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Competition: Boyce: Competing 'has really helped me as a handler' n Continued from page 11 Part of the retraining work involved getting a handful of Holstein calves to work with and “refocusing on balancing and not telling her anything,” she said. “I used a flag or a stick to kind of get her to go one way or the other, but I wouldn’t tell her anything.

“But what I learned was with stock dogs you have to give them that leeway. They can’t always be hammered down.” “The less I have to tell her the better she’s has gotten,” she added. But some things — like looking away from the cattle to Boyce which the cattle interpret as a weakness to be exploited — will remain. It’s good in some ways that Paisley will default to looking for guidance because that can keep her from doing something wrong such as being too aggressive, but she doesn’t work well too far out from her handler, Boyce said. “That’s where her being mechanical sucks, because if she’s out of range of me and hearing, and if she thinks that I called her back, she will come all the way back to me,” she said. “I can’t just send her to do things while I go and do something else.” Her husband has an 18-month-old dog that can work an entire field on its own, she said, and she’s working to avoid her first mistakes while training Millie. “I think it’s made me have better ranch dogs because I nitpick and fine tune things for competition. She’s still not perfect, she still causes wrecks, but I think we’ve come a long way and it has really helped me as a handler, too,” she said. “I didn’t understand how a stock dog worked ... but once I got her freed up and working I just had to keep reminding myself that I needed to let her go and I’ve been really working on my puppy to let her go — so she doesn’t know any commands.” B oyc e s a i d h e r l o n g t e r m p l a n s include getting Millie working cattle

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Border collie Paisley holds an attentive down position May 16 while the small herd of black Angus cattle she has been herding on the Boyce Ranch in the Bear Paw Mountains stand quietly in a bunch. Her handler, Linday Boyce, said she went to her first stock dog training clinic to help fix problems she had in Paisley's initial training. The pair now travel to Mountain States Stockdog Association herding trials that test their cattle herding skills.

and competing when she’s mentally ready for the challenge. And she wants to try to get people in the area interested in stock dog trials to make bringing in trainers or holding competitions in the area feasible. But for the summer, Boyce said, her plans had been to go to more competitions, including the Mountain States year-end finals. Paisley’s puppies will only be 4 weeks old at the time of the finals, she said, and while it would be physically possible for Paisley to compete, she might not want to. “This will be her first batch of puppies,” Boyce said, “so we won’t know how she handles it. We'll see.” “I have learned so much, and the one thing I’d have to say in the stock dog world, in the competitions, there is not a single person that I have met that wouldn’t help you out, looking at runs, explaining what went wrong or right.”

The dog days of competition


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Competition: Stock dogs make working cattle easier n Continued from page 3

Pam Burke community@havredailynews.com Two years ago, Bear Paw rancher Lindsay Boyce attended a Steve White stock dog training clinic to help her get past some training issues she had been having with the border collie she was raising and training to work the family’s livestock. At the end of the clinic, Boyce said, she took the clinician’s offer to run her dog trough a mini trial for stock herding, and she’s been hooked on the sport ever since. “If I hadn’t gone to that clinic, I honestly couldn’t tell you if I’d’ve found out about the competition side of it,” Boyce said, “because I’d never heard of it up here.” Stock dogs make working cattle easier, but stock dog trials appeal to her competitive side, Boyce said, adding that she and her dog, 4-year-old border collie Paisley, primarily compete at the Mountain States Stockdog Association Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Border collie Paisley works to turn a small herd of black Angus cattle on the Boyce Ranch 40 miles south of Havre in the Bear Paw Mountains May 16. Boyce said the training needed to work cattle on the ranch is pretty much the same for competing in stock dog trials.

winter series in Bozeman, but travel to other western states for competition, as well. Last year they finished fourth out of 25 teams at the novice level — “It was super exciting,” she said — and she wears a belt buckle she and Paisley won at a competition in Utah. T h e p a i r h a s q u a l i f i e d fo r t h e Mountain States year-end finals, but Boyce said Paisley has been confirmed pregnant and she will likely be nursing puppies still at the time the finals are

scheduled to be held in Wyoming. While some stock dog competitions judge the handler and dog on the quality of work, Boyce said, the MSSA competitions, both field and arena trials, are based on points and time. The handler and dog work three to five head of cattle through a series of obstacles, receiving points for each successfully completed obstacle. If competitors are tied in points, then the fastest time breaks the tie. MSSA has four divisions for their

the 1890s, she said, and for generations dogs were thought to be too hard on cattle to use, until her husband and father-in-law started using stock dogs on the place. They figure, now, that one good dog is the equivalent of a couple people on horseback, she said, saving time, labor and wear and tear on horses and riders on the steep Bear Paw slopes. The cattle, she said, also stay quieter and are more respectful with the dogs. As Paisley worked the heifers she regularly looked to Boyce for the next command. Boyce said this was a bad habit that she, as an inexperienced trainer, had inadvertently trained into the dog when she was a puppy. Boyce said that when things get out of control handling cattle a situation can get very chaotic and dangerous. She said she didn’t want a dog raised and trained by her causing problems so she tried hard to keep tight control of Paisley. But this constant monitoring, she said, caused the very problems she wanted to avoid. “I had a 2-year-old border collie that was just a wreck. I mean I couldn’t get anything done with her. It was to the point where I just left her at home,” she said. And that’s what drove her to attend a few clinics. “My problem was I was always ‘when I say something you do it,’” she said. “But what I learned was with stock dogs you have to give them that leeway. They can’t always be hammered down.”

■ See Competition Page 12

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Millie, Lindsay Boyce's 8-month-old border collie, waits obediently in Boyce's ATV on the family ranch May 16. Boyce will use Millie to work cattle on the family ranch 40 miles south of Havre in the Bear Paw Mountains and for competing in stock dog trials once she gets old enough.

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After a yearlong battle, Helena Valley hemp farmer gets federal water rights HELENA (AP) — After a year of battling federal regulations, Helena Valley hemp farmer Kim Phillips has been granted a contract that will allow her to use federally controlled water to irrigate her crop. The decision was made with just days to spare, as the last day for Phillips to plant a viable crop is June 1, the Helena Independent Record reports. Phillips is part of Montana’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, which authorizes her to grow industrial hemp in the state. However, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation prohibits the use of federally controlled water to irrigate controlled substances such as hemp, which is closely related to marijuana. Phillips will be using water from Canyon Ferry Reservoir, which is federally controlled. “It really is an extraordinary day for hemp and the hemp industry,” Phillips said. “It shouldn’t take this long to get water for your hemp, it just shouldn’t. A lot of people were supportive -- both senators, Grow Hemp, Vote Hemp, things like that -- and I could not have got it done without each one of those and all the people that put in work before me, that have chipped away at all these battles for a plant.” The decision to allow this use of water was based on an exemption outlined by the 2014 federal Farm Bill, which states that an institution of higher education or a state department of agriculture may grow or cultivate hemp “for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural pilot program or other agricultural or academic research,”

Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP Kim Phillips loads a 50-pound bag of industrial hemp seeds into her car after picking up a load of seeds from the Montana Department of Agriculture in Helena. After a year of battling federal regulations, Phillips received a contract May 30 to use federally controlled water for irrigation. and “the growing or cultivating of industrial hemp is allowed under the laws of the State in which such institutions of higher education or State department of agriculture is located, and such research occurs.” According to Steve Davies, area manager for the Bureau of Reclamation, the Bureau decided that Phillips fits this exception. The Bureau has done its part in deciding to authorize the contract, and now it is between Phillips, her landowner and the Helena Valley Irrigation District to get the water to her field. Phillips and the landowner must simply sign the contract, which she planned to do May 30. The Bureau approves these kinds of contracts on a regular basis, but the nature of Phillips’ crop put pressure on the decision. Contracts are made for other crops, but

hemp’s relation to marijuana makes it unqualified. “We are satisfied with the decision,” Davies said. “It’s important that we took the time and got the decision right. We had to make sure that the program she is operating under fits the exemption in the federal Farm Bill. Going forward, we will continue to evaluate these on a case-by-case basis.” Giving Phillips the water sets a precedent for Montana hemp farmers in the future. According to Davies, further cases will also have to meet the exemption outlined in the Farm Bill in order to receive a contract. Phillips is relieved that the decision was reached before it was too late to plant, and she will be planting the seeds in the days to come.

www.havredailynews.com classes — open, nursery, intermediate and novice — based on the dog’s age and the handler’s experience and is one of the few show sanctioning bodies that has the novice division for inexperienced handlers, she said. “When you’re at a trial they usually have a some sort of boundary, but you can pretty much go anywhere in the course to help your dog complete the course,” she said. “As you move up, then there comes a handler line that you can’t cross.” “We have learned a lot together,” she added. On a sunny day in mid-May, Boyce used Paisley to gather eight black Angus heifers from a willow-choked stream bottom, calling out in an almost sing-song voice “come by” and “away,” punctuated with sharper commands to walk-up, hold and lie down. Boyce said the dogs are invaluable for finding the cattle in places like the thick willow stands and getting out into the open. She and Paisley worked the herd back and forth across a grass hillside, while 8-month-old Millie, another border collie and future stock dog competitor for Boyce, waited obediently in Boyce’s side-by-side, even when the herding activity brought the heifers up to and around the ATV. Working cattle in the competitions and at home on the ranch is pretty close to the same thing, Boyce said, with the competitions just requiring a little more fine-tuning. “There’s little bitty things that I would normally let my dog get away with here and I can’t (in a trial) because you only have an arena and you only have so much space,” she said. “And they set up those obstacles and you have to hit ’em just right then you gotta move on to the next one. If you screw up one, you screw up the rest of them or you have to retry it, do it again, and it kills time.” The ranch, on the south slope of the Bear Paw Mountains about 40 miles south of Havre, has been owned by her husband Stephen Boyce’s family since

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Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Lindsay Boyce poses with her border collie Paisley on the Boyce Ranch 40 miles south of Havre in the Bear Paw Mountains May 16. Boyce uses Paisley to work cattle on the family ranch and for competing in stock dog trials. The pair are new to competition in last two years, but they have already qualified for the year-end finals with the Mountain States Stockdog Association.

