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Poison Hemlock Gaining Foothold in Northeast Montana

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State Conventions Draws Students from Around Around the the State State State FFA FFAIdentification Conventions DrawsMeasures Students from and Control

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Lukas Johnson, Brett Dallas Capdeville, Kyle and Patti Armbrister at Lukas Johnson, BrettJohnson, Johnson, Dallas KyleAlbus, Albus,Wyatt WyattPattison Pattison andAdvisor Advisor at JOSEPH M. DITOMASO / FOR FARMCapdeville, AND RANCH CHRIS EVANS / FORPatti FARMArmbrister AND RANCH the state convenstion in Billings. the state convenstion in Billings. Poison hemlock plant. Joseph M. DiTomaso, University Purple mottling on lower stem of poison hemlock. WYATT WYATTPATTISON PATTISON of California HINSDALE HINSDALECHAPTER CHAPTERREPORTER REPORTER

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Creed third place winner and greenhand second place winner Mickayla Johnson accepting an award at the state convention in in Billings. Billings. state convention Flowers of poison hemlock. competing they went went to to various various workshops workshopspresented presentedby bypast paststate stateofďŹ cers ofďŹ cersand andeven evennational nationalofďŹ cers. ofďŹ cers. competing they Three of our younger members, Elise Strommen, Chaykota Christensen and Halle Beil Three of our younger members, Elise Strommen, Chaykota Christensen and Halle Beil served on the the courtesy courtesy corp corp and and helped helped out out with with contests contests whenever whenever needed. needed. Our Ourfive fiveseseserved on niors, Lukas Johnson, Brett Johnson, Dallas Capdeville, Kyle Albus and Wyatt Pattiniors, Lukas Johnson, Brett Johnson, Dallas Capdeville, Kyle Albus and Wyatt Pattison were awarded awarded their their State State Farmer Farmer Degrees Degrees at at the the State State Degree Degree dinner dinner on on Friday Fridaynight. night. son were There were over over 500 500 members, members, advisors advisors and and their their families familiesattending attendingthat thatdinner. dinner.Mickayla MickaylaJohnson Johnson There were competed for star star greenhand greenhand and and received receivedsecond secondplace. place.She Shealso alsocompeted competedwith withother othercreed creedspeakers speakers competed for from around the state and received third. from around the state and received third. Creed third place winner /and greenhand PEDRO TENORIO-LEZAMA FOR FARM ANDsecond RANCHplace winner Mickayla Johnson accepting an award at the

at self-distribution throughout of 25 North The Farmers ofofAmerican) was Billings March -- 28. SHELLEY MILLS TheState State(Future (Future Farmers American)FFA FFAConvention Convention washeld held in in Billings on onmost March 25 28. America. It growsin there is adequate Over members from around to State ranging from FOR FARM AND RANCH Over1,500 1,500FFA FFA members from aroundthe thestate stategathered gathered to compete compete inwhere State CDEs, CDEs, ranging from moisture and frequent disturbance, such as mechanics mechanicstotopublic publicspeaking. speaking. stream bedsYounkin, and ood plains. in It more We’ve had quite a few questions and reTen members of the Hinsdale chapter, including Sophomore Cache competed mechanTen members of the Hinsdale chapter, including along Sophomore Cache Younkin, competed inis mechancompetitive in moister soils but can tolerate quests for identiďŹ cation of a large plant that ics, agronomy, farm business management, star greenhand and state creed speaking. When they weren’t ics, agronomy, farm business management, star greenhand and state creed speaking. When they weren’t resembles wild carrot a.k.a. Queen Anne’s drought due to its large taproot. All parts of the hemlock plant are highly lace. The plant is Poison Hemlock and it has been cropping up throughout the region in toxic to humans and livestock, with the roots areas like gardens, shelterbelts, and even back and lower stems being most toxic. Two alkaalleys. Poison hemlock is a member of the loids that affect the reproductive system and parsley or carrot family Apiaceae, which it can the central nervous system are responsible    for the poisonous nature of the plant. Sympbe mistaken for. It can reach heights of three             toms of poisoning can occur in **as little as 30 "  #$  to eight feet tall and has a deep taproot. The "  #$  * "  #$  root has an odor similar to carrots or parsnips, minutes and include nervousness, trembling,

 #

 # from

 # from loss of coordination, dilabut the foliage has a deep musty smell. It is muscular weakness, from each each way way weak or slow heartbeat, a biennial, producing a large rosette the ďŹ rst tion of the pupils, a each way and fees including includingall all taxes taxes from and fees coma and eventually death year and usually remains in the vegetative 

 including all taxes and fees respiratory    ! CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11  !        ! state until the second year when it produces paralysis. Though all classes of livestock are   producers on a case-by-case basis for LIP.

