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10 May 2021
USDA Announces Garfield County as Primary Natural Disaster Area due to Drought

USDA Announces Garfield County as Primary Natural Disaster Area due to Drought

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Garfield County as a primary natural disaster area due to a recent drought. This announcement comes nearly a week after 13 other Montana counties were declared as primary natural disaster areas due to a recent drought. 

Other MT counties previously named primary disaster areas: Carter, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, McCone, Phillips, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Valley & Wibaux.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, these counties suffered fromm 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 4) D4 Drought-Exceptional.

Seven additional counties were named as contiguous disaster areas in the announcement for Garfield County: Custer, McCone, Petroleum, Phillips, Prairie, Rosebud & Valley.

Other MT Counties previously named contiguous counties: Blaine, Fergus, Garfield, Petroleum, Powder River & Rosebud.

A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguos to such primary counties eligible for assistance provided through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), including emergency loans. Producers in affected areas are encouraged to work with their local FSA office to receive more information and apply. Click here to view Montana FSA offices map. Click here to visit the USDA Disaster Assisance Programs website.

05 May 2021
USDA Announces Primary Disaster Designation for 13 Montana Counties due to drought

USDA Announces Primary Disaster Designation for 13 Montana Counties due to drought

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 13 Montana counties as primary natural disaster areas due to a recent drought. 

Primary Counties: Carter, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, McCone, Phillips, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Valley & Wibaux.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, these counties suffered fromm 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 4) D4 Drought-Exceptional.

Six additional counties were named as contiguous disaster areas. Contiguous Counties: Blaine, Fergus, Garfield, Petroleum, Powder River & Rosebud.

A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguos to such primary counties eligible for assistance provided through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), including emergency loans. Producers in affected areas are encouraged to work with their local FSA office to receive more information and apply. Click here to view Montana FSA offices map. Click here to visit the USDA Disaster Assisance Programs website.

27 April 2021
Governor's Office Issues Montana Water Supply & Drought Outlook Report

Governor's Office Issues Montana Water Supply & Drought Outlook Report

The Office of the Governor released the 2021 Montana Water and Supply Drought Outlook Report on Monday, April 26th.

According to data in the report, 42 percent of the state is classified as abnormally dry, with another 18 percent of the state in severe to extreme drought conditions. May and June are historically the two wettest months of the year in Montana.

“Following an unusually mild winter, the conditions we see for the next eight to ten weeks are going to be critical as we head into growing season in Montana,” Gov. Gianforte said. “I am tasking state agency directors to begin reviewing authorities and options to support our agricultural producers as some battle extreme drought conditions.”

The governor’s office will be monitoring conditions closely in 12 eastern counties – Phillips, Daniels, Sheridan, Valley, Roosevelt, McCone, Wibaux, Prairie, Dawson, Richland, Fallon, and Carter – where drought conditions are most severe.

The Water Supply and Drought Outlook is an annual report compiled by water planning staff at the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Click here to view 2021 report.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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