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Soil Acidity: An Emerging Issue that Requires Scouting CLAIN JONES, MSU SOIL FERTILITY EXTENSION SPECIALIST / FOR FARM AND RANCH

Farmers in several Montana counties are experiencing nearly complete yield loss in portions of their ďŹ elds due to soil acidity (low pH). Standard top 6-inch soil pH testing may not deďŹ nitively identify soil acidity problems. Most ďŹ elds with low pH problem areas also have larger areas with higher pH that buffer the pH value when soil samples submitted to labs are mixed from six-eight subsamples per ďŹ eld. Also, the lowest pH is generally in the top 2 to 3 inches, not the top 6 inches, further masking the issue. MSU soil scientists have now identiďŹ ed ďŹ elds in 15 Montana counties with soil pH levels below 5.5, some as low as 3.8. Because many Montana soils have pH levels greater than 7.0, soil acidiďŹ cation received little attention until recently when yield-limiting acidity was identiďŹ ed in Chouteau County.

At pH levels below 5.0, naturally-occurring soil metals (like aluminum and manganese), become more soluble and can stunt root and shoot growth. Young plants in acidic areas are often yellow with club or â&#x20AC;&#x153;witchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s broomâ&#x20AC;? roots. Substantial yield losses occur at pH levels below 4.5. The most sensitive cereal crops appear to be barley and durum, followed by spring wheat. The major cause of acidiďŹ cation appears to be ammonium fertilizers, including urea, applied in excess of crop uptake. No-till concentrates the acidity near the surface where fertilizer is applied. Acidity problems usually start in low lying areas of a ďŹ eld (where yield has historically been high), and acidity symptoms spread outward. To identify if you have an acidiďŹ cation problem, look at your top 6-inch soil test. If See ACIDITY Page 7

Senator Tester Fights to Deliver Vital Agriculture and Water Funding to Rural Communities FOR FARM AND RANCH On May 24, U.S. Senator Jon Tester worked across the aisle to strengthen Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s #1 industry and protect clean water for rural communities. Tester used his position as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee to include funding for important Montana initiatives in two recent bipartisan laws. During a committee meeting, Tester voted in favor of both the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill and the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, sending them to the Senate ďŹ&#x201A;oor for a ďŹ nal vote. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Both of these priorities reďŹ&#x201A;ect the infrastructure, agriculture, and business needs of Montana,â&#x20AC;? Tester said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When we invest in our farmers and our infrastructure, we see big returns to Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy. This is further proof that when Republicans and Democrats work together, good things get done.â&#x20AC;? The Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill contains the following Montana provisions: $3.7 million to keep the Fort Keogh Research Lab in Miles City from closing. $5.6 million for the Northern Plains Research Lab in Sidney to continue its Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative. $1.5 billion to keep Farm Service Agency

open in farming and ranching communities. $558.1 million for the USDA Rural Development Water and Wastewater Disposal loan and grant program. $127.2 million for Wildlife Services to help manage and compensate producers for conďŹ&#x201A;icts between natural predators and livestock. $243.7 million to support State Agricultural Experiment Stations that do agricultural research. $300 million for Smith-Level and Cooperative Extension, which connects land-grant institution educations and local agriculture professionals to provide expertise to farmers and consumers. $425 million for a broadband pilot program aimed at improving high-speed internet services to rural America. Tester also included important report language in the Agriculture Appropriations Bill urging the U.S. Agriculture Secretary to work with the Canadian government to resolve the unfair wheat grading practices in Canada that unfairly target Montana grain producers, as well as report language pushing the Appropriations Committee to invest more resources to expand access to high-speed internet in rural See TESTER Page 5

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Wolf Numbers Remained Strong In 2017:

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Reminder That Wolves Are Managed In Eastern Montana Too

MARC KLOKER FOR FARM AND RANCH According to the 2017 Montana Gray Wolf Program Annual Report, population estimates suggest there are approximately 900 wolves in Montana. This marks the 13th consecutive year that Montana has far exceeded wolf recovery goals. Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wolf population has remained relatively stable with an annual wolf harvest that averages about 225 animals per year. During the 2017-2018 wolf season, 255 wolves were harvested: 65 percent hunting, 35 percent trapping. Approximately $380,000 was generated for wolf conservation and management by wolf license sales. Livestock depredation by wolves during 2017 was approximately 25 percent of what it was in 2009, when it was at a peak. The U.S. Department of Agricultureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wildlife Services conďŹ rmed 80 livestock losses to wolves in 2017, which included 49 cattle, 12 sheep, and 19 goats during 2017. One dog was also killed by wolves. This total was up compared to 53 livestock losses during 2016. During 2017, the Montana Livestock Loss Board paid $64,133 for livestock Wildlife Services conďŹ rmed as probable or certain wolf kills. Wolf management in eastern Montana With the recent release of this 2017 wolf report, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good reminder that FWP manages wolves across Montana under a statewide management plan, including eastern Montana. FWP is committed to using its authority to responsibly manage Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wolf population while addressing conďŹ&#x201A;icts with livestock and other wildlife populations. Although wolf populations and management activities are largely focused on western Montana, all the same wolf management tools are in place across eastern Montana.

Wildfire Recovery CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8 service, building on efforts which began the day the storm hit.â&#x20AC;? Key Updates Include: Hurricane Recovery: To be eligible a crop, tree, bush or vine must be located in a primary disaster county with either a Presidential declaration or a Secretarial designation due to a 2017 hurricane. Crops, trees, bushes or vines located in other counties may also be eligible if the producer provides documentation the loss was caused by a 2017 hurricane. WildďŹ re Recovery: Any crop, tree, bush or vine, damaged by a 2017 wildďŹ re is eligible. Eligibility will be determined on an individual basis, using the level of insurance coverage purchased for 2017 for the total crop acres on the area for which the WHIP applica-

Wolves may be hunted throughout the state, with a season from Sept. 2 - 14 (archery) and Sept. 15-March 15 (riďŹ&#x201A;e). Hunting wolves requires a wolf license, which can be purchased over the counter for $19 (resident) or $50 (nonresident). Proof of hunter education must be presented at the time of purchase. Wolves may also be trapped ($20 resident, $1 resident landowner, $250 nonresident) from Dec. 15-Feb. 28. Completion of either the Idaho or Montana wolf trapping certiďŹ cation class is mandatory. Persons could take a combination of up to ďŹ ve wolves via hunting and/or trapping. FWP publishes wolf hunting and trapping regulations annually, and these are available at all license vendors and FWP ofďŹ ces. Note: National Wildlife Refuges may have different regulations on wolf management, and like any other species, permission is needed to hunt for wolves on private land. Another aspect of wolf management includes increased emphasis on proactive prevention of livestock depredation. Montana law and administrative rules (MCA 87-3-130; ARM 12.9.1301-1305) allow a person to kill a wolf that is seen in the act of attacking, killing, or threatening to kill livestock or domestic dogs. â&#x20AC;˘ No permit is required and FWP must be notiďŹ ed within 72 hours of take or attempt to take. â&#x20AC;˘ Preserve the scene and leave the carcass where it was killed; carcass is surrendered to FWP. â&#x20AC;˘ Physical evidence of the wolf attack or that an attack was imminent is required (injured or dead livestock, broken fences, trampled vegetation and wolf sign) that would lead a reasonable person to conclude the attack was imminent. â&#x20AC;˘ Wolves cannot be intentionally baited, tion is made. Eligible producers who certify to an average adjusted gross income (AGI) of at least 75 percent derived from farming or ranching, including other agriculture and forestry-based businesses during the tax years 2013, 2014 and 2015, will be eligible for a $900,000 payment limitation with veriďŹ cation. All other eligible producers requesting 2017 WHIP beneďŹ ts will be subject to a $125,000 payment limitation. Both insured and uninsured producers are eligible to apply for WHIP. However, all producers opting to receive 2017 WHIP payments will be required to purchase crop insurance at the 60 percent coverage level, or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) at the 60 percent buy up coverage level if crop insurance is not available. Coverage must be in place for the next two applicable crop years to meet program requirements. In addition, for the applicable crop years, all

PHOTO COURTESY FWP WEBSITE

A gray wolf pictured above. As wolves can be found in Eastern Montana, although rarely, we wanted to take the opportunity to remind area landowners and citizens in their potential role with wolf management. fed, or deliberately attracted â&#x20AC;˘ Wolves may be opportunistically hazed or harassed This same law also allows private citizens to kill a wolf that is seen in the act of attacking, killing or threatening a domestic dog or another human. Again, FWP must be notiďŹ ed within 72 hours of take or attempt to take. Wolf sightings do periodically happen in eastern Montana, but currently no wolf packs are known to exist in the eastern side of the

state. Recently, a FWP game warden reported seeing a lone wolf in south Phillips Co., and neighboring landowners were notiďŹ ed. FWP would encourage anyone who believes they see a wolf in Region 6 to contact your local biologist, game warden, or call the Glasgow Region 6 FWP Headquarters at 406-2283700. To learn more about Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wolf population, visit FWP online at fwp.mt.gov.

producers are required to ďŹ le an acreage report and report production (if applicable). FSA will calculate WHIP payments with this formula: Payment = Expected Value of the Crop x WHIP Factor - Value of Crop Harvested - Insurance Indemnity The WHIP factor ranges from 65 percent to 95 percent. Producers who did not insure their crops in 2017 will receive a 65 percent WHIP Factor. Insured producers, or producers who had NAP, will receive between 70 percent and 95 percent WHIP Factors; those purchasing higher levels of coverage will receive higher WHIP Factors. FSA will hold a sign-up for 2017 WHIP no later than July 16. Additional information on WHIP is available on the FSA webpage. For immediate assistance under other disaster programs, please contact your local USDA OfďŹ ce.