# affected by hemlock, cattle, goats and horses tall owering shoots. The owering shoots

#

# “This change is part of USDA’s broader are hollow with the exception of where the are particularly sensitive to the poisonous   effort to better serve America’s farmers, ranchleaf branches attach (nodes). The leaves are alkaloids.  ers and foresters through exible and effective To manage poison hemlock it is critical alternately arranged on the stem and can be programs,â€? said Northey. “America’s farmers quite large – up to  12 inches long and four to prevent the plant from expanding its in  feed our nation and much of the world, and inches wide. They are pinnately compound festation. Spot applications of herbicides or throughout history they have known good meaning that they are made up of several manually removing the plant with a hoe will years and bad years. But when disaster strikes, pairs of leaets attached to a leaf stem. One help to manage small infestations, but larger USDA is ready to step in and help.â€? key diagnostic characteristic of hemlock is the infestations may require a more aggressive LIP provides beneďŹ ts to agricultural propurple mottling on the lower stem. Hemlock approach. Halting seed production is critiducers for livestock deaths in excess of normal also lacks the hairs that are found on the stems cal to reducing its expansion since that is its Enjoy Enjoythe the ride. Enjoy the ride. mortality caused by adverse weather, disease and leaves of other members ofride. the carrot fam- only method of reproduction, so mowing can or by attacks by animals reintroduced into ily. Flowering occurs in July and August with be used as a control measure. Always wear the wild by the federal government. Eligible white owers arranged in a broad umbrella gloves when touching the plant, particularly weather events include earthquakes, hail, shape comprised of a bunch of small owers the roots and lower stems. tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, blizzard and For more information on Poison Hemlock on a single stem branching from the terminal ANDREWMCKEAN MCKEAN/ /FOR FORTHE THEHI-LINE HI-LINEFARM FARM&&RANCH RANCH 800-CAPE-AIR capeair.com 800-CAPE-AIR capeair.com 800-CAPE-AIR PEDRO TENORIO-LEZAMA / FOR FARM AND RANCH ooding.ANDREW contact your local MSU Extension ofďŹ ce and stalk (Seecapeair.com photos). Lih-An Yang, Merlin, Iris and Ellis Ellis McKean McKean work workon onclearing clearing outaabeaver beaver damalong along theLittle Little Brazil Creek, out dam the Brazil Creek, Producers interested in LIP or other USDA ask for the MontGuide for hemlock written Poison hemlock is from Europe andFares was Flowers of poison hemlock. *Fares subjecttoto availability and other conditions. may notice, and are not guaranteed until ticketed. *Fares are toavailability availability andother otherconditions. conditions. Fares maychange changewithout without notice, and are not guaranteed until ticketed. *Fares are subject and may change without notice, and are not guaranteed until ticketed. of Glasgow. southwest disaster assistance programs should contact introduced to North American in the 1800’s by Monica Pokorny, Stacy Davis and Jane their local USDA service center. as an ornamental. It has been very successful Mangold.

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PUTTING IN SOME DAM DAM WORK WORK FSA Changes

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Bulls Stay Stay Steady Steady Bulls

Glasgow Stockyard's Production Reports - Page 2 BLM Answers Questions on APR Request - Page 10 FSA Makes Changes to Livestock Indemnity - Page 11 Bull sales remain strong and the market Bull sales remain strong and the market remainsatataasteady steadyhigh high//Page Page2 2 remains


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May May2018 2018

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Glasgow Stockyard’s Production Reports

FOR FARM AN RANCH Big Dry Angus of Jordan, Mont., had their 30th annual Bull Auction on April 19. They sold 78 bulls for an average of $3,792. The top ten averaged $7,475. Volume buyers were Hoverson Ranch of Jordan with ďŹ ve bulls; Scott Ross of Jordan, Craig Miller of Miles City and Barnard Ranch of Hinsdale all purchased four bulls. The top bull was $9,000 and sold to Kent Johring of O’Neill, Neb. BDAR Royal E9 is herd bull potential. He was sired by Sitz Royal 9784 who has a very good disposition, overall completeness and individual performance. Connealy Cool was on the dam side. BDAR Royal E9: 6# BWT; 752 Adj. WW; 112 WW Ratio and114 YW Ratio. Johring also purchased Lot 5 – BDAR Royal E5. Another Sitz Royal Connealy Cool Cross, selling for $7,250 BW 80#; Adj. WW 700; WW Ratio 104; YW Ratio 115. Lot 35, BDAR JDM Conception E40, sold to Robert Nagel of Circle for $8,500. Another potential herd bull, sired by SAV Resource 1441 out of an OCC Montana Dream Dam. SAV Resource is one of the most popular

sires in the breed. Conception E40 is long, deep, big scrotaled and packed with muscle. BW 88#; Adj. WW 801; WW Ratio 119; YW Ratio 110. On April 12, Eayrs Angus Ranch sold 48 bulls averaging $2,989. The top bull was purchased by Barnard Ranch of Hinsdale for $5,000. The top ten bulls averaged $3,825. Volume buyers were the Beil Ranch of Hinsdale, Bruce Ferguson of Fort Peck and Steve Wanderaas of Vida. The high selling bull lot 537 was sired by a son of Black Cedar 46P. A 70# birth weight; 642 adj. 205; 100 weaning ratio; 37.5 scotal and an 88 fertility score. Lot 210 went to Scott Fossum of Glasgow for $4,000. Sired by Sinclair Emulation 5FX1. He had an 87# birth weight; 767 adj. 205; 119 weaning ratio; 38 scrotal and fertility score of 92. Bowles J5 13th Annual Red Angus Bull & Female Production Auction was on April 5. Jim, Julie, Brady & Tracy Bowles sold 34 Red Angus bulls averaging $3,338. The top bull sold for $5,500 and the top ten averaged $4,525. They also sold 47 Red Angus heifSee PRODUCTION REPORTS Page 10

You Can Prevent Resistance to Herbicides Part II of Chemical-Resistant Weeds

MERYL RYGG MCKENNA FOR FARM AND RANCH Part I of this series (which was printed in April’s edition of Hi-Line Farm and Ranch) addressed the development of herbicide resistance. Part II focuses on the prevention and management of herbicide resistance. At least seven species of weeds in Montana are already identiďŹ ed as resistant to speciďŹ c herbicides. These include kochia (also known as ďŹ reweed, burningbush, or summer cypress), wild oat, Persian darnel, downy brome (cheatgrass), Russian thistle, horseweed, and green foxtail. Chuck Gatzemeier, a certiďŹ ed crop adviser in the Cut Bank area, said herbicide-resistant weeds are now a signiďŹ cant issue across the country. Some Midwestern and Southern states have pigweeds such as Palmer amaranth and waterhemp that have developed resistance to several herbicide groups (also called modes of action). Kochia resistance to glyphosate (Group 9), dicamba (Group 4) and sulfonylurea (Group 2) has been conďŹ rmed in Montana. Wild oat and Persian darnel biotypes resistant to Group 1 and Group 2 herbicides are an increasing concern for Montana cereal producers. Resistant

kochia has been conďŹ rmed in Wyoming. Herbicide resistance is increasing in the provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba, with 68 percent of Manitoba’s ďŹ elds having at least one herbicide resistant weed. Diagnosing resistant weeds If you applied herbicide and your weeds did not die, consider these questions: One, is the weed species in question listed on the herbicide label? Two, have you used the same herbicide or herbicide group number on the same ďŹ eld for several consecutive years? Repetition increases the chance for resistance. Three, has the level of weed control decreased recently, even when following label instructions? If the species is listed on the herbicide label, then surviving plants may be resistant to the herbicide’s mode of action. Four, are there other cases of herbicide-resistant weeds in your area? Seed from resistant plants can spread to or from your ďŹ elds. The Weed Lab at Montana’s Southern Agricultural Research Center offers free resistance testing for growers across the state. If you suspect any herbicide-resistant issues, please contact Prashant Jha, MSU weed scientist, for information on sending samples. Jha can be reached by phone, 406-348-3400, or email, See HERBICIDE RESISTANCE Page 11

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Herbicide Resistance CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 pjha@montana.edu. Countering resistance Most importantly, sprayer speed, spray volume, and application rate (product rate per acre) must be followed according to the herbicide label. Secondly, avoid spraying below 10 gallons of tank mix per acre to ensure adequate coverage and minimal weed escapes and regrowth. Remember that driving too fast while spraying can prevent the weeds from getting a full dose of herbicid. Don’t rely solely on herbicides. Integrate different management practices, such as diverse crop rotations and occasional mechanical plowing; both can break up weed life-cycles. Tillage is especially effective in reducing small-seeded kochia and Russian thistle seed band. If you must use herbicides, use them in rotation or in mixtures; vary the group numbers so you employ different modes of action. Jha said that herbicide mixtures are better than annual herbicide rotations in preventing or delaying herbicide resistance. Scout your ďŹ elds for live weeds after herbicide application. Clean your equipment before leaving a ďŹ eld to prevent spread of resistant biotypes from one ďŹ eld to another. Make post-harvest weed control part of your regular ďŹ eld practice. Take steps to manage weeds, especially those going to seed, as quickly as possible after harvest. If you apply herbicide in very hot, dry weather, the product may volatilize to the air before it touches the plant. You must add the full recommended rates of adjuvants, water conditioners, or pH buffers (acidiďŹ ers) to allow better penetration and movement of the herbicide into the plant in hard water situations or hot, dry weather. Avoid spraying under dusty conditions. Timing of herbicide application is also key to reducing resistance. Spray weeds before they are 4 inches tall; they are most susceptible at this stage. At 6 to 8 inches tall, they are more tolerant to herbicide and harder to kill. Herbicide is then wasted. Effectively manage weed infestations in

