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05 April 2021
USDA Announces Funding Available to Organizations to Assist Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers under Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative

USDA Announces Funding Available to Organizations to Assist Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers under Pandemic Assistance for Producers Initiative

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced the availability of $2 million to establish partnerships with organizations to provide outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. The funding was made possible by USDA’s new Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, an effort to distribute resources more broadly and to put greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers impacted by the pandemic. Today also marks the reopening of FSA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) signup as part of the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Farmers and ranchers will have at least 60 days to apply or make modifications to existing CFAP 2 applications

The cooperative agreements will support participation in programs offered by FSA, including those that are part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Interested organizations must submit proposals by May 5, 2021.

Click here to read the full news release.

29 March 2021
Governor Gianforte Lifts Regulations for Fertilizer Delivery to Support Montana's Ag Industry

Governor Gianforte Lifts Regulations for Fertilizer Delivery to Support Montana's Ag Industry

Governor Greg Gianforte issued an executive order that temporarily suspends hours of service regulations for certain carriers to facilitate and expedite the delivery of fertilizer to Montana’s farmers.

Agriculture producers regularly face a compressed spring planting schedule due to late snowfalls and wet conditions which increase the demand for anhydrous ammonia and other fertilizers across the state. Waiving hours of service requirements ensures that fertilizer haulers can meet the needs of the industry by delivering greater volumes in a short timeframe.

The order pertains only to carriers actively involved in transporting anhydrous ammonia and other fertilizers requires haulers to operate safely and prudently.

The order is effective from April 1 to June 6, 2021 and can be found here.

29 March 2021
Oilseed Crop Checkoff Proposed to Montana Growers

Oilseed Crop Checkoff Proposed to Montana Growers

Montana oilseed growers will soon receive a ballot in the mail proposing a 0.5% checkoff for canola, camelina, flaxseed, mustard, safflower, soybeans, and sunflower crops. If passed, the Montana Oilseed Advisory Committee will advise the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) on how to invest the funds for research, market development, and education.

“Checkoff programs have a long history of improving and expanding markets for growers,” said MDA Director Mike Foster. “Montana’s oilseed production has grown significantly in recent years, and I share the committee’s excitement for establishing a state checkoff program to continue advancing the industry.”

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Montana oil crops added over $54 million in value to the U.S. economy in 2019, more than a 25% increase from 2018. Montana ranks second in the nation for production of canola, flaxseed, and safflower.

Ballots are due back to MDA April 16, 2021. Any current producer of canola, camelina, flaxseed, mustard, soybeans, safflower, or sunflower, that did not receive a ballot can request one by phone at (406) 444-2402 or email at danielle.jones@mt.gov.

23 March 2021
Governor Gianforte Proclaims March 22 - 26 Montana Agriculture Week!

Governor Gianforte Proclaims March 22 - 26 Montana Agriculture Week!

Governor Greg Gianforte has proclaimed March 22 - 26, 20201 Montana Agriculture Week!

Click here to view the full proclamation.

18 February 2021
Buckwheat: A Hazard to Montana’s Export Markets

Buckwheat: A Hazard to Montana’s Export Markets

As farmers prepare for spring planting, the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee is reminding producers to ensure that wheat shipments destined for export are buckwheat-free. In light of the ongoing global pandemic, food safety has become one of the most important factors for purchasers of ingredients. Montana exports 60-80% of its wheat to countries located in the Pacific Rim. Since Asian countries are large importers of Montana wheat, it is important that producers and handlers understand the serious health risk and potential economic impact posed by buckwheat.

  • Use of buckwheat must be excluded from cover crops plantings in rotation or adjacent to fields with wheat production or abstain from growing wheat as a commodity for 2 calendar years after planting buckwheat.
  • Use of buckwheat must be excluded from pollinator plantings in rotation with or adjacent to fields currently planted or that will be planted to commodity wheat within the next 2 calendar years.

To protect and foster the health and prosperity of the Montana’s agricultural industry, the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee is committed to educating producers about the dangers of buckwheat in a small grains rotation and surveying cover crop mixes across the state, including volunteer situations. Click here to learn more about the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee. Contact Sam Anderson, Industry Analyst & Outreach Coordinator, (406) 76-7732 or Samuel.Anderson@mt.gov.

23 November 2020
USDA NASS Montana 2020 Annual Statistics Bulletin Now Available

USDA NASS Montana 2020 Annual Statistics Bulletin Now Available

The Montana Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in cooperation with the Montana Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce the publication of the 2020 Montana Agricultural Statistics bulletin. The current bulletin can be found on the USDA NASS Montana website.

Click here to view the 2020 Montana Agricultural Statistics Bulletin. 

08 September 2020
USDA Designates Powder River County as Primary Disaster Area Due to Recent Drought - Big Horn, Carter, Custer & Rosebud Counties Named Contiguous Disaster Areas

USDA Designates Powder River County as Primary Disaster Area Due to Recent Drought - Big Horn, Carter, Custer & Rosebud Counties Named Contiguous Disaster Areas

On September 4, 2020, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue named the following counties as Disaster Designation Areas in Montana:

  • Powder River (primary)
  • Big Horn, Carter, Custer, Rosebud (contiguous)

Affected producers should work with their local FSA offices to apply for emergency loans and other assistance programs. Click here to visit the Montana FSA website to learn more.

08 September 2020
Governor Bullock Declares State of Fire Emergency -  suspends livestock brand inspection permit fee requirement and brand inspection requirement prior to removal

Governor Bullock Declares State of Fire Emergency - suspends livestock brand inspection permit fee requirement and brand inspection requirement prior to removal

Governor Steve Bullock yesterday evening issued an executive order declaring a state of fire emergency due to extremely hazardous wildland fire conditions throughout Montana.  

This declaration allows Governor Bullock to mobilize additional state resources and the Montana National Guard to combat the fires to protect life, health, and property, and to expend funds to meet the contingencies and needs that may arise from them.

The emergency order also suspends hours of service regulations for drivers of commercial vehicles while providing support to fire suppression activities and temporary fuel permits normally required for vehicles providing supplies to help support response to the emergency. Commercial motor vehicle carriers cannot require or allow fatigued drivers to operate a motor vehicle.

Additionally, the emergency order suspends the brand inspection permit fee requirement and the brand inspection requirement prior to removal, as well as allows the Montana Department of Livestock to issue transportation permits by phone when necessary to cope with the emergency.

Click to view the executive order.

01 April 2020
USDA NASS Prospective Plantings - March 1, 2020

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.

07 December 2019
USDA’s 2019 ORGANIC SURVEY TO GET UNDERWAY

USDA’s 2019 ORGANIC SURVEY TO GET UNDERWAY

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will mail letters with survey codes, this December, to more than 1,100 producers involved in certified or transitioning to certified organic farming in the Mountain Regional states of Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming for the 2019 Organic Survey. Each producer who self-reported organic farming in the 2017 Census of Agriculture will receive a unique survey code to respond conveniently online and to be represented in this very important, once-every-five-year data collection effort.

Click to learn more about the USDA's 2019 Organic Survey.

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