CKST Water Compact CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8 pay a minimum of $73 million to provide the Water Court with the funding necessary to address the massive number of water rights cases. Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s agriculture industry simply canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford to leave these claims unresolved. The negotiating parties worked for decades to produce an agreement that protects agriculture and other state-based water rights and we applaud the Legislature for approving it. The Compact is a fair and equitable compromise that will serve the best interests of Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s agriculture community and save taxpayer dollars. The choice here is simpleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; progress or paralysis.


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Montana Farm Bureau Disappointed in Farm Bill Vote FOR FARM AND RANCH

GEORGIE KULCZYK / FARM AND RANCH

Another bull sold at the Nelson Ranch Production Auction held at the Glasgow Stockyards on May 3. The Nelson Ranch raises Black and Red Simmental and Simmental/Angus bulls.

Bull-Selling Season CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 121 WW Ratio and 119 YW Ratio. Lot 54 to Mark Raffety of Dillon. Sired by Andras New Direction. Red 3/8 Simm 5/8 Red Angus. The volume buyers were Wittmayer Grazing of Glasgow with twelve bulls, Kirkland Ranch of Fort Peck purchased eight and Garoutte Ranch of Circle and Y3 Cattle Co. of Saco each bought seven bulls. Koenig Ranch Koenig Ranch Red Angus of Winnett, Mont., held their 9th annual bull, female and steer auction on May 10. Francis and Arley Koenig sold 38 bulls averaging $3,684. The

top selling bull was Lot 24 KRP Easy Wander 6485. He was sired by Brown Nice And Easy. He sold to Ron Cartwright of Dagmar for $5,500. Lot 13 KRP Hi Kanyon 6669 sold to Beverly Pippin of Saco for $5,250. Lloyd Ketchum of Miles City bought Lot 39 KRP Doc Cherokee 6853 or $4,750. Zoe Beardsley of Miles City bought Lots 50-51-52-53-5455-56 for $1,275 each. These heifers were all sired by KRP Kanyon Maker 3853. Karl Fowler of Lewistown bought Lots 66 and 69 for $1,275. These two heifers were sired by KRP Kanyon Beamer 3058. The volume buyer was Lee Dix of Glasgow with nine bulls. Fifty-ďŹ ve Red Angus steers at 638# 188.75 and 39 Red Angus steers at 581# 196.50.

Ag Secretary Announces Wildfire Recovery Details FOR FARM AND RANCH Under the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced new details on eligibility for a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster program, 2017 WildďŹ res and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP). In total, USDAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Farm Services Agency (FSA) will deploy the up to $2.36 billion that Congress appropriated through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to help producers with recovery of their agricultural operations in at least nine states with hurricane damage and states impacted by wildďŹ re. Following the announcement, Secretary

Perdue issued this statement: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Last year our nation experienced some of the most signiďŹ cant disasters we have seen in decades, some back-to-back, at the most critical time in their production year. While USDA has a suite of disaster programs as well as crop insurance available to help producers manage their risk, Congress felt it was important to provide extra assistance to our nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farms and ranches that were the hardest hit last year,â&#x20AC;? Secretary Perdue said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At President Trumpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s direction, our team is working as quickly as possible to make this new program available to farmers in need. Our aim is to provide excellent customer See WILDFIRE RECOVERY Page 9

With the 2018 farm bill being critically important to Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farmers and ranchers, the Montana Farm Bureau was extremely disappointed that H.R. 2 failed by a 198 for and 213 against vote. The failure to pass this farm bill was a vote against the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hardworking farmers and ranchers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The House version of the 2018 Farm Bill is good for farmers, ranchers and rural Montana. It protects key features of federal crop insurance, improves commodity programs, and streamlines conservation programs in ways that are good for producers and the environment,â&#x20AC;? noted Montana Farm Bureau Director of National Affairs Nicole Rolf. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were pleased that amendments to gut sugar policy, harm crop insurance, and alter payment limits were all defeated. Likewise, we believe that many of the amendments added made it an even better bill, which made it especially disappointing, and shocking, when the bill failed on ďŹ nal passage.â&#x20AC;? Amendments that MFBF supported and were adopted before the ďŹ nal vote of H.R 2 included a Federal Communications Task Force to establish reviewing connectivity and technology needs for precision agriculture; expedited salvage operations for areas burned by wildďŹ re; a streamlined process for signing up for Agricultural Risk Policy and Price Loss

Coverage; and repeal of the extremely detrimental Waters of the U.S., to name a few. Don Steinbeisser, Jr., a sugar beet farmer from Sidney, explained that the sugar beet policy is essential. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Without sugar policy, the sugar producers in Montana and the U.S. would have to compete at the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dump price. The sugar industry works with the rest of the commodity groups in the U.S. and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s essential that commodities are supported in the farm bill, so we were happy to see amendments that hurt the sugar program go down.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Montana, we appreciate that Congressman Greg Gianforte supported the farm bill and amendments that would help farmers and ranchers weather hard times due to circumstances beyond their control, including the harsh situations Mother Nature throws at them and world events that depress commodity prices,â&#x20AC;? said Rolf. AFBF President Zippy Duvall had strong words for the failure. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are already starting to hear from farmers across the nation, many of whom are perplexed and outraged at this morningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vote. They are facing very real ďŹ nancial challenges. We call on all members of Congress not to use farmers and ranchers as pawns in a political game. The risk management tools of the farm bill are too important, particularly at a time of depressed farm prices. We urge the House to pass H.R. 2 as soon as possible.â&#x20AC;?

Montana Ag Needs Action on CSKT Water Compact JOHN YOUNGBERG, MONTANA FARM BUREAU AND JAY BODNER, MONTANA STOCKGROWERS Water rights are the cornerstone of our agricultural economy. Without certainty, protection for existing water right holders, and a plan to deďŹ ne the federally reserved water rights of the tribes, Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water users would be forced to foot the bill for decades of costly litigation and risk losing their existing water rights. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why we support the CSKT Water Compact and why we believe it is critical that our Congressional delegation act now to ratify the agreement that was passed by the Montana State Legislature in 2015. Without action on the Compact, the consequences for water users, farmers, and ranchers will be dire. By deďŹ ning the federally reserved water rights held in trust, the Compact settles claims the CSKT have on existing water rights. Without the Compact, the CSKT would have to act on their claims in the Montana Water Courtâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;claims that would impact thousands

of Montana farmers, ranchers, and irrigators. A majority if not all of the CSKT claims are in areas where state-based water users have also ďŹ led claims. Without the Compact, individual farmers and ranchers will have to defend their water rights in court or risk losing them entirelyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a process that in most cases will require hiring lawyers and isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cheap. The process of resolving all of those claims would drag on for decades and cost the agricultural community millions of dollars in the processâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;potentially impacting the ďŹ nancial viability of individual farm and ranch operations across our state that canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars for attorneys and court costs. Without the CSKT Water Compact, Montana taxpayers would also shoulder a large portion of the litigation costs, which will heap yet another expense onto the backs of our agriculture producers. If the CSKT is forced to act on its claims, taxpayers across our state would See CSKT WATER COMPACT Page 9

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The Long Stretch ELIZABETH SHIPSTEAD FOR FARM AND RANCH

Each new milestone is stretching me. I might stretch, kicking and screaming, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m stretching and learning. This last rain storm, although desired greatly and so much gratitude offered for it, brought added challenges to my life. A trusty 4-wheeler, was not so trustworthy, my last option pickup died, and the ďŹ elds and pastures were so saturated I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get in without the 4-wheeler, which left me on foot chasing cows

May was a month in which half of the days each week seemed to feel like spring, while the other half of each week felt like it was more akin to the middle of summer than the middle of spring. Thunderstorms returned to northeast Montana for many areas after last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s almost unprecedented drought, and many areas saw a significant increase in precipitation when compared to this time last year Temperatures across the region finally swung from being below normal to generally being above normal, a trend that looks to continue into at least the next month, as the latest forecast for June from the Climate Prediction Center lays out. ConďŹ dence is very low in

