Helena, Mont. – As Montana cements its status as the nation’s leader in pulse production, a duo of bills signed recently by Governor Bullock aim to advance the burgeoning sector of Montana’s ag economy. HB 614 and SB 285 will incentivize growth in pulse-processing infrastructure throughout the state and give more structure to the state’s pulse checkoff program. Montana leads the nation in pulse production, with over 1 million acres planted in 2016. Pulses (peas, chickpeas, beans and lentils) are a versatile crop that promote biodiversity, improve soil health and generate income from local and global markets.
“Agriculture is the backbone of Montana’s economy, and these bills represent an investment in the continued growth of our state’s pulse industry,” said Governor Bullock. “Any time we can add a stop for our commodities before they leave the state, we are in turn adding value to those crops and impacting our state’s economy in a positive way.”
HB 614 was signed on May 11th and aims to spur growth in the pulse-processing arena by exempting new pulse-processing equipment from property taxation. Processing Montana pulses in Montana adds value to the crop itself, while also positively impacting the communities where it is happening.
SB 285 was signed on May 4th and establishes the Montana Pulse Crop Committee. The new committee will replace the current Montana Pulse Advisory Committee and give more structure to the state’s pulse checkoff program. The committee will control the allocation of assessment funds, which are used to advance the industry through research, marketing and education.
“With the continued growth of Montana’s pulse acres, now is the perfect time for us to incentivize new pulse-processing efforts,” said Ben Thomas, Director of the Montana Department of Agriculture. “I look forward to working with the new pulse committee and doing my part to advance the industry.”
The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries.