MTPR

agriculture

Sen. Daines hand-carried four Montana steaks and a photo of Fred Wacker of Miles City and his cows to China and presented them to Premier Li Keqiang to underscore the importance of opening Chinese markets to U.S. beef imports.
Courtesy Senator Daines

U.S. Senator Steve Daines says he thinks American beef is almost back on the menu in China.

"We’re now engaged at the highest levels in their government and telling them this is a very important issue for the United States," Daines says.

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An undated image from Flathead Lake Cherry Growers Co-op page
Flathead Lake Cherry Growers

With the Trump administration working toward tougher enforcement of America’s immigration laws, some cherry farmers in Montana wondering what that may mean for this year’s harvest.

There are some 6oo to 800 acres of cherry orchards on the eastern shore of Flathead Lake. Marilyn Bowman owns one of the biggest and oldest. Each year is different, she says. 

Bill Would Reduce Taxes For MT Farmers, Ranchers, Business Owners

Mar 13, 2017
House Bill 558 would reduce the amount of property taxes agricultural landowners and commercial properties pay in the state.
PD

Supporters of a bill aimed at reducing property taxes in Montana say the agricultural industry needs help because of dropping commodity prices.

Threshold Episode 06: Territory Folks Should All Be Pals

Mar 9, 2017
Part of the American Prairie Reserve near Malta, Montana.
Amy Martin

Visit the American Prairie Reserve, a conservation project in the heart of Montana that could eventually be home to 10,000 bison. The vision is to stitch together 3.5 million acres of public and private lands to form the largest wildlife park in the lower 48. But some nearby ranchers feel the push to build the APR is pushing them off their land, and they're mounting a resistance. We also try to solve the Great Elk Mystery: why are elk that have been exposed to brucellosis allowed to roam free in Montana, while bison are not?

Bison being released at Fort Peck Reservation, November 2014.
Courtesy of the Defenders of Wildlife

Tribal members and wildlife groups were among those asking lawmakers today to consider a bill to change how bison can be moved and sold. The bill proposed by Rep. Willis Curdy, a Missoula Democrat, would remove an existing requirement for wild bison be cleared as free from brucellosis before being transferred.

Threshold Episode 03: Born Free

Feb 16, 2017

Many cattle ranchers view wild bison as a threat to their livelihoods. But some think cattle and bison can coexist. On episode three of Threshold, you'll meet two cattle ranchers with different perspectives on wild bison — and, we'll take you on a controversial bison hunt.

Ag Bill Pushes For State Regulation Over Local Control

Feb 8, 2017
House Bill 558 would reduce the amount of property taxes agricultural landowners and commercial properties pay in the state.
PD

Lawmakers in Helena will consider a bill that would strip local governments’ authority to regulate the agricultural industry with the aim of providing consistency for farming techniques across the state. Senate Bill 155 would mean any regulations dealing with agricultural processes or seed usage would have to come from the state.

Deep Cuts Proposed for University Service Agencies

Feb 2, 2017

Agricultural producers and fire chiefs say they will be among those harmed by the deep cuts proposed for the service agencies that are tied to the Montana university system.


Two of the state's largest buyers of barley announced plans to reduce the number of contracts they offer to growers by as much as 60 percent.
(PD)

Tough times continue for Montana grain growers.

George Haines, an economist at Montana State University says farmers last year saw, "grain prices in a free fall, really a tough year."

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