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16 June 2021
Gov. Gianforte Issues Executive Order Declaring Disaster in Five Eastern Counties

Gov. Gianforte Issues Executive Order Declaring Disaster in Five Eastern Counties

Governor Greg Gianforte issued an executive order declaring a disaster in five Eastern Montana counties: Dawson, Garfield, McCone, Richland, and Roosevelt.

On June 10, 2021, a series of severe thunderstorms – with hail as large as three inches in diameter, recorded wind speeds of 70-90 mph, and winds up to 115 mph – caused damages to over 800 power poles and lines across the East Central portion of Montana.

With the disaster declaration issued, the State of Montana will proceed with requesting federal disaster assistance on behalf of the affected counties and electric cooperatives.

The governor’s executive order may be found here.

15 June 2021
Public Meeting Notice: MT Pulse Crop Committee - June 22nd

Public Meeting Notice: MT Pulse Crop Committee - June 22nd

The Montana Pulse Crop Committee will meet virtually via Zoom on Tuesday, June 22nd beginning at 2:00 p.m.

To receive meeting information, please contact Dani Jones at Danielle.Jones@.mt.gov.

10 June 2021
Public Meeting Notice: MT Pulse Crop Committee - June 14th

Public Meeting Notice: MT Pulse Crop Committee - June 14th

The Montana Pulse Crop Committee will meet virtually via Zoom on Monday, June 14th beginning at 9:00 a.m.

To receive meeting information, please contact Dani Jones at Danielle.Jones@.mt.gov.

07 June 2021
Governor Gianforte Proclaims Noxious Weed Awareness Week

Governor Gianforte Proclaims Noxious Weed Awareness Week

Governor Greg Gianforte proclaimed June 6 - 12, 2021 to be Noxious Weed Awareness Week! 

Established through a joint resolution (HJ17) during the 2021 legislative session, the first full week in June is an opportunity to highlight the important work taking place across the state to protect the integrity and productivity of Montana’s precious lands and resources from noxious weeds.

The Montana Department of Agriculture's Noxious Weed Program assists with weed identification and education, compiles annual statewide coordination reports, administers the Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Program, certifies forage and other materials as weed-free, and collaborates in statewide noxious weed prevention and management iniatives. Learn more at agr.mt.gov/weeds.

02 June 2021
Montana Farm to School Summit "Digging Deeper" in Helena, MT August 11 - 12, 2021

Montana Farm to School Summit "Digging Deeper" in Helena, MT August 11 - 12, 2021

The Montana Farm to School Summit "Digging Deeper" will take place August 11 - 12, 2021 in Helena, MT. 

Anyone interested in farm to school activities is encouraged to attend! Attendees will learn and share hwo Montana school programs are cultivating success through the core elements of farm to school--serving local foods, school gardens, nutrition, agriculture, and food education. Workshops, field trips, and networking opportunities will provide inpsiration and skill building for all. The conference will feature national and Montana farm to school champions and Harvest of the Month successes and resources.

Click here to view the summit agenda and here to learn more about the keynote speaker, Mariah Gladstone, owner of Indigikitchen. 

Click here to visit the MT Farm to School Summit website.

 

01 June 2021
MT Dept. of Agriculture Reminds Producers to Cover Crops with State Hail Insurance

MT Dept. of Agriculture Reminds Producers to Cover Crops with State Hail Insurance

In light of recent moisture, and with severe weather events on the horizon, the Montana State Hail Program is reminding producers to make sure their crops are covered. As spring plantings are wrapping up, staff are ready to assist producers with acquiring state hail insurance.

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 is available on the MDA website. State policies are available for purchase until August 15, 2021.

State hail insurance application forms are available online or by calling the office. Staff are available to accept policies, file claims, and to answer any questions producers might have regarding coverage options. Completed forms can be emailed, mailed, or faxed to the department, or used as a reference when contacting the office by phone. Loss forms must be submitted within two weeks of the hail damage occurrence. Loss claim forms are also available online and are due to the office by October 1, 2021.

Contact Information:

Montana State Hail Insurance Program

P.O. Box 200201

Helena, MT 59620

Phone: (406) 444-5429

Toll Free: 1 (844) 515-1571

 

Email: agrhail@mt.gov

Fax: (406) 444-9442

The Montana State Hail Insurance Program was created at the request of producers in 1917 to provide basic hail insurance coverage on any crop grown in Montana. The program is directed by a five-member board consisting of the department director, state insurance commissioner, and three producers.