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FARM & FARM & RANCH RANCH ďŹ eld borders, fence lines, and roadsides/ditch banks by all possible means — herbicides, mowing, cutting, or tilling. Borders are common areas for the spread of herbicide-resistant weeds, especially for weeds that can tumble across the landscape, such as kochia and Russian thistle. Spray within seven days after a rain while newly germinated weeds are small and easy to kill. Remove survivors by any possible means, and deďŹ nitely before they set seed. Remember that some weed seeds are only viable for one or two years, while others remain viable for decades. Gatzemeier said, “The use of soil-applied herbicides with pulse crops is an excellent management practice incorporating different modes of action. Usually these products perform much better applied in fall than in spring. Look at the label for plant-back restrictions to plan ahead for the next cereal or oilseed crop,â€? to account for residual herbicide in the soil. The “Golden Triangle,â€? a high wheatproduction area in north central Montana, is a current hot spot for resistant weeds mostly because there’s a lot of chem-fallow, Gatzemeier said. Other areas have gone to a more diverse crop rotation and have less chemical resistance. A long-term study conducted by Jha at the Southern Agricultural Research Center shows that a more diverse crop rotation can drastically reduce the proportion of resistant weed seeds in the soil seed bank. The same recommendations apply to fungicide applications. Change or mix modes of action for consecutive chemical applications to avoid developing fungus resistance. Gatzemeier said that a few years ago, chickpeas that had the disease Ascochyta blight were sprayed with Headline. Within two years, the fungus causing Ascochyta blight became resistant and Headline no longer worked. Scout all ďŹ elds for recurring disease. Chemical resistance is a growing problem. Everyone who uses agricultural chemicals will contribute — either to the problem or to the solution. For more information on certiďŹ ed crop advisers, or to ďŹ nd one near you, go to www. certiďŹ edcropadviser.org.

Farm Service Agency Makes Administrative Change to Livestock Indemnity Program JENNIFER COLE FOR FARM AND RANCH Starting April 24, agricultural producers who have lost livestock to disease, resulting from a weather disaster, have an additional way to become eligible for a key U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance program. USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey announced an administrative clariďŹ -

cation nationwide to the Livestock Indemnity Program. In the event of disease, this change by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) authorizes local FSA county committees to accept veterinarian certiďŹ cations that livestock deaths were directly related to adverse weather and unpreventable through good animal husbandry and management. The committees may then use this certiďŹ cation to allow eligibility for See FSA CHANGES Page 12

APR Grazing Action CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10

Albers expressed concern that such an action would establish a precedent for future actions that would require an EIS for more mundane or routine grazing requests. “We’ve got to be careful of what precedents we set and what level of analysis we undertake.â€? Confronted with the idea that American Prairie’s request ran contrary to land management precedents, not only supported but promoted by BLM for decades. Albers responded by saying, “Absolutely rotational grazing has worked really well. It brought us out of the open range days. It brought the range back in good condition, but there is a lot of new science coming out that says that’s not the only way to manage these prairies.â€? Albers took on directly concerns that American Prairie is receiving unfair treatment from BLM stating, “We’ve heard from a lot of folks that they feel we’re giving unfair treatment to APR. Well I would say to that, that any operation out there that says they want to adopt something akin to what APR is doing or some part of it, bring us a proposal. Come in, show us what your proposal is, why you think that will work and why you think it will ďŹ t into your operation and show that at the end of the day that you meet standards and guides. We’ll absolutely consider that.â€? According to BLM’s website, the 1934 Taylor Grazing Act set up grazing districts for the management and regulation of rangelands. Then in the 1960s such laws as the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969; the Endangered Species Act of 1973; and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 changed public management of rangeland by BLM. BLM’s website states, “The agency began to improve the management or protection of speciďŹ c rangeland resources such as riparian areas; threatened and endangered species; sensitive plant species; and cultural or historical objects. Consistent with this enhanced role, the BLM developed or modiďŹ ed the terms and conditions of grazing permits and leases. The agency also implemented new range improvement projects to address speciďŹ c resource issues.â€? This is the environment in which BLM is currently assessing American Prairie’s request. Albers stated that under current language of the Taylor Grazing Act, an applicant is no longer required to be engaged in the livestock industry, but just needs to be a corporation or

11 May2018 2018 11 May individual licensed to operate in the United States and use the land for grazing livestock. Under current law, APR’s bison are livestock and not wildlife and as such APR can maintain BLM grazing permits by running their bison on those properties irrespective of whether they are engaged in the livestock industry or not. Albers refused to engage in speculation about American Prairie’s greater goal of establishing a 3.5 million acre preserve encompassing the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge and the Missouri River Breaks National Monument. He stated, “We view that as a highly speculative goal which would take a myriad of decisions and changes by many, many levels of government for anything like that to happen. What we have in front of us today is a proposal for a grazing change from cattle to bison and the intended fencing changes and so that is what we get to assess.â€? Albers acknowledge points of contention in the agriculture community but clariďŹ ed that BLM has nothing to hide in this. “We want this to be as open and transparent as possible,â€? said Albers explaining, “that is why we are doing scoping.â€? The BLM District Manager also took to task the idea that the assessment was tainted because it was being prepared by a third-party contractor being paid for by American Prairie by stating, “this is a common practice in other parts of BLM. For instance, in water and gas development. We ask the proposal proponent to pay for that analysis by a third-party contractor. We do that instead of tying up inordinate amounts of staff time so that we can continue to work on other projects.â€? “All we can do is our very best to keep this open and get the information out there that is relevant to do our best to keep this on an even keel,â€? said Albers, discussing the agencies role in moving forward and conducting the EA. The comment period for scoping is still open until May 9. Furthermore, following BLM’s EA a second round of comments and meetings will be held speciďŹ cally on the ďŹ ndings. Scoping comments can be emailed to blm_scoping_ncmd@blm.gov or mailed to APR Scoping Comment, BLM Malta Field OfďŹ ce, 47285 Highway 2, Malta, MT 59538. Comments are subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, so do not provide personally identiďŹ able information you do not want made public.

