AMG Capitol Review - March 23, 2018

2016 AMG Legislative Summary


The 2nd Regular Session of the 63rd Idaho Legislature convened on January 11 and adjourned on March 25 around noon. The legislature had met for a total of 75 days. During that time there were 831 pieces of legislation introduced with both houses passing 379 bills. During the 2016 Session, AMG lobbyists attended all meetings of the Ag Lobbyist group (each Tuesday) and represented clients at Food Producers of Idaho meetings (each Wednesday).  Food Producers of Idaho hosted invited legislators for lunch each Wednesday. These lunches provided an opportunity to get to know legislators and for legislators to gain a better understanding of Idaho agriculture and the groups involved in our industry. Benjamin Kelly participated in the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI) weekly legislative meetings representing Idaho Cooperative Council.


The groups we lobbied for during the 2016 Session included:

Rick Waitley/Benjamin Kelly/Nic Gibson:

Food Producers of Idaho  Idaho Honey Industry Association
Idaho Alfalfa & Clover Seed Growers Assoc Idaho Weed Control Association
Idaho Cooperative Council, Inc. Nezperce Prairie Grass Growers Assoc.
Idaho Hay and Forage Association Northwest Farm Credit Services

Roger Batt:

Idaho Eastern Oregon Seed Association Pacific Seed Association
Idaho Grape Growers & Wine Producers Sawtooth Law Offices
Idaho Heartland Coalition Treasure Valley Water Users Association
Idaho Mint Growers Association  Western Equipment Dealers Association
Idaho Seed Pesticide Council


AG ECONOMIC OUTLOOK:  On January 8, University of Idaho agricultural economist Garth Taylor gave the annual agriculture forecast to lawmakers for 2015. The forecast looked at the past year, made conclusions for the 4th quarter in the calendar year for budgeting purposes and gave lawmakers a good handle on how 2015 fared for agriculture.  Read more...

Temporary Burn Permits

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) intends to submit the final draft to the Board of Environmental Quality for consideration for temporary adoption at the April 25, 2011 Board meeting. If the rule is adopted by the Board, DEQ will submit the rule for publication in the June 2011 issue of the Idaho Administrative Bulletin and will initiate the proposed rulemaking. These temporary rules will not go into effect until submitted through the EPA for the State Implementation Plan (SIP) which could take up to 18 months to be accepted. We do not expect to participate in the use of temporary burn permits until, at best, 2012.


The small crop residue burns will include baled agricultural residue, spot burns and blanching (a processed used in mint production).


  • Baled agricultural residue refers to bales that are broken, mildewed, diseased or otherwise pest-ridden still remaining in the field where they were generated.

  • Spot burns include an area to be burned that is not definable and predictable. The open burning of small weed patches, spots of heavy residue, equipment plugs and dumps and the pivot corners of fields constitute spot burns.

  • Blanching is the use of flame-generating equipment to briefly apply flame and/or heat to the topsoil of a cultivated field of a pre-emerged or plowed-under field with less than 30% or 550 lbs of residue per acre in order to control diseases, insects, pests and weed emergence.

The requirements to apply for a spot burn permit would be a nonrefundable fee of $20 paid to DEQ as an administration fee. The registration information provided for a crop residue burn permit will also be required for a spot burn permit. The permit will be valid for the calendar year in which it is issued and is good for a cumulative total of no more than ten (10) acres of small spots and/or baled agricultural residue during the year and no more than one (1) acre of small spots or baled agricultural residue per day. Two (2) tons of baled agricultural residue is assumed to be equal to one (1) acre.


Those wanting to burn are responsible to ensure that adequate measures are taken so the burn does not create a hazard for travel on a public roadway. Burning is not allowed if the proposed burn location is within three (3) miles of an institution with a sensitive population and the surface wind speed is greater than twelve (12) miles per hour or if the smoke is adversely impacting or is expected to adversely impact an institution with a sensitive population. Burning is permitted for a county unless DEQ has designated that the day is a no-burn day which may include weekends and holidays. Spot and baled agriculture residue burns cannot smolder or create smoke outside of the designated time period that burning is allowed.


After a spot burn is complete, the farmer will need to record the date, time frame, type of burn, and amount burned on the date of the burn. Records of such burns will need to be retained for two years and made available to DEQ upon request.


Idaho Legislative Contacts


Congressional office for Senator Jim Risch

Congressional office for Senator Michael Crapo

Congressional office for Rep Raul Labrador

Congressional office for Rep. Mike Simpson


Visit the Idaho Legislature webpage for information about the current legislative session and to find contact information for your local legislators.



View the Food Producers of Idaho website to stay current with specific legislation being followed by the membership of Food Producers.



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