Hay field. File photo.

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. File photo.

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.


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


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.