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BLM District Manager Answers Questions on APR Request A.J. ETHERINGTON FOR FARM AND RANCH

The Bureau of Land Management North Central Montana District Manager Mark Albers, went on the record about American Prairie’s grazing request. As has been reported previously, the American Prairie Foundation Inc. is attempting to remove interior fencing on their BLM leased lands, fortify the external fencing with an electric wire and they are applying to graze bison year-round. The BLM’s role in that request began with a scoping period in which the agency is seeking input from the public on what issues, if any, should be considered in the environmental assessment (EA). Albers clariďŹ ed that nothing in the scoping period would determine if the agency would conduct an environmental impact statement (EIS) the scoping input from the public would only determine the agencies actions on the EA then the EA would determine if an EIS is conducted. Albers provided that the EA would have one of two outcomes. Either the agency would certify a ďŹ nding of no signiďŹ cant impact (FONSI) and move ahead with allowing American Prairie’s request, or they would initiate the environmental impact statement. If an EIS is initiated, the timing could delay the process by years as the in-depth analysis is conducted. Albers said he would be the decision maker for whether the process warranted a FONSI or an EIS.

Albers discussed the scoping process as looking for input on, “real substantive issues,â€? adding that they are looking for issues such as fencing concerns and socio-economic impact concerns from the public, afďŹ rming that they want the public to provide input on signiďŹ cant impacts that should be assessed in the EA. As Albers put it they want the public to, “please give us things we can sink our teeth into to analyze.â€? The BLM decision-making process would, therefore, go from the scoping period, to an environmental assessment, then from an EA to whether a FONSI or an EIS is conducted, and from there to a decision on the APR grazing request. Albers said the decision would be based in the ďŹ ndings of BLM regarding the public comments, the analysis of BLM and the judgement of the personnel involved and himself as it relates to the ďŹ ndings of the EA. The District Manager also contended with the idea that it would be appropriate to go directly to an EIS in the case of large impactful actions like installing a large dam, but that in the case of APR, Albers said, “this is basically a grazing action, and we do hundreds of grazing actions a year. It’s different, it’s odd, and it involves people who are not normally a part of this process, but at the crux of that it is still a grazing proposal and grazing proposals require an EA. So, I think it would be doing everyone a disservice to jump to an EIS.â€? See APR GRAZING ACTION Page 11

May May 2018 2018

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Author's husband, Odin, milking one of the beef cows, so that the milk could be used to tube feed her baby who wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sucking.

Calving Fray CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 cute, rambunctious calves. Then I went with Odin to the pasture to check and tag. Seeing them renewed my spirits. I was so embedded in the poop, death, cold, and the effort to bring back frozen ears and save the calves who arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t making it, that I missed the 71 miracles of life that were doing

oh so well. Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that just like life? We can get so focused on what is right in front of us or all the struggle that we miss the beauty around us! So tonight I may close my eyes, but I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sleep until heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home. I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t dread hearing his extra laden footsteps on the porch. With renewed energy and hope, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll warm calves in the middle of the night with my hubby beside me and look forward to seeing them bouncing around with their mommas in the morningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s light.

The Month in Weather only seven days in the month saw at least a trace of reported precipitation, with two of said days providing 75 percent of the precipitation for the entire month. As for winds, eight days saw sustained winds greater than 25 mph, and 15 days with winds greater than 20 mph. The highest sustained wind and wind gust were both reported on April 21, with 43 mph for sustained and 56 mph for gust. As of press date, per the National Weather Service in Glasgow, the highest observed temperature for the month was 77 degrees on April 21, and the lowest was 0 on April 1. The total liquid precipitation reported at Glasgow was 0.38â&#x20AC;?, which was approximately a quarter of an inch below normal. For the month, 5.6â&#x20AC;? of snowfall was also reported, which (possibly) will mean that the total snowfall for this past winter season will end at 63.4â&#x20AC;?. Over a 24-hour period, the greatest precipitation total was 0.17â&#x20AC;?, which

ers that averaged $1,200. The Red Angus replacement heifers were in high demand. On March 29, Woodland Farms held their 7th annual Angus bull and female production auction. C.K. Allen of Hinsdale sold 15 Angus bulls averaging $3,750. Top seller went for $5,500 to Larry Roberton of Opheim. Fahlgren Angus of Glasgow also held their 7th annual sale. John Fahlgren sold 12 Angus bulls averaging $2,525. Top seller was $3,250. All three of the top selling Fahlgren bulls were sired by Musgrave Aviator. Aviator is one of the top Origen sires. Lot 39 to Taylor Ranch of Saco; Lot 913 to John Bellon of Nashua and Lot 111 to Joleen Kirn of Poplar. Gibbs Red Angus held their ďŹ rst auction at the Glasgow Stockyards. Pat and Bill Gibbs of Jordan, Mont., sold 19 Red Angus bulls averaging $3,171, with the top four bulls all selling for $4,500.

