Montana Department of Agriculture logo

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) provides a variety of commodity services to agricultural producers, businesses and consumers, and enforces laws and regulations related to the production of crops. These include inspection and regulation of produce, feed, seed, fertilizer and grain, as well as the certification of organic producers and handlers.

The State Grain Laboratory in Great Falls is a federally-licensed facility that tests crop samples from more than 20 commodities for quality characteristics such as grain size, protein and germination. Test results and certificates are available electronically through AgTrax.

The Analytical Laboratory at Montana State University in Bozeman provides chemistry testing services to the regulatory and monitoring programs in MDA - Feed, Fertilizer, Pesticide and Agricultural Chemical Ground Water Protection.

The department offers hail insurance for nearly all field crops grown in the state, to a level that typically covers costs to establish the crop.

The MDA offers grant and loan programs for specific commodity crops, including alfalfa seed, cherries, pulse crops (peas, lentils and chickpeas), potatoes, and wheat & barley.

Licenses are available for Commodity Dealers and Commodity Warehouses, Feed Dealers, Fertilizer Dealers, and Seed Dealers, and MDA also provides Export Certification and registers Feed and Fertilizer Products. The Hay Hotline is offered by the Montana Department of Agriculture as a service to the Agricultural industry. Producers may list hay for sale and pasture available.

Loading grain at one of Montana's Licensed Commodity Warehouses.

What Does the Program Do for Producers?

The Montana Agricultural Warehouse, Commodity Dealer and Grain Standards Act requires people or businesses who buy or store commodities to be licensed and provide surety to help protect farmers from non-payment for agricultural commodities. Separate licenses are required for commodity dealers and commodity warehouse operators.

The program protects producers and the industry by auditing the records of commodity dealers and warehouses, investigating complaints, pursuing enforcement of the act and providing education and assistance to the grain industry and the public.

Who Must Have a Commodity Dealer License?

A commodity dealer is a person or business that buys, exchanges, negotiates, or solicits the sale or transfer of agricultural commodities. Purchasers of more than $30,000 worth of Montana-grown agricultural commodities from producers during a licensing year (July 1 through June 30) must have a commodity dealer license. A commodity dealer is required to be bonded as well as licensed.

Who Needs a Commodity Warehouse License?

Probing grain at one of Montana's Licensed Commodity Warehouses.

A commodity warehouse is an elevator, mill warehouse, sub-terminal grain warehouse, public warehouse or other facility compensated to store, handle, process, or shipment commodities.

Facilities that maintain a U.S. Warehouse Act License do not require a state warehouse license. A public warehouse operator must post storage and handling charges for the facility. Operators must maintain current records of all agricultural commodities stored, conditioned, handled, or shipped.

Additional details on licensing can be found in the tabs below.

If you would like a list of the current licensed Montana Commodity Dealers/Warehouses, please contact the department at (406) 444-3950. A licensed entity search will be available online in early 2017.

 

Commodity Dealer Licensing Requirements

A commodity dealer is required to be licensed and obtain surety in the form of a bond, certificate of deposit or letter of credit. (The law does not apply to dealer-to-dealer transactions.) Exceptions to licensing are described in 80-4-402, MCA. A commodity dealer who is also a licensed seed dealer (most commodities purchased are for resale as agricultural seed) can file for a seed dealer fee reduction. All necessary forms are available below.

See the instructions for use of required forms, also available below below, including:

Annual Fees

  • New license applications and renewals (prior to July 1): $464 per Montana location
  • New applications and renewals with seed dealer fee reduction: $100 per location
  • Late fee for annual renewals submitted after July 1: $50

Licensing fees are per location and an additional license is required for businesses also operating as a state warehouse. Montana code and administrative rules provide definitions. Questions can be addressed to department staff.

Commodity Warehouse Licensing Requirements

Loading grain at one of Montana's Licensed Commodity Warehouses.

Annual Fees

  • New license applications and renewals (prior to July 1): $464 per Montana location
  • Late fee for annual renewals submitted after July 1: $50

Licensing fees are per location. Facilities that maintain a U.S. Warehouse Act License need not apply for a state warehouse license. Separate commodity dealer licenses are required for each location. Montana code and administrative rules provide details. Questions can be addressed to department staff.

 

New 2017 Montana Pulses Buyers Guide, Crop Budget Projection Comparisons now available

Montana is the # 1 producer of peas and lentils in the United states, and ranks third in chickpea (garbanzo bean) production

New 2017 Montana Pulses Buyers Guide, Crop Budget Projection Comparisons now available

Montana Legislature - Look up bill information for the 2017 session

Montana Legislature - Look up bill information for the 2017 session
Are you interested in bills at the 2017 Montana Legislature that may affect agriculture? Use the Montana Legislative Branch's online LAWS website to look up current bill information.

State Grain Lab Returns to Priority Service

Backlog of 2016 harvest samples finished

State Grain Lab Returns to Priority Service

Great Falls, Mont. – Montana State Grain Lab inspectors have finished grading the backlog of samples from the 2016 harvest and the lab has returned to priority service. A higher number of samples coupled with staffing challenges made 2016 a busy year for the lab.

Documents to download

Commodity Services Bureau
Phone : (406) 444-3950
E-mail : csb-mtplants@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9466
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

 

Bob Ballensky
Seed and Commodity Dealer / Warehouse Program Manager

Phone (Office) : (406) 444-3950
Phone (Cell) : (208) 738-8920
E-mail : BBallensky@mt.gov
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

 

Andy Gray
Commodity Services Bureau Chief

Phone : (406) 444-3730
E-mail : ANGray@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9466
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

 

Commodity Dealer & Warehouse Licensing Forms & Files

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