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What does the Nursery Program do for you?

A Montana agricultural nursery. The Montana Department of Agriculture Nursery Program provides licenses for the sale and distribution of nursery products.

The Montana Department of Agriculture Nursery Program provides licenses for the sale and distribution of nursery products as part of efforts to maintain the quality of all nursery stock grown in Montana. The nursery program also monitors nursery stock that is imported to or from the state of Montana.

The Nursery Program's Objectives:

  • Ensure that plant materials are free from harmful pests;
  • Monitor for noxious weeds;
  • Check for accurate plant and variety identification and labeling; and
  • Protect the health of agriculture in Montana.

Agricultural and forest pests can hitchhike on nursery stock that is moved from one part of the world to another. Almost all plant material sold in Montana is imported and hitchhikers are a real threat to the state. Insects and diseases that hitchhike on nursery stock can have a harmful effect or destroy plants grown in the horticultural industry, agricultural crops, and native plants. The economic loss caused by plant pests is not limited to direct damage to nursery stock. Infestation or damage in agricultural commodities may destroy the use of a crop, or make it unsuitable for export. These kinds of effects can extend throughout the economies of the entire state or region.

Who needs a nursery license?

Licenses are required for any person or business that sells or distributes nursery stock in Montana. If you sell plant material in the state of Montana, you must have a nursery license. Currently license fees are decided by a tiered system:

  • $5,000 or less in gross annual sales of nursery stock: $25 license fee
  • $5,001 to $75,000 in gross annual sales: $135 license fee
  • $75,001 to $150,000 in gross annual sales: $200 license fee
  • $150,001 to $250,000 in gross annual sales: $300 license fee
  • Over $250,000 in gross annual sales: $400 license fee
  • Landscape Service: $150 license fee
  • Sod Farmer: $220 license fee
  • For licensing details refer to Montana Code Annotated: 80-7

How does the program ensure nursery stock quality?

By law, and by reciprocal agreements with other states, plant material at businesses that sell or distribute nursery stock is required to be inspected and certified free from injurious plant pests. Inspections are conducted to intercept pests not known to occur in Montana and to protect consumers from purchasing plant material that is not healthy. Nursery inspectors have the expertise and up-to-date knowledge of existing and new pest threats, quarantines, and regulatory requirements that apply to businesses, the public, and agricultural industries. They can also provide advice on best management practices to reduce insect and disease pathways specific to the state of Montana, and ways to improve the general health of nursery stock.

To ensure quality nursery stock and provide protection for Montana's nursery industry and consumers, the program inspects and samples nursery stock at the following locations:

  • Florists;
  • Nursery stock growing sites;
  • Garden centers;
  • Nursery stock distribution points;
  • Retail stores carrying nursery stock;
  • Landscaping businesses;
  • Farmers markets; and
  • Other locations as needed.

All plant material available for sale must be properly labeled, listing the scientific or common name. When necessary, the program collects plant samples from the above nursery stock growing locations and retail sites to provide information for national surveys. A working relationship with the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine seeks to prevent new pest introductions and the movement of plant pests from foreign countries. Please see Nursery Files and Forms below for state quarantine information. For federal quarantine information click here.

What is nursery stock?

The definition of nursery stock is as follows and can be found in MCA 80-7-105:

Nursery stock means botanically classified plants or parts of plants, including but not limited to tropical potted plants, aquatic plants, and turf or sod grass. The following plants and plant materials may not be considered nursery stock:

  • a. field crop plants and seeds;
  • b. pasture grasses;
  • c. cut plants not for propagation;
  • d. fruits or vegetables for human or animal consumption;
  • f. cut trees and products that are going to be processed to a point that they no longer represent a pest risk;
  • e. plant debris for disposal or processing; and
  • f. cut trees and their products

How to obtain a nursery license?

Nursery licenses must be obtained through eStop Business Licensing and can now be purchased on-line (eStop Business Licensing Portal). Please see Nursery Files and Forms below for the eStop Businesses Licenses Guide.

 

Nursery Program News

Requesting Specialty Crop Block Grant Applications

Over $1 million in funding available for Montana agriculture, proposals due by Feb. 15, 2018

Requesting Specialty Crop Block Grant Applications

Helena, Mont. - The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting applications for an estimated $1.2 million in federal funding available through the Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) program. This competitive grant program is designed to expand markets for Montana specialty crops.

Public Meeting Notice: Montana Organic Commodity Advisory Council (MOCAC), Wednesday, December 6th

The Montana Organic Commodity Advisory Council will meet at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, December 6th in Great Falls

Public Meeting Notice: Montana Organic Commodity Advisory Council (MOCAC), Wednesday, December 6th

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Organic Commodity Advisory Council will meet at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, December 6th in Great Falls at the Celtic Cowboy (116 1st Ave. S.). The council will informally meet for dinner at 6:00 pm, and the public is invited to attend at their own expense. Click here to download the agenda for the meeting.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries.

Department to Hold Waste Pesticide Disposal Events in September

Annual events have collected over 561,136 lbs. of waste pesticides

Department to Hold Waste Pesticide Disposal Events in September

Helena, Mont. - The Montana Department of Agriculture’s annual Pesticide Disposal Event will be held in several locations across western Montana during September. The collection events will be held September 19 in Kalispell; September 20 in Missoula; September 21 in Helena; and September 22 in Dillon​.  The annual event has collected more than 561,136 pounds of waste pesticides since it began in 1994. 

Layla Dunlap
Nursery Specialist

Phone : (406) 444-3428
E-mail : Layla.Dunlap@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-7336
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

 

Nursery Files & Forms

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