It took almost the ďŹ rst two weeks of the month of April for winter to ďŹ nally call it quits and let spring return to northeast Montana. Temperatures continue to be near to below normal across the region, and that trend doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem to be going away anytime soon. The latest forecast for May from the Climate Prediction Center continues to paint Montana as having below-normal temperatures, and while they seem to pinpoint our area as expecting above-normal precipitation, such a forecast is generally fairly low in conďŹ dence. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not to say that May looks to be miserable, as below-normal temperatures for the month should still generally mean 50s to 70s for daily highs. For the month of April, as of press date,

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occurred on April 8. The overall mean temperature for the month was approximately 35 degrees, which was approximately 8 degrees below normal. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor was released on April 19. Even though, for Glasgow, precipitation for the month was below normal, there continues to be improvements in drought conditions across the northeast, which is now the only section of the state reporting any drought conditions at all. Currently, under 10 percent of the state is now classiďŹ ed as at least Abnormally Dry and under four percent of the state is in Moderate Drought or worse conditions. Only the far northeast, with portions of Daniels, Sheridan and Roosevelt counties are still listed in the Severe Drought category, decreasing to the south and to the west. The current edge of the drought conditions generally follows a line from Opheim to Baker.

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Author's oldest, Ella, bottle feeding a calf. ELIZABETH SHIPSTEAD FOR FARM AND RANCH Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 12:30 a.m. and my hubby just left to go check cows. It snowed again tonight which increases the likelihood of cold calves and losing ears. I have our entryway prepped. I have the storm door propped open so he only has to get through one door with a calf. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got an old sheet out on the ďŹ&#x201A;oor to try to keep the mess to a minimum. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll stay in place as long as our cat doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t decide itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a play thing. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got the baby gates ready in case we get a four-legged runner. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m ready to throw my muck boots on and enter the calf warming fray.But for now I wait, for a text that tells me a tag number and sex of my potential customer or the sound of him pulling up in the pickup. Do I go back to bed and get a few more minutes of sleep? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easier said than done because I know my hubby is out in the snow and wind with the pickup and a ďŹ&#x201A;ashlight, checking for cold calves and dodging protective mamas. It sure would be easier to be our

ELIZABETH SHIPSTEAD / FOR FARM AND RANCH

girls, sleeping through the ruckus. But then again that wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford me the opportunity to pull together with my hubby in this calf saving quest. It seems weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on the downside of this spring time, yet winter-like storm system. We have lost more calves than Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like. In my mind, one is too many. My hubby reminds me that even a 96 percent calving rate is great. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had 12 calves in my entryway. Not all at one time, mind you. My record number of calves in the entryway at one time is four. This calving season is deďŹ nitely one for the record books. Yesterday morning, after a wakeful night the night before, I was discouraged and allowing myself to be brought down by the calves we have lost and the ones that we continue to ďŹ ght to save. A friend texted and asked me how it was going, which prompted me to do something I hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t done yet. For the ďŹ rst time, I took the calving book and counted every single one of the calves who are alive and kicking. Seventy-one. Seventy-one healthy, bouncing, See CALVING FRAY Page 10

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After drought then snow, farmers now face flooded fields Tim Leeds tleeds@havredailynews.com Following a summer that turned dry and full of fire and then a near-record winter, north-central Montana agriculture producers are now facing flooded fields that may significantly delay getting out to plant spring crops. Blaine and Hill counties both have been declared disaster areas due to the flooding in April, both on the county and state levels. After a winter that wouldn’t stop snowing, warmer weather melted snowpack that was at near-record levels, causing flooding in Blaine, Chouteau, Hill and Liberty counties. As of late April, the flooding had receded, but National Weather Service warned that it could take weeks for flooded regions to dry out. County road departments at that time were just starting to be able to get out and assess damage to, and start repairing, roads. Some local producers the last week of April were saying that due to mud and road damage — and even, in some places, due to snow — they could not even get out to take a

Havre Daily News/Ryan Welch A pasture lays submerged under 5 to 15 feet of water at the Gildford Colony north of Gildford April 16. The melting snow could keep farmers out of fields till weeks later than normal this year.

www.havredailynews.com of financial burden in bad years. With low commodity prices and high rental rates in the last few years, fixed rents aren’t always easy to make. Rents have come down a bit in recent years, but not too much. Most of the farmers across the Midwest are seeing three to four years of loss,” said Wendong Zhang, an applied economist at the University of Iowa and researcher for Iowa’s farmland ownership survey. “They’re essentially burning through their working capital.” Local, rural communities continue to lose wealth as seed and fertilizer companies no longer remain local and people move out of communities to find work as they’re no longer needed on the farm. And outside land ownership doesn’t help, said Joe Koenen, who’s an agriculture business specialist for MU Extension, mostly in rural Putnam and Sullivan counties. “It does have an overall negative impact on the communities, because those folks don’t live here, and they don’t bring in the dollars and spend money here,” he said. “Probably half of our land is owned by absentee landowners.” About 10 years ago, Rabinowitz’s father started emailing her the reports for his farmland investments. He’d taken her to the farms when she was

