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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. 

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.

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.

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.

27 August 2020
Montana Drought Impact Reporter offers Live, Ongoing Questionnaire for Reporting Local Drought Impacts

Montana Drought Impact Reporter offers Live, Ongoing Questionnaire for Reporting Local Drought Impacts

Drought can affect wildfire, agriculture production, tourism, wildlife and many other areas important to Montana. The Montana Governor’s Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee has put together the Drought Impact Reporter - a live, ongoing questionnaire for reporting local drought impacts.

Click to take the Drought Impact Reporter Survey.

 The information gathered will be used to investigate trends and impacts and will help inform potential responses in times of drought. This short questionnaire can be completed more than once to report impacts in another location or to report changing conditions. Information on wet conditions is helpful too, so please submit reports anytime of year, wet or dry.

11 May 2020
Grants Available through the Montana Agriculture Adaptability Program (MTAAP) for Food and Ag Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Crisis

Grants Available through the Montana Agriculture Adaptability Program (MTAAP) for Food and Ag Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Crisis

Montana Department of Agriculture, Montana Food and Agriculture Adaptability Program

Click Here to Apply


Grants are available to food and agriculture businesses to help increase community resilience amid the COVID 19 pandemic and other economic disruptions. Grants are intended to create additional economic activity and bolster food security. Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to, those focused on accessing new markets, projects which strengthen and expand local food systems, and other business adaptations that decrease food and agricultural waste. The need for such innovations must be driven by the COVID 19 pandemic. Total funding available is $500,000, with a maximum application amount of $10,000.
mtaap@mt.gov

 

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.

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