Press later. “It
can’t be the spud bowl or the
Idaho bowl. It has to be the
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.”
Hardy also asked fellow
board members if they knew
what a Gasparilla was? Again,
the answer was a unanimous
“Most people don’t even
know who the sponsor of the
Rose Bowl or Cotton Bowl
is,” said Muir. “With our
game, the title sponsor is in
the name of the bowl.”
The game, which aired on
ESPN, draws more than 2
million viewers per year and
because everything about the
game is centered around pota-
toes, those people watch what
is essentially a four-hour info-
mercial about Idaho potatoes,
Hardy said some growers
and even a few commission-
ers have questioned the IPC’s
sponsorship of the bowl game
and asked, “Are we really
selling potatoes by sponsoring
the bowl game?”
He said he believes the
IPC gets a tremendous return
on investment from the spon-
“For the amount of money
we spend on the game com-
pared to the media value we
get out of that, it’s a no-brain-
er,” he said.
Researcher honored for clean water innovations
By CAROL RYAN DUMAS
University of Idaho researcher Greg Moller
has been elected a fellow of the National Acade-
my of Inventors for his innovative work to clean
An environmental chemist and toxicologist,
Moller works to lessen the environmental foot-
print of communities and businesses by develop-
ing filters to remove pollutants, including phos-
phorus and nitrogen, from wastewater.
He holds six patents, which are licensed to
industry, and has three patents pending final ap-
proval. His filter systems now treat billions of
gallons of wastewater a year across the U.S. and
in Great Britain and South Korea.
Moller said he is humbled to be included with
such a distinguished group of individuals.
Along with the honorary distinction, the fel-
lowship recognizes research that solves prob-
lems, gets innovation into the marketplace and
generates economic activity, he said.
Moller is preparing to take his newest tech-
nology — the University of Idaho Clean Water
Machine — to Canada to test its effectiveness in
treating agricultural runoff water from the Hol-
land Marsh near Toronto.
The technology is being developed by Moller
and University of Idaho soil scientist Dan Strawn
and mechanical engineer Martin Baker. The
team is among 10 semifinalists in the Everglades
Foundation’s $10 million George Barley Water
Prize competition, an incentive for developing
cost-effective technology to remove phosphorus
from fresh water.
“The new norm in many of the impact sites
is large algae blooms that have toxic impacts on
aquatic systems,” Moller said.
The pilot test in Canada is the university
team’s third stage of a four-stage challenge in the
Barley Prize competition.
The Holland Marsh is the salad bowl of Can-
ada with high agricultural production. It is tri-
angulated by Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake
Ontario. The Great Lakes account for 21 percent
of the fresh water on earth, he said.
The three-month field trial will begin in
mid-February to address the huge runoff that oc-
curs with the spring melt to try to remove and
recover nutrients and aid the agricultural commu-
nity, he said.
“The regional problem is an overabundance
of phosphorus leaving the fields into drainage
canals and feeding into the Great Lakes,” he said.
The Clean Water Machine is a mobile re-
search unit on the back of a 40-foot trailer. It can
process 21,000 gallons of water a day. Commer-
cial partner installations of earlier versions of the
technology process more than 15 million gallons
a day, Moller said.
The university team is working to establish a
water-filter platform modeled on nature for how
soil cleans water, he said.
It addresses highly contaminated water from
urban, suburban and agricultural systems to keep
those systems from releasing pollutants into sur-
face water for a smaller environmental impact.
Inputs for the process are simple — water, air,
sand, rust, electricity and charcoal. The filter is
able to strip out many contaminants of concern,
such as phosphorus, nitrogen, heavy metals and
pharmaceuticals, which current wastewater pro-
cesses do not address very well, he said.
By MATTHEW WEAVER
Five grain companies in
Eastern Washington plan to
merge next spring.
Central Washington Grain
Growers Inc. of Waterville,
Davenport Union Warehouse
Co., Odessa Union Ware-
house Co-Op and Reardan
Grain Growers Inc. will all
merge on April 1. They are
purchasing Almira Farmers
Warehouse Co. to form High-
Line Grain Growers Inc.
“HighLine Grain focuses
on delivering value to our pa-
trons through the products and
services we provide, while
By DAN WHEAT
University of Idaho
Mechanical engineer Martin Baker, left, chemistry student Amber LaVigne and Greg Moller stand with
the N-E-W Tech Nutrient Energy, Water Innovation Phosphorus Extraction system at the Moscow water
treatment plant in 2015.
The charcoal used is called biochar, which is
carbonized matter recovered from biofuel pro-
duction, Strawn said.
Research has shown adding biochar to soil is
beneficial. The process recovers phosphorus and
nitrogen. The biochar can then be used in agri-
cultural systems, he said. It often increases plant
production and decreases the amount of water
needed by plants because it increases the soil’s
water-holding capacity, he said.
The whole system is an interesting conver-
gence of several ideas of sustainability. It’s a
multi-tool approach, which is where progress in
sustainability will be made, he said.