FARM & RANCH young, but she’d never been involved in the business. But that changed when she started digging through the reports. “I could tell that something was wrong from a business perspective,” she said. The erosion was terrible. Long-term conservation was an afterthought. And all of that was affecting the profitability of the business. She decided she had to do something. “This land, my father loved (it) but didn’t really understand how to care for (it),” Rabinowitz said. “Somehow he was kept insulated on these annual visits. He just got in the car with the manager and it was just them visiting the farm and that was it. He wasn’t going to talk to the USDA, the NRCS. He wasn’t meeting the farmer,” she said. When Rabinowitz went to talk to the farm managers who managed the land for him, they couldn’t provide her with the data they were supposed to be tracking. They weren’t following the provisions in the leases. This is one of the biggest fears that people have about “absentee” land ownership. Because the owner is disconnected from farming, he or she might not know enough to take care of the land properly or to ask the right questions.

And if they’re only looking at the land from an investment perspective, owners may see it as something to turn a profit rather than an investment in conservation or sustainability. A 2012 USDA study did find that landowners who don’t farm themselves are less likely to participate in conservation programs. When Rabinowitz realized that her father’s farms weren’t doing well, she started asking questions. “I wanted to meet every single farmer that first year. It was a little scary,” she said. But the farm management company told her to leave farming to the farmer. “I was told don’t get into the weeds of talking about fertility and the real stuff that we would be talking about. Just thank them for mowing,” Rabinowitz said. Eventually, she took over management, realizing that the company hadn’t been enforcing many of the provisions outlined in their leases. And she started to fall in love with her father’s land. “I bought an iPad and used the heck out of it doing research on NRCS programs, YouTube videos on cover crops, and I self-educated myself,” she said. She connected with Iowa State University Extension and the Women, Food and

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Agriculture Network. She even spent two and a half months, over a thousand miles from her California home, making sure the farms got back on track. When the older tenants weren’t receptive to the changes she wanted to make, she shifted to younger tenants, lowered the rent and worked closely with the USDA to put in waterways and develop the land sustainably. For a few of the farms she felt she couldn’t manage on her own, she found a farm management company that she could trust. It’s important to her to honor her father’s investment and legacy in a way that also honors the longevity of the land. “I put conservation above investment, and I don’t see land as a stock in a stock market. I see land as community,” she said. Rabinowitz texts her tenants often. And she visits. She’s not letting go anytime soon. “I have been approached a little bit about the future of these farms and ownership and my father raised us, he probably said it a thousand times, ‘Don’t sell the farms,’” she said. “He got himself educated and he bought something that he believed in. It’s that simple, I don’t want to undo what he did.” —— Information from: Columbia Missourian, http://www.columbiamissourian.com/.

Tariffs could hinder a growing market for U.S. beef in China Noah Higgins-Dunn Columbia Missourian (AP) Cattle producers like John and Amy Jo Estes applauded after President Donald Trump struck a deal with China that would allow U.S. beef to stream back into the Chinese market. Now, China’s proposed retaliatory tariffs have the same producers asking for a truce during budding trade tensions. Agriculture is a family business for John and Amy Jo Estes. The couple met while attending University of Missouri and moved back to John Estes’ family farm in Rosebud, Missouri, in 1993. The original deed to the family’s 160 acres in Gasconade County dates back to the early 19th century — John Estes’ 82-year-old father inherited the land from his father, who inherited the land from his father. Underneath their plot, the ground is full of rocks and clay — not ideal for cash crops like corn and wheat, but well-suited for grazing animals like cattle and sheep. Cottonwood trees line rolling hills of crisp green grazing ground cut by a single dirt road, a small creek and cross-ties that organize their land into controllable, sustainable patches for gnawing cattle. Nearly two centuries and an additional 700 acres later, working on the farm has not proven as easy, or financially viable, when compared to previous generations in the Estes family. Being a farmer is similar to gambling for John and Amy Jo Estes because they never know what will happen with cattle prices, the weather or the government. A conversation with John and Amy Jo Estes “On the good years, you have to store money away and invest it wisely,” John Estes said. “If you invest in a different piece of equipment, is it going to pay? Is there a tax advantage to doing that? It’s in the back of everybody’s mind all the time and you have

to be prepared for it.” Now, John Estes said he feels the gambling is in Trump’s hands, and Trump could be using their money to pay the bill. On April 4, in response to the $50 billion worth of tariffs Trump levied on China for unfair trade practices, China’s Ministry of Commerce issued a proposal to impose a 25 percent tariff on a variety of goods, according to a statement by the United States Department of Agriculture. Nearly one-third of the proposed tariff items would target U.S. food and agriculture commodities, including beef. If implemented, they would impact approximately $16.5 billion worth of Chinese imports of food and agriculture products from the U.S, according to the statement. “Somebody, somewhere, sometime is going to have to stand up to China, and the problem is that it’s going to hurt, and it’s going to hurt somebody along the way,” John Estes said. “It’s looking like it might be us this time.” China, along with Japan and South Korea, banned imports of American beef in 2003 after the first case of mad cow disease was discovered in Washington state. The U.S. provided China 70 percent of their total imports before the ban went into effect, according to the USDA. Yet demand for beef in China was nowhere near its current level, and cattle producers in the U.S. had to sit on the sidelines as China’s beef imports grew from $275 million in 2012 to $2.5 billion in 2016, according to the USDA. China’s cattle imports increase The exporting hiatus ended last June when the Trump administration finalized a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping that would allow American beef to be exported into the country for the first time in over a decade. “If a tariff is put into place, you are really looking at lost growth potential,” U.S. Meat