01 June 2021
Montana Approves Use of Hemp in Commercial Animal Feed

Montana Approves Use of Hemp in Commercial Animal Feed

As established in House Bill 396 signed during the 2021 legislative session, hemp and substances derived from hemp are now approved for use in commercial feed for pets, specialty pets, and horses in Montana, so long as they do not contain more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

The Montana Department of Agriculture will regulate these new parameters for feed, feed ingredients of hemp, and substances derived from hemp in accordance with Montana’s Commercial Feeds Act and the Hemp and Cannabidiol Policy for Use in Animal Feed that is now available on the MDA website. Because the use of hemp or hemp-derived products in animal feed or feed supplements is not yet approved at the federal level, there are some important stipulations to abide by.

Currently, hemp and substances derived from hemp are not yet generally recognized as safe (GRAS) or approved as food additives under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). This means that livestock fed hemp in Montana cannot enter interstate or intrastate commerce as the animals and meat are considered adulterated under the FD&C.

In addition to pets and specialty pets, horses are the only livestock species approved for hemp in animal feed. Approval for hemp in animal feed for other livestock, such as cattle, sheep, swine, and poultry, is contingent on approval from the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM).

No CBD products, including CBD oil and industrial hemp seed oil containing CBD are allowed in pet, specialty pet, and horse feed in Montana. Only hemp or substances derived from cannabis with no greater than 0.3% THC, including but not limited to hemp seed, hemp seed meal, and hemp seed oil are permitted for use following the signing of HB 396.

27 May 2021
Gov. Gianforte Urges DOJ to Continue Investigation into Anti-Competitive Practices in Meatpacking Industry

Gov. Gianforte Urges DOJ to Continue Investigation into Anti-Competitive Practices in Meatpacking Industry

In a joint-letter with governors from South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Iowa, Governor Greg Gianforte today urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to continue their investigation into serious allegations of anticompetitive behavior in the meatpacking industry.

“Decades of consolidation in meatpacking has significantly limited the options that producers have to market their cattle and has created a situation where one segment of the beef industry has near total control over the entire market,” Governor Gianforte and other governors wrote to U.S. Attorney General Garland. “We urge you to continue to investigate this matter with the urgency it calls for.”

In May 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into the nation’s four largest meatpackers whose anticompetitive behavior is threatening Montana cattle producers.

Governor Gianforte was joined in signing the letter by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, and Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt. Read the letter here.

26 May 2021
Public Meeting: MT Pulse Crop Committee - June 8, 2021

Public Meeting: MT Pulse Crop Committee - June 8, 2021

The Montana Pulse Crop Committee will meet virtually via Zoom on June 8, 2021 from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. A meeting agenda is attached.

A video conference option is available through Zoom. Please contact Dani Jones to request Zoom meeting information.

Click here to view current MT Pulse Crop Committee members and learn more. 

19 May 2021
Montana Farmers Encouraged to Participate in Wheat & Barley Varieties Survey

Montana Farmers Encouraged to Participate in Wheat & Barley Varieties Survey

The Montana Department of Agriculture is reminding producers to participate in the upcoming Wheat and Barley Varieties Survey conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

“This year’s varieties survey will give our breeding program unique and widespread insight into the characteristics that are truly important to Montana farmers,” said Cassidy Marn, Executive Vice President of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee. “With producer checkoff dollars helping to fund breeding programs, and MSU varieties accounting for a substantial portion of wheat and barley acreage here in Montana, responses to the survey are essential to our continued success.”

The survey is a collaborative project among the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, Montana State University, and USDA NASS targeting specific data points that will influence future breeding research and varietal selections. USDA NASS will begin contacting Montana farmers by phone at the end of May to collect data for June survey reports, then continue compiling information through mid-July.

With end-use quality driving markets around the world, Montana can maintain a competitive edge by utilizing survey results to guarantee crop quality and improve production. The Wheat and Barley Varieties Survey is one of many initiatives led by the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee to promote research, marketing, and education for the benefit of Montana producers. To learn more about how the committee is putting checkoff dollars to work, visit wbc.agr.mt.gov.

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