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Groundwater Monitoring for Pesticides and Nitrate

The Groundwater Protection Program has two primary objectives: (1) determine whether residues of agricultural chemicals are present in groundwater, and (2) where possible, determine the likelihood of an agricultural chemical to enter groundwater.

We complete our first objective through maintaining a network of permanent monitoring wells that are sampled at least twice annually. Samples are analyzed for agricultural chemicals by the Department’s Analytical Lab. The results are maintained in a database, analyzed to identify trends, and compared with Montana Numeric Water Quality Standards in Circular DEQ-7.

For the second object, we focus on both permanent monitoring wells and short-duration regional-scaled special projects to compare detections of agricultural chemicals across an aquifer or geographic region with general water quality parameters and relevant spatial data. We attempt to identify correlations between agricultural chemical detections with the water quality parameters and spatial data to determine which parameters influence the likelihood of an agricultural chemical to enter groundwater. We then extrapolate from our monitoring points to generalize the likelihood of agricultural chemicals to enter groundwater across the study areas, based on spatial data trends.


Click here for the
2020 Groundwater Protection
Program Factsheet / Summary

Click here for the 2018 Groundwater Protection Program Factsheet


Interactive ArcGIS Map Data

Historic pesticide analyte detection concentrations and well locations for the Ground Water Protection Program's Permanent Monitoring Well Network:


Click here
to view the GWPP Monitoring Well Map



Groundwater Reports


Montana PFAS

Action Plan


Groundwater News

Virtual Marketing Consultations Available Through Ag Development & Marketing Bureau

MT Dept. of Agriculture marketing team is scheduling consultations with businesses for the week of April 19th

Virtual Marketing Consultations Available Through Ag Development & Marketing Bureau

The Montana Department of Agriculture's marketing team is looking forward to connecting with Montana food and ag businesses as they schedule virtual marketing consultations for the week of April 19th. Our marketing officers are taking this opportunity to learn more about different companies across the state and explore how the department can help them reach their goals. 

If you are interested in setting up a virtual marketing consultation, please contact Marty Earnheart at (406) 444-9126 or mearnheart@mt.gov

Click here to learn more about the Agricultural Marketing & Business Development Bureau at Montana Department of Agriculture. 

Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council is Recruiting for Open Positions

Applications and nominations due May 1, 2021

Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council is Recruiting for Open Positions

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is currently recruiting for open positions on its Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council (NWMAC). The following council terms expire June 30, 2021:

  • Livestock Production Representative
  • Herbicide Dealer or Applicator
  • Biological Research and Control Interests Representative
  • Western County Weed District Representative
  • Agriculture Crop Production Representative

Click here to learn more about the Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council and apply. 

Documents to download

Hail Insurance Available Through Montana Department of Agriculture

State policies available for purchase until August 15, 2021

Hail Insurance Available Through Montana Department of Agriculture

Applications for the State Hail Insurance Program are now available through the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA).

Producers can insure crops against hail damage at the maximum coverage rate of $75 per acre for dryland and $114 per acre for irrigated land. Rates charged are a percentage of the insured amount and vary by county. A detailed list of rates by county and crop can be found online by visiting the MDA website. State policies are available for purchase until August 15, 2021.

Producers who previously purchased state hail insurance will receive applications in the mail. Application forms are also available online or by calling the MDA office. Staff are available to process policies, file claims, and help answer any questions producers may have regarding coverage options. Completed forms can be emailed, mailed, faxed, or used as a reference when contacting the office by phone.

Loss claims are due to the office by October 1, 2021, and must be submitted within two weeks of the hail damage occurrence. Forms are available online or by request.

Brett Heitshusen
Hydrologist

Phone : (406) 444-3271
E-mail : BHeitshusen@mt.gov
Fax : (406) 444-9493
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601


The Montana Mesonet

Click to view/download a full resolution of The Montana Mesonet poster, created by the Montana Climate Office for the MT American Water Resources Annual Conference – Red Lodge, MT – 9 – 10 October 2019.


Groundwater Files & Reports

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