Water treatment and nutrient recycling reduce
costs, and practices that are economically sus-
tainable are more likely to be implemented and
Five grain co-ops set to merge
CEO: Move allows
The game pits teams from
the Mountain West Confer-
ence and Mid-American Con-
ference. Four of the five larg-
est potato-consuming states
have teams in those two con-
During the IPC meeting,
MAC Commissioner Jon
Steinbrecher thanked board
members for their sponsor-
ship of the game and told
them, “We’re in a part of the
world that consumes a lot of
He said the bowl game
“provides incredible exposure
for your product across the
delivering competitive market
access and opportunities for
the crops they produce,” Paul
Katovich, CEO of HighLine
Grain LLC and general man-
ager of Central Washington
Grain Growers Inc., said in an
Katovich will become
CEO of HighLine Grain
In response to a BNSF Rail-
way request, the five compa-
nies in July 2012 began work
on a $30 million facility to
load grain onto 110-car trains
to maintain their rate structure.
They formed HighLine Grain
LLC to combine trading oper-
ations and logistics.
The members worked to-
gether for years to make the
merger happen, Katovich
said. The focus remains on
the needs of the companies’
patrons moving forward, he
HighLine Seed and Special
Services will allow the com-
pany to expand “top-flight”
testing programs that focus on
the needs of patrons, Katovich
“HighLine will streamline
harvest by managing speed
and space in ways that were
unavailable to the individual
partners,” he said. “Economies
of scale will allow us to com-
partmentalize tasks, increase
our buying and selling power
and provide research that con-
centrates on our region.”
Ryan Higginbotham, cur-
rently director of Washing-
ton State University’s cereal
variety testing program, will
serve as manager of seed and
Audited financials for the
company will be available at
its first annual meeting, he
Once combined, the mem-
bership will include more than
3,700 patrons, he said.
make it into agricultural systems and water-treat-
ment processes, he said.
With this filtration system, agriculture would
be able to participate in pollution credit pro-
grams, he said.
Next year, the team also plans to test the tech-
nology’s ability to remove phosphorus and nitro-
gen from waters in Idaho’s Treasure Valley and
the Boise Basin.
A couple of years ago, the team started test-
ing the filter system on dairy lagoon water at
the university’s research dairy in Moscow. That
research, aimed at recovering nutrients in the
wastewater and recovering water for reuse, is
The results thus far show the technology has
the potential to do that, Moller said.
WENATCHEE, Wash. — Wash-
ington has good opportunity for
strong apple shipments domestically
and overseas this season, Todd Fry-
hover, president of the Washington
Apple Commission, says.
“We really hold all the cards a
little earlier than normal,” Fryhover
told commissioners at a Dec. 14
meeting in Wenatchee.
Fryhover noted that as of Dec.
1, Washington has 85 percent of the
remaining available U.S. fresh apple
crop to be sold in the next eight or
nine months versus New York at 4.9
percent, Michigan at 3.2 percent and
Pennsylvania at 1.2 percent. Those
U.S. Apple Association numbers
show Washington in a stronger po-
sition about four to six weeks earlier
than usual, he said.
Michigan had a smaller crop this
fall therefore creating greater East
Coast demand for Washington ap-
ples a little earlier, Fryhover said.
While the 2017 Washington
fresh crop is large, at 142.3-million,
40-pound boxes, the situation is bet-
ter than 2014, the last crop of that
size, because of smaller fruit size,
smaller crops elsewhere and no work
slowdowns at West Coast seaports,
“I’m optimistic about domestic
and export sales. I’m not referenc-
ing pricing, just sales movement and
volume,” he said.
The World Apple and Pear Asso-
ciation shows European apple pro-
duction at 9.2 million metric tons,
down 22 percent this year, Fryhover
That gives Washington less Euro-
pean competition and greater oppor-
tunity for exports to the Middle East
and Southeast Asia, he said.
China is normally a 10-mil-
lion-box export into India but is shut
out of India on political issues giv-
ing Washington greater opportunity
in India, he said.
Fryhover provided commission-
ers with USDA Foreign Agricultural
Service numbers showing 2017-2018
total world fresh apple production at
76.2 million metric tons.
Of that, China produced 44.5 mil-
lion, the European Union 10 million
and the U.S. 4.6 million. Turkey is
2.7 million and India is 2.3 million.
China consumes 38.4 million
metric tons and exports 1.2 million.
The European Union exports 1 mil-
lion and the U.S. exports 890,000
H-B SYSTEM 2000 HORIZONTAL BALE CUTTING SAW
The heavy duty, hydraulically powered horizontal Bale Reclaim system,
with “Vertical cut positioning”
• The HB System 2000 comes complete with hydraulic cylinder and controls
for powered cut depth adjustment through the cut.
• Automatic bar oiler system is a standard feature on this unit.
• This saw splits bales using an L-M DE-68 inch saw bar running .404 pitch
chain designed for parallel cutting through any type of hay or straw.
P.O. Box 905 • Sandy, OR 97055
Phone (503) 235-3146 - Fax (503) 235-3916
Leasing available • Call for video
By SEAN ELLIS