MDA to Hold Waste Pesticide Disposal Events in September

Annual events have collected over 586,860 lbs. of waste pesticides

Helena, Mont. – The Montana Department of Agriculture’s annual Pesticide Disposal Events will be held in several locations across Montana during September. The collection events will be held September 18 in Havre; September 19 in Great Falls; September 20 in Bozeman; and September 21 in Columbus.  The annual events have collected more than 586,860 pounds of waste pesticides since it began in 1994.

The program was designed to help individuals dispose of any pesticides that are unusable as originally intended and cannot be used for any other purpose.  This allows participants to dispose of waste pesticides in an environmentally responsible way and helps protect Montana’s ecosystems and groundwater, as well as families, pets, livestock and drinking water.

The department asks that participants pre-register by September 10, 2018, before the collection events, so products can be managed safely and efficiently. Licensed pesticide applicators will receive information and a registration form in the mail. Others with waste pesticides in need of disposal can learn more and register on the program’s website.

There is no charge for the first 200 pounds of material.  Amounts over 200 pounds are assessed at $0.50 per pound. A higher fee may apply to pesticides with dioxins or dioxin precursors.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit agr.mt.gov.

 

Source: Montana Department of Agriculture

The Montana Pesticide Waste Disposal Program and 2018 Sites

Pesticide applicators should be aware of the Montana Pesticide Waste Disposal Program and 2018 sites. Delaying removal of unused pesticide products often leads to corroded containers that pose unnecessary risks towards the environmental and human health. By following a few simple steps applicators can ensure that unused pesticides are discarded and disposed of legally and safely.

Disposing of Pesticide Waste

Applicators should use the Montana pesticide waste disposal program if they have unknown pesticide products (due to worn product label), unregistered pesticide products or unusable pesticides that are in need of disposal. The Montana pesticide waste disposal program began in 1994 and has collected more than 584,000 pounds of pesticide waste from more than 1,682 participants since its onset. Common pesticide active ingredients collected include DDT, chlordane, 2,4,5-T, dinoseb and the rodenticide ‘strychnine’. Costs for participating in the program are significantly lower than other pesticide disposal alternatives. The disposal fee is FREE for the first 200 pounds and $0.50/lb for amounts greater than 200 pounds, with a minimum charge of $5.00. Dioxins or dioxin precursors within pesticide products often result in a higher fee.

Pesticide disposal program locations and dates for 2018 are:

  • September 18, 2018 – Havre, MT
  • September 19, 2018 – Great Falls, MT
  • September 20, 2018 – Bozeman, MT
  • September 21, 2018 – Columbus, MT

All licensed pesticide applicators within district 2 (central 1/3rd of Montana) will receive information and pre-registration forms by mail in July. Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is requesting participants pre-register their pesticide by early August so the collection can be managed safely and efficiently. Early pre-registration is recommended as the program is on a first-come, first-serve basis. All materials including the pesticide disposal registration form can be downloaded on the MDA click here to register online. Mail registration form to Montana Department of Agriculture, Pesticide Disposal Program, 54 East Larslan Road, Larslan, MT 59244.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Contact Carli Lofing for additional information regarding the MDA Pesticide Disposal or Container Recycling Program at (406)465-0531 or email clofing@mt.gov. For any other questions contact Cecil Tharp, Pesticide Education Specialist (406-994-5067, ctharp@montana.edu) or see the MDA pesticide waste disposal site.

Montana Department of Agriculture Awarded USDA Farm to School Grant

Funding will help schools with procurement, distribution of local foods

Helena, Mont. – Producers and students throughout Montana have reason to celebrate, as the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) has been awarded a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to enhance farm to school efforts throughout the state. MDA was awarded $99,980 and will partner with the National Center for Appropriate Technology and Montana Farm to School to increase the procurement and distribution of local food in K-12 schools in Montana.

“Farm to school initiatives continue to grow throughout Montana and this grant will build upon those efforts,” said Ben Thomas, Director of MDA. “When we can give our producers another market opportunity, while also providing our students with nutritious, local foods, everyone wins.”

The project will focus on three school districts in Montana: Browning, Fort Benton, and Malta. Each of these districts are in the early stages of implementing farm to school activities but have limited access to local foods. Sourcing and access to Montana foods is one of the key challenges to farm to school initiatives in Montana. The Montana Farm to School Leadership Team will research distribution opportunities and challenges on a statewide level while learning first-hand from the participating school districts. By coordinating with state-level farm to school partners, including supply-chain stakeholders, and bringing together local teams in each of the communities, the project will create a plan that will impact the entire state.

