Montana Department of Agriculture

Narrow leaf hawksbeard
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

Editor's note: This story follows Environmental Protection Agency guidance and uses pesticide as an umbrella term for substances that control pests.

Earlier this month, a second Wyoming man filed a federal lawsuit against the agribusiness giant, Monsanto. It’s one of more than 18,000 lawsuits claiming the world’s most widely used pesticide causes cancer and that Monsanto has tried to cover up the risks. Reports that some agricultural experts in Montana are concerned that growing public scrutiny could affect trade and take away a tool for farmers. Others say they’re already losing that tool as weeds become more resistant.

A coyote hunts for small mammals in the tall grass, October 2008.
Vince O'Sullivan/FLICKR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

About a dozen states – including Montana and Wyoming – are allowed to use a controversial device called the M-44. Advocates say it’s an important tool to protect sheep from coyotes. Critics call it a ‘cyanide bomb’ and say it’s too risky for humans and pets. Now, several environmental groups are pushing to ban them at the state and federal level.

Martin Abegglen / Flickr


The Montana Department of Agriculture has extended its application deadline for farmers interested in planting industrial hemp.

Flickr User, Candace Fladager (CC-By-2.0)

 

Farm income in Montana dropped nearly 30 percent from 2012 to 2017, according to the new U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2017 Census of Agriculture.

Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez / MSU

An international team of scientists is a step closer to producing higher protein, better quality wheat and barley.   That’s a potential boon for Montana’s beleaguered farmers, hit by commodity prices so low in recent years many are wondering how they’re going to survive.

It all starts with Dr. Hikmet Budak, Montana State University’s first Plant Sciences Endowed Chair.  His endowed chair is the highest academic award a university can bestow on a faculty member.

Grown in Montana products will be showcased for the first time at the Montana State Fair in Great Falls.

Cody Shick with Montana’s Agriculture Department put together the store.  It’s an effort by the agency to promote value added agriculture.

“They really wanted to take some of these smaller companies that use Montana crops and process in Montana and really help market and promote," said Shick. 

Nineteen companies will offer 1 to 5 of their products for sale.