Agriculture, Livestock and Range
Agriculture is the economic backbone of Owyhee County. It represents 26.1% 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. Today there are about 21,000 dairy cows, 30,800 beef cows and 84,800 other cattle (feeders, replacement heifers, etc.) in Owyhee County.
The beef industry plays an important socioeconomic role in the county. The Owyhee Cattlemen’s Association was formed in 1878 and still exists today. The association works to promote the beef industry, tackle common problems and to protect ranchers’ private property rights.
A major portion of Owyhee County, which is Idaho’s second largest county, is rangeland. Owyhee County includes a large amount of public land, with 75.8% federally owned (BLM) and 6.7% state owned. Only 17.5% of the total land area is privately owned. 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 make use of them.
Lost Rivers Grazing Academy
Lost Rivers Grazing Academy is held each year in Salmon, ID for livestock operators who want to increase their forage production, stocking rates, animal performance, and income.
2021 LRGA Brochure (PDF)
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 these criteria:
- Land is used for ag production (grazing, crops, etc.)
- 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 (PDF) is now finished and available. 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 for more information.
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 (PDF)
- 2016 ISDA Grasshopper and Mormon Cricket Landowner Request for Assistance Form (PDF)
- Idaho Private Rangeland Grazing–Lease Arrangements (RES 185)
- NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) for Ranchers (PDF, 5.8 MB)