MTPR

agriculture

Parts of Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota are experiencing severe or extreme drought.
NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program land in the Dakotas and Montana in response to drought.

Perdue says that without alternative forage options, ranchers could be devastated economically. The emergency grazing is authorized to begin immediately, and extends through Sept. 30 unless conditions improve.

Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears that have been in place for more than three decades are poised to be peeled back soon. This week state and federal land managers from the Rocky Mountain west are meeting talk about what that means for the future of grizzly bear management and recovery.

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, or IGBC is spending three days in Choteau this week working on a five-year-plan to guide management of grizzlies as the bear’s population grows.

USDA photo by Keith Weller

Montana cattle producers say they’re now a big step closer to getting their beef back into the potentially lucrative Chinese market. American beef has been locked out of China ever since a 2003 Mad Cow Disease scare in Washington State.

<p>Panelists share their research on climate change in Montana
Beau Baker

A panel of Montana scientists laid out their findings on climate change in the state yesterday at the University of Montana (A video of the event is available at Clean Air Montana's Facebook page). That included addressing President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement last week.

Montana, especially rural Montana went big for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but a lot of farmers and ranchers disagree with him on big, multi-country trade deals.
PD

Montana, especially rural Montana went big for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but a lot of farmers and ranchers disagree with him on big, multi-country trade deals.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue speaks during an agriculture conference in Great Falls, MT, June 1, 2017.
Courtesy @SecretarySunny Twitter feed

New U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue spoke in Great Falls Thursday. Perdue suggested reforms for a couple of big safety net programs important to farmers.

Perdue has only been on the job as ag secretary since the end of April, and part of his job is to help President Trump push forward a budget that calls for big cuts in the Department of Agriculture.

Wheat prices in Montana have declined by 38 percent since 2014.
(PD)

New U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is in Montana today and tomorrow for an agriculture summit being put on in Great Falls by Republican Senator Steve Daines.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue
PD

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Congress this week that American farmers are facing plenty of challenges and deep uncertainty.

“Our farm economy is down by about a 50-percent drop in net income from where it was in 2013 as you all were contemplating the ’14 Farm Bill" Perdue says. "We’ve got several members who – particularly younger farmers – have levered up in this situation where their revenue is not supporting their debt structure and they’re in some dire straits.” 

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.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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