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what kind of precipitation may be expected in June as well. For the month of May, as of press date, 11 days in the month saw at least a trace of reported precipitation, with a single event providing over half of the precipitation for the entire month. As for winds, six days saw sustained winds greater than 25 mph, and 18 days with winds greater than 20 mph. The highest sustained wind was reported at 30 mph and occurred on both May 17 and 20, and the highest wind gust was reported on May 29 at 37 mph. As of press date, per the National Weather Service in Glasgow, the highest observed temperature for the month was 90 degrees on May 26, and the lowest was 36 on May 1. The

YOUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;RE READING THE HI-LINE FARM & RANCH THE AG MONTHLY FOR NORTHEAST & NORTH CENTRAL MONTANA Glasgow Stockyards, Inc. Linda & Mark Nielsen, Owners Iva Murch, Manager 263-7529 Dean Barnes, Yard Manager 263-1175 Ed Hinton, Auctioneer 783-7285

See THE MONTH IN WEATHER Page 6

Tester

June, July & August 2018 Schedule

June 2018 Thursday

7

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 areas. The Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Bill contains the following Montana provisions: $10 million for the Blackfeet Water Compact. $12 million for the Crow Water Compact. $4.7 million for the Fort Peck and Dry Prairie Rural Water Project. $3.9 million for the Rocky Boyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Northcentral Montana Rural Water Project. $6 million for watercraft inspection stations in the Columbia River Basin. $4.8 million for the Missouri River Recovery Program. $1.9 million for the Milk River Project, including St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Diversion Dam. $2.6 million for the Libby Dam. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester is responsible for writing the 12 government bills that fund the federal government.

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NEWTON MOTORS, INC.

in the pouring rain. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just about impossible to get cows to go where you want (especially if theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not really inclined) with one person on foot. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not enough speed or endurance to get that accomplished. I was cold, wet and angry. After an hour in the pouring rain, having the cows scatter right in front of the gate, and having used up all my ideas and strength, I ďŹ nally called for help. Thank God for good neighbors! Neigh-

The Month in Weather MICHELLE BIGELBACH FOR FARM AND RANCH

June June2018 2018

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The author’s husband took this picture after they unloaded pairs in summer pasture up near the Ossette community.

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The Long Stretch

Acidity

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bors that will call you if they see cows out, neighbors who will look out for you if they see something amiss, and neighbors who will show up just at the right time, when you’re at your worst, and help. Each spring brings new challenges and new things to learn. This year, it’s been tagging calves on my own and dealing with wayward cows in less than ideal circumstances. At times I’ve felt stretched. Stretched like when you are working out and you don’t think you can do one more rep. Stretched like when you have a huge college final in the morning, you’re exhausted and don’t feel at all prepared. Stretched like “there’s no way I can do this” but you don’t give up and somehow it all works out! I know next spring will bring new “stretching” milestones, but I’ll be better prepared for them because I got through this year’s challenges! I’m reminded of these verses: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6. And this one: “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13. During those moments of stretch, it’s not all on me. I can rely on one, who has enough strength, who has enough endurance, and will get me through the most challenging of times.

the pH is consistently above 7.5, it’s unlikely you have a problem. If it is below 6.0, you likely have areas with pH below 5 and have yield-limiting soil acidity. On fields where standard soil test pH levels in the top 6 inches are below 7.5, scout for yellow seedlings and club roots. To verify that those symptoms are caused by low pH, analyze just the top 2 inches for pH, either with a field pH stick, pH probe, or lab analysis. Soil in the zone at the edge of poor growth areas should also be sampled to determine if the pH is close to toxic on the margins, but do not yet exhibit symptoms. The potential is there for problem areas to grow in size. Areas where pH is 5 to 6 should be managed differently to prevent further acidification. For additional information on this emerging issue, go to landresources.montana.edu/soilfertility and click on Soil Scoops where you will find two documents on soil acidification, or click on Presentations. Please contact Clain Jones, MSU Extension Soil Fertility Specialist (clainj@montana.edu, 994-6076) or MT Salinity Control Association (406-278-3071) if you have any questions.

North Country Angus North Country Angus, Lee Humbert and Jim Fossum, held their 30th Annual Production Auction on April 26. They sold

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

PHOTO COURTESY STEVEN TEMPLER,NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GLASGOW / FOR FARM AND RANCH

An isolated thunderstorm, which did not end up being severe but brought much needed rain to the area, was seen from the Natonal Weather Service office in Glasgow on May 24.

FARM & RANCH FARM & RANCH

June 2018 June 2018

7 7

GEORGIE KULCZYK / FARM AND RANCH

Nelson Ranch sold 70 bulls at this year's production auction held at the Glasgow Stockyards. Left to right: Don Nelson,auctioneer Ed Hinton and Glasgow Stockyards manager, Iva Murch.

Bull-Selling Season Ends at the Glasgow Stockyards FOR FARM AND RANCH

The Month In Weather total liquid precipitation reported at Glasgow was 0.95”, which was approximately 0.8” below normal. Over a 24-hour period, the greatest precipitation total was 0.50”, which occurred on May 18. The overall mean temperature for the month was approximately 62 degrees, which was approximately 8 degrees above normal. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor was released on May 24. With continued below normal precipitation, some parts of northeast and north-central Montana were returned to having at least abnormally dry conditions, and no major further improvements were noted. This may change if the region continues to receive strong thunderstorms in June. Currently, however, less than 10 percent of the state is now classified as at least Abnormally Dry and less than four percent of the state is in Moderate Drought or worse conditions. Daniels, Sheridan and Roosevelt counties are the only counties in the state reporting Moderate Drought conditions. Abnormally dry conditions remain along much of the North Dakota border in northeast Montana, though portions of Valley and Phillips counties have recently been added to the Abnormally Dry category.

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48 bulls averaging $3,063. The top bull brought $6,250 and the top ten bulls sold for $4,475. Lot 615 – Far Unanimous T615 sired by S Unanimous 5562 was the top-selling bull of the sale. This bull passes on length and

GEORGIE KULCZYK / FARM AND RANCH

One of the bulls sold at the Nelson Ranch Production Auction held at the Glasgow Stockyards on May 3.

thickness and is out of an S Chisum Dam. He was purchased by the CBD Ranch of Scobey, Mont. He had a 73# BW. EPDs: WW +69; Milk +24; YW +120. Ratios: WW 114; Gain 99; Yearling 108. CBD Ranch also purchased another S Unanimous Son and on the dam’s side HA Program. He had a 84# BW. EPDS: WW +79; Milk +24; YW +136. Ratios: WW 121; Gain 118; YW 116. Lot 622 went to Paul Feezell of Miles City for $5,250. An S Unanimous Son out of an S Chisum Dam. BW 75#. EPDS: WW +69; Milk +23; YW +120. Ratios: WW 114; Gain 102; YW 109. Kaare Gaustad of Scobey, took Lot 619 home. Another S Unanimous/S Chisum Cross. BW 82#. EPDS: WW+61; Milk +23; YW +108. Ratios: WW 104; YW 108. The volume buyer at the North Country sale was Doug Mason of Richland, Mont., with five bulls. Purchasing four bulls each were Wayne Solberg of Richland and Kaare Gaustad and CBD Ranch, both of Scobey. Anderson Bar Triable Charolais Anderson Bar Triangle Charolais also held their sale on April 26. They sold 43 Charolais bulls and averaged $2,826. The top bull brought $5,000 and the top 10 averaged $3,850. Lot 4 was the top selling bull. He was sired by an AI son of No Doubt. 89# BW. 115 - 365 Ratio. 3.69 ADG Test and a 116 WDA Ratio. Lot 7 sold for $4,000. He was an AI son of

Blue Grass. 86# BW. 106 - 365 Ratio. 4.02 ADG Test, 105 - WDA Ratio. Lot 10 also sold for $4,000. He’s also an AI son of Blue Grass. 86# BW. 111 - 365 Ratio. 3.92 ADG Test and 111 - WDA Ratio. The volume buyers were the Lacock Ranch of Hinsdale with 17 bulls, Roland and Dusten Young of Malta / Chinook with six bulls and the Double O Ranch of Malta purchased five bulls. Nelson Ranch Nelson Ranch Simmental and Simmental/ Angus Bull Auction was held on May 3. They sold 70 bulls, averaging $3,126. One of the high-selling bulls was Lot 29, sired by Payweight 1682. This bull was a black 5/16 Simm 11/16 Angus bull. He was out of a first-calf heifer. 82# BWT. 728 ADJ. 205. 106 WW Ratio and 108 YW Ratio. He sold for $4,750. Lot 20 sold to Ed Beil of Hinsdale for $4,750. The next four top sellers went for $4,500. Lot 8 went to Eayrs Ranch of Fallon, sired by Visionary Black 3/8 Simm 5/8 Angus. 745 ADJ. 205; 110 WW Ratio 111 YW Ratio. Rocky Kittleson of Glasgow purchased Lot 25. Sired by Trinity. Black 5/8 Simm 3/8 Angus. 714 ADJ. 205; 1055 WW Ratio 109 YW Ratio. Lot 34 to Wasson Ranch of Whitewater. Sired by Upgrade. Black 3/4 Simm 1/4 Angus. 817 ADJ. 205; See BULL-SELLING SEASON Page 5


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ELIZABETH SHIPSTEAD / FOR FARM AND RANCH