“By working with local-level teams in these communities, we expect to expand connectivity and distribution of local foods throughout the state, especially in north and eastern Montana,” said Aubree Roth, Montana Farm to School Coordinator, Montana Team Nutrition. “Our larger goal here is to take the lessons learned from this project, and scale it up so that we can better implement these activities on a state-wide level.”

The Montana Farm to School Leadership Team, sponsored by Montana Office of Public Instruction, works through partnerships across the state to build farm to school initiatives that help kids eat healthy, connect kids with agriculture and nutrition through education, support Montana farmers and food producers, foster economic vitality, and strengthen communities.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit www.agr.mt.gov.

Producers Reminded to get Coverage Through State Hail Insurance Program

With hailstorms picking up throughout the state, the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is reminding producers to get covered through the State Hail Insurance Program. Montana producers can conveniently access and fill out applications for state hail insurance online by going to www.hail.mt.gov.

Producers can insure crops against hail damage at the maximum coverage rate of $75 per acre for dryland and $114 per acre for irrigated land. Rates charged are a percentage of the insured amount and vary by county. A detailed list of rates by county and crop can be found on the program’s website.

Completed forms can be emailed, mailed or faxed to the department or used as a reference when you contact the office by phone.

State Hail Insurance Staff to Hold Meetings Throughout Montana

While we are currently dealing with the fits and starts of springtime in Montana, it’s important to remember that hail season is right around the corner. Staff from the Montana Hail Insurance program will soon be visiting communities throughout Montana to sell policies and educate producers on the program.

Staff will be holding meetings in the following areas:

  • Conrad, 5/29/2018, 10:00 am-12:00 pm: Pondera County Courthouse
  • Lewistown, 5/29/2018, 5:00 pm-7:00 pm: Yogo Inn
  • Circle, 5/30/2018, 11:00 am-1:00 pm: McCone County Fairgrounds

Producers can insure crops against hail damage at the maximum coverage rate of $75 per acre for dryland and $114 for irrigated land. Rates charged are a percentage of the insured amount and vary by county depending on the hail loss history of an area. A detailed list of rates by county and crop can be found on the program’s website.

An application for insurance and more details about payment options has been mailed to producers who previously purchased state hail insurance. For new policy applicants, information and applications are also available at www.hail.mt.gov. Completed forms can be emailed, mailed or faxed to the department or used as a reference when you contact the office by phone.

Contact Information:

Montana State Hail Insurance Program

P.O. Box 200201

Helena, MT 59620

Phone: (406) 444-5429

Email: agrhail@mt.gov

Toll Free: 1 (844) 515-1571

Fax: (406) 444-9422

 

The Montana State Hail Insurance program was created at the request of producers in 1917 to provide basic hail insurance coverage on any crop grown in Montana. The program is directed by a five-member board consisting of the department director, state insurance commissioner, and three producers.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the department, visit agr.mt.gov.

Source: Montana Department of Agriculture.

MDA Announces Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant Awards

The Montana Department of Agriculture and Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council has awarded over $1.74 million for the development and implementation of noxious weed management programs in March 2018. The grants assist counties, conservation districts, local communities, tribes, researchers and educators in efforts to combat noxious weeds in Montana.

57 local cooperative projects were recommended for funding at a total of $1,218,935 or 70% of all dollars awarded. Ten research projects were recommended for funding at $248,236 or 14% and 11 educational projects are recommended for $279,681 or 16%. Combined research and educational projects recommended for funding total $527,917 or 30% of all funding available.

In addition to the $1.74 million grant hearing awards, each of the 56 counties and 7 reservations in the state are eligible to receive $7,500 per year.

The Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund grant program was established by the Montana Legislature in 1985.  The advisory council reviews applications, hears applicant testimony, and provides funding recommendations to the director for final approval. Funding is typically passed through a governmental organization, local weed district, conservation district, extension office, or university.  A compiled list of award recipients is available at http://agr.mt.gov/Noxious-Weed-Trust-Fund-Grants.

Applications for 2019 Noxious Weed Trust Fund grants can be found at https://fundingmt.org in mid-July, for completion and submittal by January 6, 2019.

Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries.  For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit agr.mt.gov.

MDA Encouraging Support for Ag Literacy Program During Tax Season

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) is encouraging Montanans to support the Montana Agriculture in the Classroom program this tax season by contributing to the voluntary check-off program when filing this year’s income taxes.

“As the average age of farmers and ranchers continues to rise, it’s more important than ever that we educate the next generation on the importance of agriculture,” said MDA Director Ben Thomas. “Contributing to the check-off allows filers to invest directly in students and teachers throughout Montana.”

