The dry bean and seed industries in Idaho say they will try again to get soybean production banned in south-central and southeastern parts of the state. The concern is that the crop could bring in soybean cyst nematode and other diseases that can also impact dry beans, sugar beets and other crops, says Roger Batt, executive director of the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Seed Association. Batt said a bill would soon be introduced in the state legislature that would place a moratorium on soybean production in the Magic Valley and Treasure Valley, where the state’s dry bean and seed industries are centered. Last year, the bean and seed industries asked the State Department of Agriculture to initiate a rule that would accomplish that but the idea was nixed. ISDA said “current rules are in place to sufficiently prevent disease and that banning a crop is not an appropriate role for an ISDA rule.” Soybean acres in Idaho have fluctuated between a couple dozen to a couple hundred over the past decade but some people believe it’s only a matter of time before the oilseed is grown on a large scale in the state because of Idaho’s large and growing dairy industry. Bob Naerebout, governmental affairs director for the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, said the group is examining what impact such legislation would have on his industry.
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