The beef aisle of Costco in Bozeman.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Local and National Beef Producers Face Uncertainty From Coronavirus Concerns

Shoppers may have noticed higher beef prices and empty shelves at the grocery store last month. At the same time cattle producers saw a significant drop in what they were getting paid. Panic buying, allegations of price-fixing and uncertainty in the face of a global economic fallout have all been effecting the cattle industry.

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The Montana Canada Border
Spend A Day Touring, LLC / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today it will temporarily reduce its hours of operation at six ports of entry into Montana starting Apr. 6.

Hours will be reduced at the ports of Raymond, Piegan, Opheim, Morgan, Turner and Del Bonita.

Keystone Pipeline pumping station in Nebraska.
shannonpatrick17 / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Like many other essential industries in Montana, the state’s energy sector continues the daily grind amid concerns over the COVID-19 illness. YPR News’s Kayla Desroches has been reporting on oil, gas and coal production and she shares her reporting with us now.

McMullen Hall at Montana State University Billings
University Relations, MSU Billings / Yellowstone Public Radio


The Montana University System Apr. 3 announced that all in-person spring commencement ceremonies are cancelled because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

Keystone Pipeline pumping station in Nebraska.
shannonpatrick17 / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A Canadian company’s announcement this week that it plans to move forward with construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline in northern Montana has nearby Native American tribes and some locals concerned that the flow of workers could carry the novel coronavirus into a community with limited health care resources.

It's Friday, April 3rd. Today we have stories about Holy Week, the challenges facing newspapers due to coronavirus and how outdoor recreation can be more complicated during the pandemic.

Coronavirus Chill Hits Montana Newspapers

Apr 2, 2020
Billings Gazette mast head
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

HELENA — As the most consequential news story in a generation burns its way across Montana, newspapers large and small are feeling the coronavirus outbreak’s economic chill.

A Methodist church in Miles City, Montana.
David Schott / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Sunday is the start of Holy Week, the time from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday when Christians recall the events leading up to Jesus’s death and Resurrection. The worship services this week for congregations around Billings and elsewherebare going to be very different.

This map features self-response rates from households that responded to the 2020 Census online, by mail or by phone as of Apr. 2, 2020.
United States 2020 Census / U.S. Census Bureau

Montana Governor Steve Bullock is asking the U.S. Census Bureau to extend the self-response deadline for the decennial headcount.

Bullock wants the deadline pushed back from mid-Aug. to Sep. 30.

COVID-19 Emergency Resources for Employers and Workers
Montana Department of Labor and Industry /

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry says it issued more than 35,000 unemployment insurance payments in the last week of March.

The state health department is expanding hours and staffing of phone lines for mental health therapy and suicide prevention. This comes amid a surge of requests from Montanans seeking emotional support during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.


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