Export Federation spokesperson Joe Schuele said. “It’s not a major market situation where large volumes of beef are being closed. It’s really a market we just entered and haven’t even scratched the surface.” W h e n t h e Tr u m p a d m i n i s t r a t i o n

announced the deal with China, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association praised the president for reopening the door to a foregone relationship, but now they’re voicing concern that a trade war could harm their efforts.


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Renting: Farmland investment by foreign owners doubled from 2004 to 2014 ■ Continued from page 7 different, and they may view it as more of an investment than a family heirloom. “As the next generation comes around, sometimes people look at things a little differently and compare it to other alternative investments versus, ‘Oh that’s the farm and I’ll take whatever it provides me for income,’” he said. That’s where investors with no obvious family ties come in. Some are wealthy individuals looking to diversify their portfolios. Kuethe said many are local, like the owner of Jimmy John’s who owns thousands of acres of prime farmland in central Illinois. Organizations such as the Mormon Church also own farmland across the country. And then, there are institutional investors. Although interest in farmland by Wall Street investors and pension funds dates back at least to the late 1980s and early 1990s, the 2007 financial crisis reignited interest. Farmland investment looked stable in comparison to other real estate. “It’s certainly true there was new money that came into agriculture during the boom period between 2007 and say 2013,” said Pat We s t h o f f , d i re c to r o f t h e Fo o d a n d Agricultural Policy Research Institute at MU. Institutional investors, both domestic and foreign, are still only a small fraction of the market. The vast majority of farmland is still bought and owned by individuals. And depending on a state’s corporate farming laws, it may be difficult or even impossible

for institutional investors to buy farmland. But a recent investigation by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting did find that farmland investment by foreign owners doubled between 2004 and 2014. And domestic avenues for investment have increased as well. In 2013, Gladstone Land Corps. became the first farmland real estate investment trust, and in 2014, Farmland Partners followed suit. Anyone can buy a share in their publiclytraded company, and they now own around 160,000 acres across the country. Pension funds such as TIAA investments, one of the largest retirement providers of financial services for academic, research, medical, cultural and governmental industries, have also bought into farmland. By 2016, they owned $6 billion worth of farmland globally. Richard Oswald is a farmer and the policy director of Missouri Farmers Union. Oswald and his brother farm around 2,500 acres. Oswald said he rents his land from several different landlords, some of whom live in different states. He said he communicates with his landlords frequently, usually via email. “It’s kind of like a marriage really,” he said. “There’s a lot of trust involved.” In many ways, Oswald is typical of a Midwestern row crop farmer. He owns some land and rents the rest from multiple landlords. As plots of inherited farmland are being divided and subdivided among relatives, the

average size of the farm has grown. According to the last USDA Census of Agriculture, the average size of a farm is now 434 acres. For prime farmland in Iowa or Illinois, that could cost a farmer a whopping $4 million. This is where an outside investor is helpful. “The upside is you don’t have to have 10 million dollars invested in farmland to have a good-sized operation,” Westhoff said. “You could do with a lot less than that.” Add in institutional investors and wealthy individuals buying into farmland, and a farmer might rent from 10, 20 or even 40 different land owners from across the country to make up a profitable farming operation. Oswald’s has crop share leases, which means his landlords get a portion of his profits from the harvest. In good years, they get more, and in bad years they get less. That means they’re typically pretty involved in Oswald’s farming operations. It also means that, if he has a bad year, not all the liability falls on him. His leases are longterm commitments, typically around 15 years. He said that takes a strong relationship with his landlords. “They want to make sure that it has income, so you have to educate them and teach them about yields, tell them about other problems you might have,” Oswald said. “That way if you have a bad crop because of a drought, then they’re kind of educated, they

see that’s it not your fault.” Crop share leases are now less common. Instead, farmers often rent farmland under short-term cash rent leases. “Of course, those do put a higher percentage of the risk onto the farmer, the tenant. It’s one of the reasons that crop insurance is very, very important,” Klein said. Under cash rental agreements, farmers are solely responsible for buying seed and fertilizer and selling their crops. Crop insurance, a federally subsidized program, can reimburse farmers for losses from natural disasters on crops such as soybeans and corn. “It places a high information burden on the farmer,” Westhoff said. At least partly, outside landownership has played a role in the shift. “As absentee landowners, maybe, are a little more removed than they used to be from the farm or maybe it’s a second or third generation, or they just don’t understand that ins and outs of what should be expected in managing a farm,” Klein said. “The cash rent route tends to become a more understandable alternative for them to be able to work with a farmer on.” Under a cash rental agreement, investors know exactly what returns to expect. Farmers have less to negotiate with their landlords, and they may have more power to decide how the farm is run, