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The Montana Department of Agriculture manages more than 30 programs, from marketing and business development to licensing and regulating activities to protecting agricultural producers, consumers and the environment. Explore our featured programs below, or use the main menu to browse all MDA programs and services.

COVID - 19 RESPONSE

WorkingFromHome

In order to better protect our staff and the public, most of the Montana Department of Agriculture’s staff are currently working from home, but can still be reached during normal business hours. In order to streamline your request, please consider using the “I want To” tab to find out who to contact directly, view our staff directory, or email your question to agr@mt.gov. In addition, the department has canceled all scheduled pesticide recertification trainings until further notice. Please continue to check back to this website for further information as it is available.

Click to view the Governor's Directive providing measures to stay at home and designating certain essential functions. For more information, email agr@mt.gov or call 1-800-755-6672.

The latest COVID-19 information and resources are available at https://covid19.mt.gov/. Please call 1-888-333-0461 or email covid19info@mt.gov.

In the Spotlight...

Montana Department of Agriculture Seeking Applicants for Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Advisory Counsel

Applications Accepted until July 1, 2020

Montana Department of Agriculture Seeking Applicants for Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Advisory Counsel

Helena Mont. -  The Montana Department of Agriculture is currently recruiting for open positions on the Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage (NWSFF) Advisory Council.  

The deadline for applications is Wednesday July 1, 2020.

Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration Release interim final rule on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Agricultural Producers eligible to apply

Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration Release interim final rule on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Department of Treasury (Treasury) and Small Business Administration (SBA) released an interim final rule on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) [home.treasury.gov]. Agricultural producers are eligible to participate in the program and should reach out to their bankers and/or agricultural lenders to apply immediately. While SBA still needs to confirm some administrative details, loans will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis and producers can get started on the application now.

Click to view the Interim Final Rule.

 

Governor Bullock to Bolster Food Security for Montana Families During Statewide COVID-19 Emergency

Actions will extend federal food assistance for more than 100,000 Montanans, increase food supply at food banks and streamline nutrition assistance for new mothers and children

Governor Bullock to Bolster Food Security for Montana Families During Statewide COVID-19 Emergency

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced that in the coming days and weeks, he will extend federal food assistance to more than 100,000 Montanans, increase food supplies at emergency food pantries and food banks, and streamline nutrition assistance for new mothers and children. All of these changes are made available through flexibility and funding provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and will be implemented by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

“Montana families are already doing everything they can to make ends meet,” Governor Bullock said. “But hardworking Montana families have been forced to take on even greater challenges during the COVID-19 public health emergency. As we continue to do everything possible to protect Montanans from the spread of this virus, making sure children and families in our state don’t go hungry is a crucial priority.”

Montana Oilseed Advisory Committee Application Deadline Extended

Applications due April 30, 2020

Montana Oilseed Advisory Committee Application Deadline Extended

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is seeking applications from growers interested in serving on an Oilseed Advisory Committee. The deadline for applications is April 30, 2020.

Click to view the application.

Documents to download

USDA NASS Prospective Plantings - March 1, 2020

Montana Highlights

USDA NASS Prospective Plantings - March 1, 2020

As of March 1, Montana growers intend to plant 135,000 acres of corn for all purposes in 2020, up 20,000 acres, or 17 percent from last year's plantings, according to the March 1 Agricultural Survey conducted by the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. The area expected to be seeded to oats, at 75,000 acres, is up 5,000 acres from a year ago. Growers intend to plant 1.01 million acres of barley in 2020, up 90,000 acres from last year's actual plantings. If realized, this would be the highest barley planted acreage since 2003 when 1.15 million acres were planted.

All wheat acreage is expected to total 5.47 million acres for 2020. Winter wheat seeded last fall for harvest in 2020 is estimated at 1.60 million acres, down 400,000 acres from the 2019 crop. Growers intend to seed 570,000 acres of Durum wheat this year, up 20,000 acres from last year. Growers intend to seed 3.30 million acres of spring wheat this year, up 400,000 acres from last year. If realized, this would be the highest spring wheat planted acreage since 2002 when 3.75 million acres were planted. Hay producers in the State intend to harvest 2.80 million acres this year. This is down 200,000 acres from the acreage cut for hay in 2019. Montana canola producers intend to plant a record high 175,000 acres in 2020, up 25,000 acres from 2019. Flaxseed producers intend to plant 80,000 acres in 2020, down 19,000 acres from last year.

