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08 April 2021
Virtual Marketing Consultations Available Through Ag Development & Marketing Bureau

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. 

07 April 2021
Hail Insurance Available Through Montana Department of Agriculture

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.

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.

01 April 2021
USDA FSA Quality Loss Program Deadline Extended

USDA FSA Quality Loss Program Deadline Extended

FSA extended the deadline from March 5 to April 9 for producers to apply for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program because of recent winter storms in some parts of the country and some clarifications to program rules. This program assists producers who suffered crop quality losses due to qualifying 2018 and 2019 natural disasters.

There have been some rule changes regarding production sold as feed which may make producers eligible. Producers that sold grain as feed and have not applied for a quality loss are encouraged to contact their local FSA office.  

Click here to visit USDA's QLA Program website to learn more.

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.

24 March 2021
Online Testing Now Available for Montana Pesticide Applicators

Online Testing Now Available for Montana Pesticide Applicators

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is providing a new opportunity for pesticide applicators to take exams online through the Metro Insititute Centers

"We are excited to provide Montana's applicators with a new opportunity to take their tests online," said Rory Ruffner, Pesticide Licensing, Registration & Training Program Manager at Montana Department of Agriculture. "The Department aims to provide services that are efficient and easy to use and this new online option does exactly that. The challenges of the last year have shown that our applicators are willing to utilize technology and see it as a solution that can help them succeed."

The exams are computer-based and allow for instant exam results and analysis. The cost for online exams taken through Metro Institute is $58. MDA will continue to proctor tests in person and applicators are encouraged to work with staff at their local MDA Field Office to arrange a testing time. 

Click here to sign up for an online pesticide exam through Metro Institute. Currently, testing facilities are available in Great Falls, Missoula, Bozeman, Helena, and Glendive with more cities to be added in the near future.

23 March 2021
Governor Gianforte Celebrates National Ag Day at Multi-Generational Potato Farms

Governor Gianforte Celebrates National Ag Day at Multi-Generational Potato Farms

Governor Greg Gianforte celebrated National Agriculture Day today by visiting the Lake Family farms, potato farms in operation for more than eighty years in the Mission Valley.

“We’re celebrating Montana agriculture today and the farmers and ranchers that drive our state’s number one industry,” Governor Greg Gianforte said. “Our commodities like potatoes, wheat, barley, beef, and pulse crops and recognized throughout the world for their superior quality, and family farms like the Lake’s serve as the cornerstone to rural communities across our state.”

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.

19 March 2021
Governor Gianforte Proclaims March 20th "Montana Meat Day"

Governor Gianforte Proclaims March 20th "Montana Meat Day"

In honor and support of all MT farmers and ranchers that feed Montana, the nation, and the world, Governor Gianforte proclaimed March 20, 2021 to be "Montana Meat Day."

Click here to view the full proclamation.

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