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.

 

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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?

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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 click here.

 

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

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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

USDA is Accepting Applications for a Trade Mission to Vietnam, October 15-18, 2019

Application deadline is July 8, 2019

USDA is Accepting Applications for a Trade Mission to Vietnam, October 15-18, 2019

U.S. agricultural exporters looking tap the rapidly growing Southeast Asian market will have their chance when the U.S. Department of Agriculture leads a trade mission to Vietnam, October 15-18, 2019. Join us in Ho Chi Minh City, where you will meet buyers from Vietnam, Thailand and Burma (Myanmar), and discover how demand for U.S. farm and food products is growing in the region. 

Application deadline is July 8, 2019. 

Please click here for more information.

Now Hiring Commodity Services Bureau Chief

Position Based in Helena

Now Hiring Commodity Services Bureau Chief

The Montana Department of Agriculture is currently hiring a Commodity Services Bureau Chief based in Helena. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Visit the Employment page for more info and other job openings with the Montana Department of Agriculture.

Funding Cycle Now Open for Growth Through Agriculture Program

Application Deadline is November 1, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Funding Cycle Now Open for Growth Through Agriculture Program

Helena, Mont. – Folks across Montana looking to create or expand their operation or agriculture business now have the opportunity to access state grant dollars, as the 2019 funding cycle for the Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program is open.

“Our Growth Through Agriculture program has provided Montana’s producers and small-business owners with vital funding to help create jobs in their communities and add value to our state’s ag products,” said Department of Agriculture Director, Ben Thomas. “With our ag industry becoming increasingly diverse, we are looking forward to seeing this next round of applications.”

Those interested in applying for GTA funds should visit www.gta.mt.gov and www.fundingmt.org for more information on how to apply.​

Commodity Services Bureau
Phone : (406) 444-3950
E-mail : csb-mtplants@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9493
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

 

Currently Vacant
Commodity Services Bureau Chief

Phone : (406) 444-3730
E-mail :
Fax : (406) 444-9493
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

 

Commodity Dealer & Warehouse Licensing Forms & Files

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