The author’s husband took this picture after they unloaded pairs in summer pasture up near the Ossette community.

www.glasgowcourier.com www.glasgowcourier.com

The Long Stretch

Acidity

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4

bors that will call you if they see cows out, neighbors who will look out for you if they see something amiss, and neighbors who will show up just at the right time, when you’re at your worst, and help. Each spring brings new challenges and new things to learn. This year, it’s been tagging calves on my own and dealing with wayward cows in less than ideal circumstances. At times I’ve felt stretched. Stretched like when you are working out and you don’t think you can do one more rep. Stretched like when you have a huge college final in the morning, you’re exhausted and don’t feel at all prepared. Stretched like “there’s no way I can do this” but you don’t give up and somehow it all works out! I know next spring will bring new “stretching” milestones, but I’ll be better prepared for them because I got through this year’s challenges! I’m reminded of these verses: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6. And this one: “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13. During those moments of stretch, it’s not all on me. I can rely on one, who has enough strength, who has enough endurance, and will get me through the most challenging of times.

the pH is consistently above 7.5, it’s unlikely you have a problem. If it is below 6.0, you likely have areas with pH below 5 and have yield-limiting soil acidity. On fields where standard soil test pH levels in the top 6 inches are below 7.5, scout for yellow seedlings and club roots. To verify that those symptoms are caused by low pH, analyze just the top 2 inches for pH, either with a field pH stick, pH probe, or lab analysis. Soil in the zone at the edge of poor growth areas should also be sampled to determine if the pH is close to toxic on the margins, but do not yet exhibit symptoms. The potential is there for problem areas to grow in size. Areas where pH is 5 to 6 should be managed differently to prevent further acidification. For additional information on this emerging issue, go to landresources.montana.edu/soilfertility and click on Soil Scoops where you will find two documents on soil acidification, or click on Presentations. Please contact Clain Jones, MSU Extension Soil Fertility Specialist (clainj@montana.edu, 994-6076) or MT Salinity Control Association (406-278-3071) if you have any questions.

North Country Angus North Country Angus, Lee Humbert and Jim Fossum, held their 30th Annual Production Auction on April 26. They sold

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

PHOTO COURTESY STEVEN TEMPLER,NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GLASGOW / FOR FARM AND RANCH

An isolated thunderstorm, which did not end up being severe but brought much needed rain to the area, was seen from the Natonal Weather Service office in Glasgow on May 24.

FARM & RANCH FARM & RANCH

June 2018 June 2018

7 7

GEORGIE KULCZYK / FARM AND RANCH

Nelson Ranch sold 70 bulls at this year's production auction held at the Glasgow Stockyards. Left to right: Don Nelson,auctioneer Ed Hinton and Glasgow Stockyards manager, Iva Murch.

Bull-Selling Season Ends at the Glasgow Stockyards FOR FARM AND RANCH

The Month In Weather total liquid precipitation reported at Glasgow was 0.95”, which was approximately 0.8” below normal. Over a 24-hour period, the greatest precipitation total was 0.50”, which occurred on May 18. The overall mean temperature for the month was approximately 62 degrees, which was approximately 8 degrees above normal. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor was released on May 24. With continued below normal precipitation, some parts of northeast and north-central Montana were returned to having at least abnormally dry conditions, and no major further improvements were noted. This may change if the region continues to receive strong thunderstorms in June. Currently, however, less than 10 percent of the state is now classified as at least Abnormally Dry and less than four percent of the state is in Moderate Drought or worse conditions. Daniels, Sheridan and Roosevelt counties are the only counties in the state reporting Moderate Drought conditions. Abnormally dry conditions remain along much of the North Dakota border in northeast Montana, though portions of Valley and Phillips counties have recently been added to the Abnormally Dry category.

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48 bulls averaging $3,063. The top bull brought $6,250 and the top ten bulls sold for $4,475. Lot 615 – Far Unanimous T615 sired by S Unanimous 5562 was the top-selling bull of the sale. This bull passes on length and

GEORGIE KULCZYK / FARM AND RANCH

One of the bulls sold at the Nelson Ranch Production Auction held at the Glasgow Stockyards on May 3.

thickness and is out of an S Chisum Dam. He was purchased by the CBD Ranch of Scobey, Mont. He had a 73# BW. EPDs: WW +69; Milk +24; YW +120. Ratios: WW 114; Gain 99; Yearling 108. CBD Ranch also purchased another S Unanimous Son and on the dam’s side HA Program. He had a 84# BW. EPDS: WW +79; Milk +24; YW +136. Ratios: WW 121; Gain 118; YW 116. Lot 622 went to Paul Feezell of Miles City for $5,250. An S Unanimous Son out of an S Chisum Dam. BW 75#. EPDS: WW +69; Milk +23; YW +120. Ratios: WW 114; Gain 102; YW 109. Kaare Gaustad of Scobey, took Lot 619 home. Another S Unanimous/S Chisum Cross. BW 82#. EPDS: WW+61; Milk +23; YW +108. Ratios: WW 104; YW 108. The volume buyer at the North Country sale was Doug Mason of Richland, Mont., with five bulls. Purchasing four bulls each were Wayne Solberg of Richland and Kaare Gaustad and CBD Ranch, both of Scobey. Anderson Bar Triable Charolais Anderson Bar Triangle Charolais also held their sale on April 26. They sold 43 Charolais bulls and averaged $2,826. The top bull brought $5,000 and the top 10 averaged $3,850. Lot 4 was the top selling bull. He was sired by an AI son of No Doubt. 89# BW. 115 - 365 Ratio. 3.69 ADG Test and a 116 WDA Ratio. Lot 7 sold for $4,000. He was an AI son of

Blue Grass. 86# BW. 106 - 365 Ratio. 4.02 ADG Test, 105 - WDA Ratio. Lot 10 also sold for $4,000. He’s also an AI son of Blue Grass. 86# BW. 111 - 365 Ratio. 3.92 ADG Test and 111 - WDA Ratio. The volume buyers were the Lacock Ranch of Hinsdale with 17 bulls, Roland and Dusten Young of Malta / Chinook with six bulls and the Double O Ranch of Malta purchased five bulls. Nelson Ranch Nelson Ranch Simmental and Simmental/ Angus Bull Auction was held on May 3. They sold 70 bulls, averaging $3,126. One of the high-selling bulls was Lot 29, sired by Payweight 1682. This bull was a black 5/16 Simm 11/16 Angus bull. He was out of a first-calf heifer. 82# BWT. 728 ADJ. 205. 106 WW Ratio and 108 YW Ratio. He sold for $4,750. Lot 20 sold to Ed Beil of Hinsdale for $4,750. The next four top sellers went for $4,500. Lot 8 went to Eayrs Ranch of Fallon, sired by Visionary Black 3/8 Simm 5/8 Angus. 745 ADJ. 205; 110 WW Ratio 111 YW Ratio. Rocky Kittleson of Glasgow purchased Lot 25. Sired by Trinity. Black 5/8 Simm 3/8 Angus. 714 ADJ. 205; 1055 WW Ratio 109 YW Ratio. Lot 34 to Wasson Ranch of Whitewater. Sired by Upgrade. Black 3/4 Simm 1/4 Angus. 817 ADJ. 205; See BULL-SELLING SEASON Page 5


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Montana Farm Bureau Disappointed in Farm Bill Vote FOR FARM AND RANCH

GEORGIE KULCZYK / FARM AND RANCH

Another bull sold at the Nelson Ranch Production Auction held at the Glasgow Stockyards on May 3. The Nelson Ranch raises Black and Red Simmental and Simmental/Angus bulls.

Bull-Selling Season CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 121 WW Ratio and 119 YW Ratio. Lot 54 to Mark Raffety of Dillon. Sired by Andras New Direction. Red 3/8 Simm 5/8 Red Angus. The volume buyers were Wittmayer Grazing of Glasgow with twelve bulls, Kirkland Ranch of Fort Peck purchased eight and Garoutte Ranch of Circle and Y3 Cattle Co. of Saco each bought seven bulls. Koenig Ranch Koenig Ranch Red Angus of Winnett, Mont., held their 9th annual bull, female and steer auction on May 10. Francis and Arley Koenig sold 38 bulls averaging $3,684. The

top selling bull was Lot 24 KRP Easy Wander 6485. He was sired by Brown Nice And Easy. He sold to Ron Cartwright of Dagmar for $5,500. Lot 13 KRP Hi Kanyon 6669 sold to Beverly Pippin of Saco for $5,250. Lloyd Ketchum of Miles City bought Lot 39 KRP Doc Cherokee 6853 or $4,750. Zoe Beardsley of Miles City bought Lots 50-51-52-53-5455-56 for $1,275 each. These heifers were all sired by KRP Kanyon Maker 3853. Karl Fowler of Lewistown bought Lots 66 and 69 for $1,275. These two heifers were sired by KRP Kanyon Beamer 3058. The volume buyer was Lee Dix of Glasgow with nine bulls. Fifty-ďŹ ve Red Angus steers at 638# 188.75 and 39 Red Angus steers at 581# 196.50.

