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24 November 2020
USDA Designates Big Horn and Carter Counties as Primary Natural Disaster Areas due to Drought

USDA Designates Big Horn and Carter Counties as Primary Natural Disaster Areas due to Drought

On November 20, 2020, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue designated Big Horn and Carter counties in Montana as primary natural disaster areas due to a recent drought. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor (see http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/), these counties suffered from a drought intensity value during the growing season of 1) D2 Drought-Severe for 8 or more consecutive weeks or 2) D3 Drought-Extreme or D4 Drought-Exceptional. These additional counties were named as contiguous disaster counties: Carbon, Fallon, Rosebud, Yellowstone, Custer, Powder River, and Treasure.  
 
Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers with further information. 

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. 

19 November 2020
Montana Oilseed Growers Will Vote to Establish Checkoff for Industry  Research and Market Development

Montana Oilseed Growers Will Vote to Establish Checkoff for Industry Research and Market Development

Montana oilseed growers will soon receive a ballot in the mail proposing a 1% checkoff for canola, 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.

“The continued growth of oilseed production in Montana is a testament to the industry’s immense potential,” said MDA Director Ben Thomas. “We have seen how investments made through other checkoff programs, like pulse and wheat and barley, have successfully given Montana growers a competitive edge. I’m glad to see our oilseed producers are eager to advance their industry through research, market development, and education as well.”

Ballots were sent to growers this week and are due back to MDA by December 31, 2020. Any current producer of canola, flaxseed, mustard, soybeans, safflower, or sunflower, that did not receive a ballot can contact MDA to request one by phone at (406) 444-2402 or by email at agr@mt.gov.

12 November 2020
Montana Department of Revenue Has Begun Process to Make Licenses Available for Recreational Marijuana Cultivation and Sale

Montana Department of Revenue Has Begun Process to Make Licenses Available for Recreational Marijuana Cultivation and Sale

The Montana Department of Revenue has begun the process to make licenses available for recreational marijuana cultivation and sale by October 1, 2021, following the recent voter approval of Initiative 190. 

Under the new law, the department will license and regulate the cultivation, transportation and sale of marijuana and marijuana-infused products, will inspect premises where marijuana is cultivated or sold, and will collect the 20 percent tax on the retail sales of the products. 

Only currently licensed providers in the Montana Medical Marijuana Program may apply for the new non-medical licenses for the first 12 months they are available. 

Anyone interested in receiving updates on the department’s activities related to I-190 can sign up with the department at MTRevenue.gov/Marijuana

06 November 2020
Roosevelt and Sheridan Counties Designated as Primary Disaster Areas due to Drought

Roosevelt and Sheridan Counties Designated as Primary Disaster Areas due to Drought

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a primary agricultural disaster designation for Roosevelt and Sheridan counties in Montana.  

Daniels, McCone, Richland, and Velly countes were named as contiguous disaster counties.

Affected producers are encouraged to contact their local FSA offices for more information. The designated counties were listed in the attached letter to Governor Steve Bullock.  Additional information on USDA’s disaster assistance program, including county lists and maps, can be found at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

 

29 October 2020
Montana Department of Agriculture Releases Hemp Marketplace

Montana Department of Agriculture Releases Hemp Marketplace

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced today that the Hemp Marketplace is now available to buyers and sellers of hemp and hemp derivatives. The online portal can be accessed by visiting the department’s website.

“With hemp being a relatively new crop grown in Montana, the department recognizes that these markets are still developing,” said MDA Director Ben Thomas. “The Hemp Marketplace was developed to help facilitate connections between buyers and sellers. I’m looking forward to seeing how the marketplace will continue to advance the industry.”

Click here to visit the Hemp Marketplace.

28 October 2020
Governor Bullock Signs Order to Protect Montana Sugar Beet Farmers

Governor Bullock Signs Order to Protect Montana Sugar Beet Farmers

Governor Steve Bullock  signed an executive order on October 28, 2020 allowing increased weight limitations on transportation vehicles in order to protect sugar beet farmers in Montana.

“Record setting cold temperatures and early winter storms have limited the harvesting season for Montana’s farmers and workers,” Governor Bullock said. “Montana producers have already overcome many challenges due to the pandemic. Today’s order ensures farmers can harvest their crops in time and avoid unnecessary losses.”

 

24 September 2020
Proposals Sought for MT Potato Research & Market Development Program

Proposals Sought for MT Potato Research & Market Development Program

The Montana Potato Advisory Committee is seeking proposals for the Montana Potato Research & Market Development Program. Proposals should relate to demonstration projects, applied research, and market development projects designed to address needs and opportunities for the Montana potato industry.

Visit https://funding.mt.gov/index.do to apply. All applications must be submitted through the Montana Webgrants system by October 28, 2020. Questions on applications should be directed to the Montana Potato Research & Market Development Program, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, MT 59620-0201 or by contacting Dani Jones at (406) 444-2402 or via email at Danielle.Jones@mt.gov.

18 September 2020
USDA to Provide Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the Coronavirus

USDA to Provide Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers and Ranchers Impacted by the Coronavirus

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is implementing the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP) for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Signup for CFAP 2 will begin September 21 and run through December 11, 2020.

Producers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). Customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP 2 application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages with the team at the FSA county office.

A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.

 

17 September 2020
Hay Hotline Online Portal Available for Producers Responding to Wildfire Damages

Hay Hotline Online Portal Available for Producers Responding to Wildfire Damages

The Montana Department of Agriculture would like to remind producers that the Hay Hotline, an online portal where they can donate, buy or sell hay, as well as pasture available or pasture wanted, is available. This online tool can be especially helpful for those responding to damages from recent wildfires.
The department maintains the Hay Hotline as a service to the agricultural industry, making it available with the expectation that all buyers and sellers will treat each other in an equitable and lawful manner. 

Click here to access the Hay Hotline. Please call (406) 444-2402 with any questions.

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