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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.

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.

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. 

21 May 2021
USDA Announces Cooperative Agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction

USDA Announces Cooperative Agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of up to $2 million for local governments to host Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) pilot projects for fiscal year 2021. The cooperative agreements support projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans and they are part of USDA’s broader efforts to support urban agriculture.

USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (Office) will accept applications on Grants.gov until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 16, 2021. Projects should span two years with a start date of September 25, 2021 and completion date of September 25, 2023.

A pre-recorded webinar will provide an overview of the cooperative agreements’ purpose, project types, eligibility and basic requirements for submitting an application. The webinar and more information will be posted at farmers.gov/urban.   

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.

14 May 2021
Public Meeting Notice: MT Wheat & Barley Committee

Public Meeting Notice: MT Wheat & Barley Committee

The Montana Wheat & Barley Committee will meet on Wednesday, June 16th beginning at 10:00 a.m.

To receive information to join the virtual meeting, please email wbc@mt.gov or contact the MT Wheat & Barley office at (406) 761-7732.

Click here to visit the MT Wheat & Barley Committee website.

11 May 2021
USDA Soil Health & Income Protection Program (SHIPP) Signup Period is Open for Montana

USDA Soil Health & Income Protection Program (SHIPP) Signup Period is Open for Montana

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that agricultural producers can now sign up for the Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP), which provides a short-term option to plant cover on less productive agricultural lands while improving soil health and carbon sequestration.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made improvements to this pilot program which allows for a maximum of 50,000 acres to be enrolled in the praire pothole states of Montana, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The signup period ends July 16, 2021.

Improvements to SHIPP include:

  • Boosting rental rates: A change to the rental rate calculation method to use a rate equivalent to 50% percent of the county average rental rate for every offer in the county, regardless of the soil productivity in the offer. This removes the current practice of adjusting the rate by soil productivity factors, which may reduce the soil rental rate further.
  • Changes to offer selection for producers: Producers can now self-certify that the acres they want to offer are less productive or prone to drought or flood damage. Additionally, they can now use field boundaries and straight lines to delineate the offers. This is a change to the previous policy, which required using soil map unit boundaries and the associated soil productivity values, which created difficulty for producers by generating unusual and impractical sizes and shapes of land.

Producers interested in SHIPP can learn more at fsa.usda.gov/crp [fsa.usda.gov] or by contacting their local USDA Service Center [farmers.gov]. Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools.

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.

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