MTPR

agriculture

Northeast Montana farmer Dean Nelson bales a field of teff grass during an August 2019 visit.
Kevin Trevellyan / Montana Public Radio

Montana farmers planted 22,000 acres of hemp last year — the most of any U.S. state. Many are turning to the recently legalized option because trade wars continue to hurt profits on traditional crops like wheat and barley. But now many Montana hemp farmers allege they weren’t paid what they were promised. The result is a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the company they partnered with. 

Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Matt Hogan, U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Montana U.S. House Rep. Greg Gianforte listen to residents of the Rocky Mountain Front talk about conflict with grizzly bears, Oct 5, 2019.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt paid a visit to the Rocky Mountain Front Saturday to hear about conflicts with grizzly bears. The secretary heard numerous calls for delisting grizzlies from their threatened species status in and around Glacier National Park, but he says changes may be able to be made prior to delisting.

Something odd is happening to streams and rivers on the high plains of Kansas and Colorado. Some have disappeared.

"We would go and visit these streams, and in many cases it's like a dirt bike channel. It's no longer functioning as a stream," says Joshuah Perkin, a biologist at Texas A&M University who studies the fish that live in these streams.

Socati Montana General Manager James Stephens with hemp flower.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

Less than a year ago, industrial hemp was essentially an outlaw crop. Today it’s transformed into the wellspring of an emerging billion-dollar industry. The cannabis extract cannabidiol is a hemp byproduct, better known as CBD. Demand for CBD-infused products such as bath salts, balms and body bars is through the roof.

MTPR's Edward O’Brien recently visited a Montana hemp processing facility that’s transforming the tough, fibrous plant into liquid gold.

Montana Senator Jon Tester sent an invitation Tuesday to President Donald Trump to meet wheat producers in Big Sandy. It comes in response to concerns over the President’s recent comments mocking the role of wheat in trade deals with Japan.

Wheat
(PD)

Montana senator and wheat farmer Jon Tester is firing back after President Trump mocked the role of wheat in trade with Japan. 

A sheep research flock at U.S. Sheep Experiment Station
USDA (PD)

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A judge says he won't block sheep grazing in a mountain range on the Idaho-Montana border despite worries by wildlife advocates that federally-protected grizzly bears could be harmed.

Electric fencing can be an effective tool for protecting livestock such as chickens, goats and young cattle.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

The following is a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Great Falls, MT — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks euthanized a young male grizzly bear on July 19 along the Marias River near the inlet of Tiber Dam due to food conditioning and sheep depredations. The action followed protocol under the Endangered Species Act and under authority of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Aaron Bolton

The Blackfeet Nation is getting some help toward its goals of reforming agriculture on the reservation to make healthy, local food more accessible. Barriers include complicated land management regulations and a lack of processing facilities.

The Trouble With CAFOs

Jun 2, 2019
Industrial chicken coop.
(PD)

The Food Guys detail problems with antibiotic use at concentrated animal feed operations (CAFOs), discuss ethical concerns over treatment of animals, and question the claim that CAFOs are more efficient or cost effective than smaller operations.

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