Ag Secretary Announces Wildfire Recovery Details FOR FARM AND RANCH Under the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced new details on eligibility for a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster program, 2017 WildďŹ res and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP). In total, USDAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Farm Services Agency (FSA) will deploy the up to $2.36 billion that Congress appropriated through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to help producers with recovery of their agricultural operations in at least nine states with hurricane damage and states impacted by wildďŹ re. Following the announcement, Secretary

Perdue issued this statement: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Last year our nation experienced some of the most signiďŹ cant disasters we have seen in decades, some back-to-back, at the most critical time in their production year. While USDA has a suite of disaster programs as well as crop insurance available to help producers manage their risk, Congress felt it was important to provide extra assistance to our nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farms and ranches that were the hardest hit last year,â&#x20AC;? Secretary Perdue said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At President Trumpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s direction, our team is working as quickly as possible to make this new program available to farmers in need. Our aim is to provide excellent customer See WILDFIRE RECOVERY Page 9

With the 2018 farm bill being critically important to Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farmers and ranchers, the Montana Farm Bureau was extremely disappointed that H.R. 2 failed by a 198 for and 213 against vote. The failure to pass this farm bill was a vote against the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hardworking farmers and ranchers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The House version of the 2018 Farm Bill is good for farmers, ranchers and rural Montana. It protects key features of federal crop insurance, improves commodity programs, and streamlines conservation programs in ways that are good for producers and the environment,â&#x20AC;? noted Montana Farm Bureau Director of National Affairs Nicole Rolf. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were pleased that amendments to gut sugar policy, harm crop insurance, and alter payment limits were all defeated. Likewise, we believe that many of the amendments added made it an even better bill, which made it especially disappointing, and shocking, when the bill failed on ďŹ nal passage.â&#x20AC;? Amendments that MFBF supported and were adopted before the ďŹ nal vote of H.R 2 included a Federal Communications Task Force to establish reviewing connectivity and technology needs for precision agriculture; expedited salvage operations for areas burned by wildďŹ re; a streamlined process for signing up for Agricultural Risk Policy and Price Loss

Coverage; and repeal of the extremely detrimental Waters of the U.S., to name a few. Don Steinbeisser, Jr., a sugar beet farmer from Sidney, explained that the sugar beet policy is essential. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Without sugar policy, the sugar producers in Montana and the U.S. would have to compete at the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dump price. The sugar industry works with the rest of the commodity groups in the U.S. and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s essential that commodities are supported in the farm bill, so we were happy to see amendments that hurt the sugar program go down.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Montana, we appreciate that Congressman Greg Gianforte supported the farm bill and amendments that would help farmers and ranchers weather hard times due to circumstances beyond their control, including the harsh situations Mother Nature throws at them and world events that depress commodity prices,â&#x20AC;? said Rolf. AFBF President Zippy Duvall had strong words for the failure. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are already starting to hear from farmers across the nation, many of whom are perplexed and outraged at this morningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vote. They are facing very real ďŹ nancial challenges. We call on all members of Congress not to use farmers and ranchers as pawns in a political game. The risk management tools of the farm bill are too important, particularly at a time of depressed farm prices. We urge the House to pass H.R. 2 as soon as possible.â&#x20AC;?

Montana Ag Needs Action on CSKT Water Compact JOHN YOUNGBERG, MONTANA FARM BUREAU AND JAY BODNER, MONTANA STOCKGROWERS Water rights are the cornerstone of our agricultural economy. Without certainty, protection for existing water right holders, and a plan to deďŹ ne the federally reserved water rights of the tribes, Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water users would be forced to foot the bill for decades of costly litigation and risk losing their existing water rights. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why we support the CSKT Water Compact and why we believe it is critical that our Congressional delegation act now to ratify the agreement that was passed by the Montana State Legislature in 2015. Without action on the Compact, the consequences for water users, farmers, and ranchers will be dire. By deďŹ ning the federally reserved water rights held in trust, the Compact settles claims the CSKT have on existing water rights. Without the Compact, the CSKT would have to act on their claims in the Montana Water Courtâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;claims that would impact thousands

of Montana farmers, ranchers, and irrigators. A majority if not all of the CSKT claims are in areas where state-based water users have also ďŹ led claims. Without the Compact, individual farmers and ranchers will have to defend their water rights in court or risk losing them entirelyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a process that in most cases will require hiring lawyers and isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cheap. The process of resolving all of those claims would drag on for decades and cost the agricultural community millions of dollars in the processâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;potentially impacting the ďŹ nancial viability of individual farm and ranch operations across our state that canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars for attorneys and court costs. Without the CSKT Water Compact, Montana taxpayers would also shoulder a large portion of the litigation costs, which will heap yet another expense onto the backs of our agriculture producers. If the CSKT is forced to act on its claims, taxpayers across our state would See CSKT WATER COMPACT Page 9

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The Long Stretch ELIZABETH SHIPSTEAD FOR FARM AND RANCH

Each new milestone is stretching me. I might stretch, kicking and screaming, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m stretching and learning. This last rain storm, although desired greatly and so much gratitude offered for it, brought added challenges to my life. A trusty 4-wheeler, was not so trustworthy, my last option pickup died, and the ďŹ elds and pastures were so saturated I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get in without the 4-wheeler, which left me on foot chasing cows

May was a month in which half of the days each week seemed to feel like spring, while the other half of each week felt like it was more akin to the middle of summer than the middle of spring. Thunderstorms returned to northeast Montana for many areas after last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s almost unprecedented drought, and many areas saw a significant increase in precipitation when compared to this time last year Temperatures across the region finally swung from being below normal to generally being above normal, a trend that looks to continue into at least the next month, as the latest forecast for June from the Climate Prediction Center lays out. ConďŹ dence is very low in

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what kind of precipitation may be expected in June as well. For the month of May, as of press date, 11 days in the month saw at least a trace of reported precipitation, with a single event providing over half of the precipitation for the entire month. As for winds, six days saw sustained winds greater than 25 mph, and 18 days with winds greater than 20 mph. The highest sustained wind was reported at 30 mph and occurred on both May 17 and 20, and the highest wind gust was reported on May 29 at 37 mph. As of press date, per the National Weather Service in Glasgow, the highest observed temperature for the month was 90 degrees on May 26, and the lowest was 36 on May 1. The

YOUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;RE READING THE HI-LINE FARM & RANCH THE AG MONTHLY FOR NORTHEAST & NORTH CENTRAL MONTANA Glasgow Stockyards, Inc. Linda & Mark Nielsen, Owners Iva Murch, Manager 263-7529 Dean Barnes, Yard Manager 263-1175 Ed Hinton, Auctioneer 783-7285

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Tester

June, July & August 2018 Schedule

June 2018 Thursday

7

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 areas. The Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Bill contains the following Montana provisions: $10 million for the Blackfeet Water Compact. $12 million for the Crow Water Compact. $4.7 million for the Fort Peck and Dry Prairie Rural Water Project. $3.9 million for the Rocky Boyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Northcentral Montana Rural Water Project. $6 million for watercraft inspection stations in the Columbia River Basin. $4.8 million for the Missouri River Recovery Program. $1.9 million for the Milk River Project, including St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Diversion Dam. $2.6 million for the Libby Dam. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester is responsible for writing the 12 government bills that fund the federal government.

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in the pouring rain. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just about impossible to get cows to go where you want (especially if theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not really inclined) with one person on foot. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not enough speed or endurance to get that accomplished. I was cold, wet and angry. After an hour in the pouring rain, having the cows scatter right in front of the gate, and having used up all my ideas and strength, I ďŹ nally called for help. Thank God for good neighbors! Neigh-

The Month in Weather MICHELLE BIGELBACH FOR FARM AND RANCH

June June2018 2018

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Soil Acidity: An Emerging Issue that Requires Scouting CLAIN JONES, MSU SOIL FERTILITY EXTENSION SPECIALIST / FOR FARM AND RANCH

Farmers in several Montana counties are experiencing nearly complete yield loss in portions of their ďŹ elds due to soil acidity (low pH). Standard top 6-inch soil pH testing may not deďŹ nitively identify soil acidity problems. Most ďŹ elds with low pH problem areas also have larger areas with higher pH that buffer the pH value when soil samples submitted to labs are mixed from six-eight subsamples per ďŹ eld. Also, the lowest pH is generally in the top 2 to 3 inches, not the top 6 inches, further masking the issue. MSU soil scientists have now identiďŹ ed ďŹ elds in 15 Montana counties with soil pH levels below 5.5, some as low as 3.8. Because many Montana soils have pH levels greater than 7.0, soil acidiďŹ cation received little attention until recently when yield-limiting acidity was identiďŹ ed in Chouteau County.

