U.S. Department of Agriculture

Close-up of wheat crops along Highway 2
Roy Luck / Flickr (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana Governor Steve Bullock announced Friday that farmers in more than a dozen counties will be eligible for federal assistance after significant crop losses from excessive rain and snow last year.

A feral hog sow with sixteen piglets
AgriLife Today / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly named Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks as the lead agency regarding feral swine. The Montana Department of Livestock is leading the prevention effort.  

Feral swine been in the news a lot lately. While they make for an entertaining headline, wildlife managers in Montana are increasingly concerned about the damage these invasive pigs can cause to farmers, ranchers, the environment and Montana’s outdoor recreation economy. 

A close-up of industrial hemp, July 16, 2013.
Marcia O'Connor/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester said in a press call Thursday new federal regulations for hemp could create more certainty for farmers and boost job growth in the state.

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt canceled a planned visit to Montana this week. Bernhardt had planned to meet with Montana ranchers and farmers about grizzly bear conflicts along the Rocky Mountain Front as part of his visit.

The M-44 is a spring-loaded device that realeases sodium cyanide when triggered. This particular device used a non-toxic substance since it was for a demonstration in Lewistown, June 21, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

While a federal agency recently reauthorized a poison used in a predator-killing cyanide trap, more states are banning or limiting where they can be used. That includes around 10 million acres of public land in Wyoming.

Chickpeas growing
Washington State Department of Agriculture / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

A Great Falls company that processes lentils, chickpeas and dry peas recently filed for bankruptcy, partly due to high tariffs instituted by the Trump Administration.

Pulse crop prices are half of what they were a few years ago and tradewars have cut off many of the main markets, leaving farmers and processors with few options.

two wolves standing together
Jeremy Weber / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


Hunters and anglers in Montana can now fund wolf mitigation and control efforts. The optional donation on licenses comes from a bill signed into law this legislative session.

Bighornvalley.org

For the first time ever, federal Farm Bill grants for medicine are being aimed at treating opiod addiction. $188 thousand for that is heading to the Bighorn Valley Health Center in Southeast Montana.

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.

A cow looks up on a farm near Bridger, Montana.
Kayla Desroches / Yellowstone Public Radio

A new federal bill co-sponsored by Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester proposes temporarily stopping large food and agribusiness corporations from consolidating. It aims to increase competition in the market to support better prices for farmers and ranchers.

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