MTPR

agriculture

The brewing trade war between China and the U.S. is making Montana farmers and ranchers nervous.

Hay field. File photo.
PD

Montana's congressional delegation is criticizing President Trump's order to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, saying that the decision will harm the state's farmers and ranchers.

Panelists at the Montana Water Summit in Helena, MT, March 7, 2018. From the left: Leon Szeptycki, Marco Maneta, Patty Gude, John Tubbs.
Nicky Ouellet

More than 300 people from across Montana met in Helena this week to talk about big changes the state is seeing in water —  from when it falls, to how and where it’s used, to the way Montanans value it.

The state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation hosted Montana’s first Water Summit, which Chief Earl Old Person of the Blackfeet Tribe kicked off with a blessing.

Cattle.
(PD)

Plans President Donald Trump has made to place new tariffs on foreign-made steel and aluminum Thursday have rattled Montana’s agriculture sector. MTPR's Edward O’Brien has reaction from farmers and ranchers who fear they’ll be the first casualties of a new trade war.

USGS

State budget cuts mean that ranchers, recreation businesses and conservationists who rely on accurate information about water in Montana are facing new challenges.

Wheat.
(PD)

Montana farmers can expect strong prices for their wheat and barley moving forward following the drought in 2017 that reduced grain production in the state by about 40 percent.

Steady and slightly higher prices in wheat, barley and pulse crops markets are expected over the next five years, according to a forecast from Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana.

A mountain lion, also known as a cougar, puma, or catamount. (File Photo)
(PD)

Since 2007 Montana taxpayers have compensated ranchers when wolves and grizzly bears kill their livestock — to the tune of up to $200,000 a year. Some of that money is also spent on projects designed to prevent predator conflicts. That earns it high marks from both ranchers and conservation organizations.

Last year, state lawmakers voted to add mountain lion-related losses to the compensation list for the first time. The problem is, the program didn’t get any additional funding to do that.

Grizzly bear at Swan Lake Flats in Yellowstone National Park.
Jim Peaco (PD)

Most grizzly bears living near Yellowstone National Park are bedding down for winter, but the debate over the Trump administration removing Yellowstone grizzlies from the threatened species list earlier this year is not. De-listing is being challenged in court, and for now, the grizzlies are being managed by the states. 

Wyoming is considering a potential grizzly bear hunt, and its wildlife management agency is holding a series of meetings to get public input on that. As Yellowstone Public Radio’s Nate Hegyi found out at a meeting in Jackson, the public is divided.

In a deal that coincides with President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing this week, China’s largest online retailer says it will buy $200 million dollars worth of Montana beef over the next three years. 

The Trump administration has cancelled funding for the Blackfeet Nation’s range rider program. These are tribal members who inspect cattle and make sure the land isn’t overgrazed. Now they could potentially lose their jobs and the Blackfeet tribal council isn’t pleased.

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