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 by email or by calling (406) 444-3950.

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.

 

Commodity News

Montana Food Show set for October 10th in Bozeman

More than 40 Montana fresh produce, meat, food and spirit companies will be showcasing their products

Montana Food Show set for October 10th in Bozeman

Bozeman, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) will be hosting the first annual Montana Food Show in Bozeman at the Best Western Plus GranTree Inn on Tuesday October 10, 2017. More than 40 Montana fresh produce, meat, food and spirit companies will be showcasing their products to both professional buyers and the general public, with the goal of getting more Montana foods and beverages on Montana plates and in Montana glasses.

Proposals Sought for Potato Research & Market Development Program

Proposals due November 1, 2017

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Potato Advisory Committee is seeking proposals for the Montana Potato Research & Market Development Program. Proposals should relate to demonstration projects, applied research, and market development projects designed to address needs and opportunities for the Montana potato industry.

MDA launches Agriculture Fire & Drought Assistance Hotline

Resources and prgroams to help affected ag producers

MDA launches Agriculture Fire & Drought Assistance Hotline

Helena, Mont. – As drought conditions worsen and fires burn throughout the state, the Montana Department of Agriculture has launched the Agriculture Fire and Drought Assistance Hotline. The hotline will serve as a tool to help connect those affected to available resources, programs and donations, as well as to provide information on how others can help. Questions related to hay/feed donations, livestock, fencing, and transportation can be directed to the hotline. The hotline number is 1-844-515-1571 and the line will be staffed 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. 

Click here for more resources, programs and links to assist those affected by fire and drought.

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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