At pH levels below 5.0, naturally-occurring soil metals (like aluminum and manganese), become more soluble and can stunt root and shoot growth. Young plants in acidic areas are often yellow with club or â&#x20AC;&#x153;witchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s broomâ&#x20AC;? roots. Substantial yield losses occur at pH levels below 4.5. The most sensitive cereal crops appear to be barley and durum, followed by spring wheat. The major cause of acidiďŹ cation appears to be ammonium fertilizers, including urea, applied in excess of crop uptake. No-till concentrates the acidity near the surface where fertilizer is applied. Acidity problems usually start in low lying areas of a ďŹ eld (where yield has historically been high), and acidity symptoms spread outward. To identify if you have an acidiďŹ cation problem, look at your top 6-inch soil test. If See ACIDITY Page 7

Senator Tester Fights to Deliver Vital Agriculture and Water Funding to Rural Communities FOR FARM AND RANCH On May 24, U.S. Senator Jon Tester worked across the aisle to strengthen Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s #1 industry and protect clean water for rural communities. Tester used his position as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee to include funding for important Montana initiatives in two recent bipartisan laws. During a committee meeting, Tester voted in favor of both the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill and the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, sending them to the Senate ďŹ&#x201A;oor for a ďŹ nal vote. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Both of these priorities reďŹ&#x201A;ect the infrastructure, agriculture, and business needs of Montana,â&#x20AC;? Tester said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When we invest in our farmers and our infrastructure, we see big returns to Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy. This is further proof that when Republicans and Democrats work together, good things get done.â&#x20AC;? The Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill contains the following Montana provisions: $3.7 million to keep the Fort Keogh Research Lab in Miles City from closing. $5.6 million for the Northern Plains Research Lab in Sidney to continue its Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative. $1.5 billion to keep Farm Service Agency

open in farming and ranching communities. $558.1 million for the USDA Rural Development Water and Wastewater Disposal loan and grant program. $127.2 million for Wildlife Services to help manage and compensate producers for conďŹ&#x201A;icts between natural predators and livestock. $243.7 million to support State Agricultural Experiment Stations that do agricultural research. $300 million for Smith-Level and Cooperative Extension, which connects land-grant institution educations and local agriculture professionals to provide expertise to farmers and consumers. $425 million for a broadband pilot program aimed at improving high-speed internet services to rural America. Tester also included important report language in the Agriculture Appropriations Bill urging the U.S. Agriculture Secretary to work with the Canadian government to resolve the unfair wheat grading practices in Canada that unfairly target Montana grain producers, as well as report language pushing the Appropriations Committee to invest more resources to expand access to high-speed internet in rural See TESTER Page 5

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Wolf Numbers Remained Strong In 2017:

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Reminder That Wolves Are Managed In Eastern Montana Too

MARC KLOKER FOR FARM AND RANCH According to the 2017 Montana Gray Wolf Program Annual Report, population estimates suggest there are approximately 900 wolves in Montana. This marks the 13th consecutive year that Montana has far exceeded wolf recovery goals. Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wolf population has remained relatively stable with an annual wolf harvest that averages about 225 animals per year. During the 2017-2018 wolf season, 255 wolves were harvested: 65 percent hunting, 35 percent trapping. Approximately $380,000 was generated for wolf conservation and management by wolf license sales. Livestock depredation by wolves during 2017 was approximately 25 percent of what it was in 2009, when it was at a peak. The U.S. Department of Agricultureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wildlife Services conďŹ rmed 80 livestock losses to wolves in 2017, which included 49 cattle, 12 sheep, and 19 goats during 2017. One dog was also killed by wolves. This total was up compared to 53 livestock losses during 2016. During 2017, the Montana Livestock Loss Board paid $64,133 for livestock Wildlife Services conďŹ rmed as probable or certain wolf kills. Wolf management in eastern Montana With the recent release of this 2017 wolf report, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good reminder that FWP manages wolves across Montana under a statewide management plan, including eastern Montana. FWP is committed to using its authority to responsibly manage Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wolf population while addressing conďŹ&#x201A;icts with livestock and other wildlife populations. Although wolf populations and management activities are largely focused on western Montana, all the same wolf management tools are in place across eastern Montana.

Wildfire Recovery CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8 service, building on efforts which began the day the storm hit.â&#x20AC;? Key Updates Include: Hurricane Recovery: To be eligible a crop, tree, bush or vine must be located in a primary disaster county with either a Presidential declaration or a Secretarial designation due to a 2017 hurricane. Crops, trees, bushes or vines located in other counties may also be eligible if the producer provides documentation the loss was caused by a 2017 hurricane. WildďŹ re Recovery: Any crop, tree, bush or vine, damaged by a 2017 wildďŹ re is eligible. Eligibility will be determined on an individual basis, using the level of insurance coverage purchased for 2017 for the total crop acres on the area for which the WHIP applica-

Wolves may be hunted throughout the state, with a season from Sept. 2 - 14 (archery) and Sept. 15-March 15 (riďŹ&#x201A;e). Hunting wolves requires a wolf license, which can be purchased over the counter for $19 (resident) or $50 (nonresident). Proof of hunter education must be presented at the time of purchase. Wolves may also be trapped ($20 resident, $1 resident landowner, $250 nonresident) from Dec. 15-Feb. 28. Completion of either the Idaho or Montana wolf trapping certiďŹ cation class is mandatory. Persons could take a combination of up to ďŹ ve wolves via hunting and/or trapping. FWP publishes wolf hunting and trapping regulations annually, and these are available at all license vendors and FWP ofďŹ ces. Note: National Wildlife Refuges may have different regulations on wolf management, and like any other species, permission is needed to hunt for wolves on private land. Another aspect of wolf management includes increased emphasis on proactive prevention of livestock depredation. Montana law and administrative rules (MCA 87-3-130; ARM 12.9.1301-1305) allow a person to kill a wolf that is seen in the act of attacking, killing, or threatening to kill livestock or domestic dogs. â&#x20AC;˘ No permit is required and FWP must be notiďŹ ed within 72 hours of take or attempt to take. â&#x20AC;˘ Preserve the scene and leave the carcass where it was killed; carcass is surrendered to FWP. â&#x20AC;˘ Physical evidence of the wolf attack or that an attack was imminent is required (injured or dead livestock, broken fences, trampled vegetation and wolf sign) that would lead a reasonable person to conclude the attack was imminent. â&#x20AC;˘ Wolves cannot be intentionally baited, tion is made. Eligible producers who certify to an average adjusted gross income (AGI) of at least 75 percent derived from farming or ranching, including other agriculture and forestry-based businesses during the tax years 2013, 2014 and 2015, will be eligible for a $900,000 payment limitation with veriďŹ cation. All other eligible producers requesting 2017 WHIP beneďŹ ts will be subject to a $125,000 payment limitation. Both insured and uninsured producers are eligible to apply for WHIP. However, all producers opting to receive 2017 WHIP payments will be required to purchase crop insurance at the 60 percent coverage level, or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) at the 60 percent buy up coverage level if crop insurance is not available. Coverage must be in place for the next two applicable crop years to meet program requirements. In addition, for the applicable crop years, all

PHOTO COURTESY FWP WEBSITE

A gray wolf pictured above. As wolves can be found in Eastern Montana, although rarely, we wanted to take the opportunity to remind area landowners and citizens in their potential role with wolf management. fed, or deliberately attracted â&#x20AC;˘ Wolves may be opportunistically hazed or harassed This same law also allows private citizens to kill a wolf that is seen in the act of attacking, killing or threatening a domestic dog or another human. Again, FWP must be notiďŹ ed within 72 hours of take or attempt to take. Wolf sightings do periodically happen in eastern Montana, but currently no wolf packs are known to exist in the eastern side of the

state. Recently, a FWP game warden reported seeing a lone wolf in south Phillips Co., and neighboring landowners were notiďŹ ed. FWP would encourage anyone who believes they see a wolf in Region 6 to contact your local biologist, game warden, or call the Glasgow Region 6 FWP Headquarters at 406-2283700. To learn more about Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wolf population, visit FWP online at fwp.mt.gov.

producers are required to ďŹ le an acreage report and report production (if applicable). FSA will calculate WHIP payments with this formula: Payment = Expected Value of the Crop x WHIP Factor - Value of Crop Harvested - Insurance Indemnity The WHIP factor ranges from 65 percent to 95 percent. Producers who did not insure their crops in 2017 will receive a 65 percent WHIP Factor. Insured producers, or producers who had NAP, will receive between 70 percent and 95 percent WHIP Factors; those purchasing higher levels of coverage will receive higher WHIP Factors. FSA will hold a sign-up for 2017 WHIP no later than July 16. Additional information on WHIP is available on the FSA webpage. For immediate assistance under other disaster programs, please contact your local USDA OfďŹ ce.

CKST Water Compact CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8 pay a minimum of $73 million to provide the Water Court with the funding necessary to address the massive number of water rights cases. Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s agriculture industry simply canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford to leave these claims unresolved. The negotiating parties worked for decades to produce an agreement that protects agriculture and other state-based water rights and we applaud the Legislature for approving it. The Compact is a fair and equitable compromise that will serve the best interests of Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s agriculture community and save taxpayer dollars. The choice here is simpleâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; progress or paralysis.