The area planted to sugarbeets is expected to be up 700 acres from last year's actual plantings to 42,500 acres. All garbanzo beans (chickpeas) area planted is expected to total 139,000 acres, down 60,000 acres from 2019. The acreage of small chickpeas is expected to total 56,000 acres and the acreage of large chickpeas is expected to total 83,000 acres this year.

Lentil acres planted for 2020 are expected to total 315,000 acres, up 20,000 acres from last year. All dry edible pea area planted, which includes Austrian winter peas, is expected to total 495,000 acres, down 35,000 acres from last year.

Mini-Grants Available through Growth Through Agriculture Program

Grants up to $5,000 available

Mini-Grants Available through Growth Through Agriculture Program

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced mini-grant funding is now available through its Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program. All projects will need to demonstrate how they expand Montana agriculture, but given the current public health situation with COVID-19, special attention will be paid to projects that strengthen and expand local food offerings, distribution, and infrastructure.

“We’re excited to revive our mini-grant program, and now more than ever we need to invest in our food and ag companies,” said Director Ben Thomas. “In particular, we are hoping to see applications that will strengthen and diversify local food options in communities across Montana."

Click to learn more about GTA mini-grants.

Documents to download

Governor Bullock Increases Capacity to Transport Critical Supplies

Ability of commercial motor carrier vehicles to ensure a supply of food, medical supplies, farm inputs and feed and hay during the COVID-19 emergency increased

Governor Bullock Increases Capacity to Transport Critical Supplies

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today implemented actions to increase the ability of commercial motor carrier vehicles to ensure a supply of food, medical supplies, farm inputs and feed and hay during the COVID-19 emergency.

The Directive is not in response to shortages of food supplies. Montana’s food supply chain is essential and state and federal food safety inspectors are on the job. Additionally, licensed food manufacturers are operating and plan to continue operating at or above capacity. At this time, any shortages of food observed in grocery stores is temporary.

“By creating some flexibility for transport and deliveries during this challenging time, we can ensure Montana’s supply chain remains strong and food and medical supplies can get where they’re needed most without delay,” Governor Bullock said.

 

Documents to download

Governor Bullock's Stay at Home Directive Identifies Food & Ag Essential Businesses and Operations

To curtail the spread of COVID-19, nonessential businesses and operations will close March 28 - April 10, 2020

Governor Bullock's Stay at Home Directive Identifies Food & Ag Essential Businesses and Operations

On March 26, Governor Bullock issued a directive requiring Montanans to stay home and temporarily close all nonessential businesses and operations to curtail the spread of COVID-19. The order, which takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 28 and will be in effect through April 10, identifies essential businesses and operations related to food and agriculture, as included in the sections shown below:

Click to view the  the Governor’s Directive Implementing Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020.

Documents to download

Governor Bullock Issues Stay at Home Directive to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

Directive asks Montanans to stay home to maximum extent possible except for essential activities, temporarily restricts all nonessential businesses and operations

Governor Bullock Issues Stay at Home Directive to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today issued a Directive requiring Montanans to stay home and temporarily closes all nonessential businesses and operations to curtail the spread of COVID-19. The order, which goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 28, will buy time for health care workers on the frontlines and seeks to limit long term impacts to the state’s economy.

Click to learn more about the Governor's Directive.

Documents to download

Public Meeting Notice: Conference Call - Montana Pulse Crop Committee Meeting

March 26, 2020 at 1:00pm via teleconference

The Montana Pulse Crop Advisory Committee will meet via Skype/Phone teleconference on Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 1:00pm. The Director of the department will be giving an update. Contact Virginia Corbett for Call Information: Virginia.Corbett@mt.gov or (406)444-3156. 

For more information about the Pulse Committee, click here.

Montana Department of Agriculture Announces Over $850,000 in Grants and Loan Awards

Funds Awarded from Growth Through Ag Program

Montana Department of Agriculture Announces Over $850,000 in Grants and Loan Awards

Helena, Mont. – Director Ben Thomas and the Agriculture Development Council announced the recipients of $859,832 in grants and loans to Montana agricultural businesses and organizations. From Westby to Alberton, a total of 24 projects across the state were awarded funds through the Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program.

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Montana Department of Agriculture
Phone : (406) 444-3144
E-mail : agr@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-5409
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601


Montana Ag by the Numbers

In a state where cattle outnumber people, agriculture is our business. In fact, it is Montana’s number one industry and growing.

$4.4

Billion Industry

26,900

Farms & Ranches

58

Million Acres

1

State Rank in
Organic Wheat
Production