Filers can make tax-deductible donations to the program by checking the box for Ag Literacy in Montana Schools, by selecting either line 69c on the long form or 18c on the EZ form. The form indicates $5 and $10 donation amounts, as well as a blank line to write in the filer’s designated donation amount.

The Montana Agriculture in the Classroom program provides schools and communities with opportunities to learn about agriculture in a fun and effective way, and seeks to instill appreciation for local agriculture and food production. The program provides teachers with timely, accurate, and integrated standards-based curriculum on Montana agriculture through “hands on, minds on” activities, while encouraging critical thinking among students about the role of agriculture in tomorrow’s world.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit www.agr.mt.gov.

 

Hay Donations and Transportation Needed

Helena, Mont. – Due to the ongoing impacts of severe winter weather, there is currently a significant and urgent need for hay on both the Northern Cheyenne and Fort Belknap reservations. Producers willing to donate hay and/or hauling services can contact emergency personnel at the following numbers:

Northern Cheyenne: Gene Small – (406) 665-6290 or (406) 477-8474

Fort Belknap:            John Young – (406) 353-4874

The Montana Hay Hotline is also available to producers as an online tool to donate, buy, or sell hay. Producers needing donated hay or producers wanting to donate hay can go to the site and create a donation listing by selecting “Donation” from the “Forage Type” dropdown menu. Users can also search existing listings to see what is currently available to purchase or create a new listing of hay for sale. Visit the online tool at:  http://agr.mt.gov/Hay-Hotline.

Over $700,000 awarded to strengthen and diversify Montana’s Ag Industry

Governor Steve Bullock and the Agriculture Development Council today announced the recipients of $726,600 in grants and loans to agricultural businesses and organizations.

“Investing in innovative, value-added projects is vital to Montana’s agriculture industry and our rural communities,” said Governor Bullock. “These projects are a great representation of the diversity of Montana agriculture and showcase some of the ingenuity happening throughout the different sectors of Montana’s economy.”

A total of 25 businesses and organizations were awarded funds through the Growth Through Agriculture program (GTA) which was established by the legislature to strengthen and diversify Montana’s agriculture industry by developing new agricultural products and processes. GTA grants and loans are awarded by the Agriculture Development Council, a seven-member committee appointed by the Governor.

Two projects geared towards conventional agriculture aim to help producers in the areas of on-farm safety & storage and soil health, while another will assist in the expansion of a value-added family ranch operation.

  • Cowtown Ag Supply, LLC of Miles City was awarded a loan and a grant totaling $50,000 to assist with the expansion of the company’s manufacturing line of hopper cone bottoms that can be used to make farmers’ existing grain bins safer, easier to use and better able to preserve the quality of more sensitive grains such as pea and chickpeas. The funding will also help with the creation of 10 jobs in the community.
  • Beartooth Fertilizer Inc. of Bridger was awarded a grant for $50,000 to expand the company’s natural soil improvement products that will be able to help non-productive soil become productive and provide conventional and organic-certified soil treatments.
  • Prairie Grass Ranch of Havre was awarded a grant of $8,000 to assist in the vertical integration and marketing of the family’s grass-fed beef products.

A full list of funded projects can be found at this website.

“Montana agriculture must continue to innovate and we can’t be satisfied with just being a ‘raw commodity’ state,” said Agriculture Development Council Vice-Chair, Lars Hanson. “These grants and loans add value to Montana’s agriculture industry, while also supporting our rural communities and encouraging young people to come back to the operation.”

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit agr.mt.gov.

Source: State of Montana

Agriculture Fire & Drought Assistance Hotline

As drought conditions worsen and fires burn throughout the state, the Montana Department of Agriculture has launched the Agriculture Fire and Drought Assistance Hotline. The hotline will serve as a tool to help connect those affected to available resources, programs and donations, as well as to provide information on how others can help. Questions related to hay/feed donations, livestock, fencing, and transportation can be directed to the hotline. The hotline number is 1-844-515-1571 and will be staffed 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.

“Montana’s agriculture industry has been disproportionately impacted by disasters this year, both drought and fire,” said MDA Director Ben Thomas. “There’s currently a major need for resources and there’s been an overwhelming swell of support from folks across the state and throughout the country. We saw a need to get information out about resources available and ways to help connect people to those resources.”

Montana Agriculture Fire & Drought Assistance Hotline
1-844-515-1571
Monday-Friday, 8 am–5 pm

The hotline is not an emergency number, if you are in an emergency please call 911.

Visit www.agr.mt.gov/Fire-Drought-Assistance-2017 for more information.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries.  For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit agr.mt.gov.