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After a yearlong battle, Helena Valley hemp farmer gets federal water rights HELENA (AP) — After a year of battling federal regulations, Helena Valley hemp farmer Kim Phillips has been granted a contract that will allow her to use federally controlled water to irrigate her crop. The decision was made with just days to spare, as the last day for Phillips to plant a viable crop is June 1, the Helena Independent Record reports. Phillips is part of Montana’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, which authorizes her to grow industrial hemp in the state. However, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation prohibits the use of federally controlled water to irrigate controlled substances such as hemp, which is closely related to marijuana. Phillips will be using water from Canyon Ferry Reservoir, which is federally controlled. “It really is an extraordinary day for hemp and the hemp industry,” Phillips said. “It shouldn’t take this long to get water for your hemp, it just shouldn’t. A lot of people were supportive -- both senators, Grow Hemp, Vote Hemp, things like that -- and I could not have got it done without each one of those and all the people that put in work before me, that have chipped away at all these battles for a plant.” The decision to allow this use of water was based on an exemption outlined by the 2014 federal Farm Bill, which states that an institution of higher education or a state department of agriculture may grow or cultivate hemp “for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural pilot program or other agricultural or academic research,”

Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP Kim Phillips loads a 50-pound bag of industrial hemp seeds into her car after picking up a load of seeds from the Montana Department of Agriculture in Helena. After a year of battling federal regulations, Phillips received a contract May 30 to use federally controlled water for irrigation. and “the growing or cultivating of industrial hemp is allowed under the laws of the State in which such institutions of higher education or State department of agriculture is located, and such research occurs.” According to Steve Davies, area manager for the Bureau of Reclamation, the Bureau decided that Phillips fits this exception. The Bureau has done its part in deciding to authorize the contract, and now it is between Phillips, her landowner and the Helena Valley Irrigation District to get the water to her field. Phillips and the landowner must simply sign the contract, which she planned to do May 30. The Bureau approves these kinds of contracts on a regular basis, but the nature of Phillips’ crop put pressure on the decision. Contracts are made for other crops, but

hemp’s relation to marijuana makes it unqualified. “We are satisfied with the decision,” Davies said. “It’s important that we took the time and got the decision right. We had to make sure that the program she is operating under fits the exemption in the federal Farm Bill. Going forward, we will continue to evaluate these on a case-by-case basis.” Giving Phillips the water sets a precedent for Montana hemp farmers in the future. According to Davies, further cases will also have to meet the exemption outlined in the Farm Bill in order to receive a contract. Phillips is relieved that the decision was reached before it was too late to plant, and she will be planting the seeds in the days to come.

www.havredailynews.com classes — open, nursery, intermediate and novice — based on the dog’s age and the handler’s experience and is one of the few show sanctioning bodies that has the novice division for inexperienced handlers, she said. “When you’re at a trial they usually have a some sort of boundary, but you can pretty much go anywhere in the course to help your dog complete the course,” she said. “As you move up, then there comes a handler line that you can’t cross.” “We have learned a lot together,” she added. On a sunny day in mid-May, Boyce used Paisley to gather eight black Angus heifers from a willow-choked stream bottom, calling out in an almost sing-song voice “come by” and “away,” punctuated with sharper commands to walk-up, hold and lie down. Boyce said the dogs are invaluable for finding the cattle in places like the thick willow stands and getting out into the open. She and Paisley worked the herd back and forth across a grass hillside, while 8-month-old Millie, another border collie and future stock dog competitor for Boyce, waited obediently in Boyce’s side-by-side, even when the herding activity brought the heifers up to and around the ATV. Working cattle in the competitions and at home on the ranch is pretty close to the same thing, Boyce said, with the competitions just requiring a little more fine-tuning. “There’s little bitty things that I would normally let my dog get away with here and I can’t (in a trial) because you only have an arena and you only have so much space,” she said. “And they set up those obstacles and you have to hit ’em just right then you gotta move on to the next one. If you screw up one, you screw up the rest of them or you have to retry it, do it again, and it kills time.” The ranch, on the south slope of the Bear Paw Mountains about 40 miles south of Havre, has been owned by her husband Stephen Boyce’s family since

■ See Competition Page 11

FARM & RANCH

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Lindsay Boyce poses with her border collie Paisley on the Boyce Ranch 40 miles south of Havre in the Bear Paw Mountains May 16. Boyce uses Paisley to work cattle on the family ranch and for competing in stock dog trials. The pair are new to competition in last two years, but they have already qualified for the year-end finals with the Mountain States Stockdog Association.

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The dog days of competition

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Competition: Stock dogs make working cattle easier n Continued from page 3

Pam Burke community@havredailynews.com Two years ago, Bear Paw rancher Lindsay Boyce attended a Steve White stock dog training clinic to help her get past some training issues she had been having with the border collie she was raising and training to work the family’s livestock. At the end of the clinic, Boyce said, she took the clinician’s offer to run her dog trough a mini trial for stock herding, and she’s been hooked on the sport ever since. “If I hadn’t gone to that clinic, I honestly couldn’t tell you if I’d’ve found out about the competition side of it,” Boyce said, “because I’d never heard of it up here.” Stock dogs make working cattle easier, but stock dog trials appeal to her competitive side, Boyce said, adding that she and her dog, 4-year-old border collie Paisley, primarily compete at the Mountain States Stockdog Association Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Border collie Paisley works to turn a small herd of black Angus cattle on the Boyce Ranch 40 miles south of Havre in the Bear Paw Mountains May 16. Boyce said the training needed to work cattle on the ranch is pretty much the same for competing in stock dog trials.

winter series in Bozeman, but travel to other western states for competition, as well. Last year they finished fourth out of 25 teams at the novice level — “It was super exciting,” she said — and she wears a belt buckle she and Paisley won at a competition in Utah. T h e p a i r h a s q u a l i f i e d fo r t h e Mountain States year-end finals, but Boyce said Paisley has been confirmed pregnant and she will likely be nursing puppies still at the time the finals are

scheduled to be held in Wyoming. While some stock dog competitions judge the handler and dog on the quality of work, Boyce said, the MSSA competitions, both field and arena trials, are based on points and time. The handler and dog work three to five head of cattle through a series of obstacles, receiving points for each successfully completed obstacle. If competitors are tied in points, then the fastest time breaks the tie. MSSA has four divisions for their

the 1890s, she said, and for generations dogs were thought to be too hard on cattle to use, until her husband and father-in-law started using stock dogs on the place. They figure, now, that one good dog is the equivalent of a couple people on horseback, she said, saving time, labor and wear and tear on horses and riders on the steep Bear Paw slopes. The cattle, she said, also stay quieter and are more respectful with the dogs. As Paisley worked the heifers she regularly looked to Boyce for the next command. Boyce said this was a bad habit that she, as an inexperienced trainer, had inadvertently trained into the dog when she was a puppy. Boyce said that when things get out of control handling cattle a situation can get very chaotic and dangerous. She said she didn’t want a dog raised and trained by her causing problems so she tried hard to keep tight control of Paisley. But this constant monitoring, she said, caused the very problems she wanted to avoid. “I had a 2-year-old border collie that was just a wreck. I mean I couldn’t get anything done with her. It was to the point where I just left her at home,” she said. And that’s what drove her to attend a few clinics. “My problem was I was always ‘when I say something you do it,’” she said. “But what I learned was with stock dogs you have to give them that leeway. They can’t always be hammered down.”

■ See Competition Page 12

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Millie, Lindsay Boyce's 8-month-old border collie, waits obediently in Boyce's ATV on the family ranch May 16. Boyce will use Millie to work cattle on the family ranch 40 miles south of Havre in the Bear Paw Mountains and for competing in stock dog trials once she gets old enough.

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Competition: Boyce: Competing 'has really helped me as a handler' n Continued from page 11 Part of the retraining work involved getting a handful of Holstein calves to work with and “refocusing on balancing and not telling her anything,” she said. “I used a flag or a stick to kind of get her to go one way or the other, but I wouldn’t tell her anything.

“But what I learned was with stock dogs you have to give them that leeway. They can’t always be hammered down.” “The less I have to tell her the better she’s has gotten,” she added. But some things — like looking away from the cattle to Boyce which the cattle interpret as a weakness to be exploited — will remain. It’s good in some ways that Paisley will default to looking for guidance because that can keep her from doing something wrong such as being too aggressive, but she doesn’t work well too far out from her handler, Boyce said. “That’s where her being mechanical sucks, because if she’s out of range of me and hearing, and if she thinks that I called her back, she will come all the way back to me,” she said. “I can’t just send her to do things while I go and do something else.” Her husband has an 18-month-old dog that can work an entire field on its own, she said, and she’s working to avoid her first mistakes while training Millie. “I think it’s made me have better ranch dogs because I nitpick and fine tune things for competition. She’s still not perfect, she still causes wrecks, but I think we’ve come a long way and it has really helped me as a handler, too,” she said. “I didn’t understand how a stock dog worked ... but once I got her freed up and working I just had to keep reminding myself that I needed to let her go and I’ve been really working on my puppy to let her go — so she doesn’t know any commands.” B oyc e s a i d h e r l o n g t e r m p l a n s include getting Millie working cattle

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Border collie Paisley holds an attentive down position May 16 while the small herd of black Angus cattle she has been herding on the Boyce Ranch in the Bear Paw Mountains stand quietly in a bunch. Her handler, Linday Boyce, said she went to her first stock dog training clinic to help fix problems she had in Paisley's initial training. The pair now travel to Mountain States Stockdog Association herding trials that test their cattle herding skills.

and competing when she’s mentally ready for the challenge. And she wants to try to get people in the area interested in stock dog trials to make bringing in trainers or holding competitions in the area feasible. But for the summer, Boyce said, her plans had been to go to more competitions, including the Mountain States year-end finals. Paisley’s puppies will only be 4 weeks old at the time of the finals, she said, and while it would be physically possible for Paisley to compete, she might not want to. “This will be her first batch of puppies,” Boyce said, “so we won’t know how she handles it. We'll see.” “I have learned so much, and the one thing I’d have to say in the stock dog world, in the competitions, there is not a single person that I have met that wouldn’t help you out, looking at runs, explaining what went wrong or right.”

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