U.S. Department of Agriculture

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.

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.

Neha Viswanathan / Flickr Creative Commons

Montana farmers planted fewer acres of wheat this year than they have in the past, thanks to significantly lower prices last year for the crop.

This year’s crop across the country is just under 46 million acres, the smallest since 1919.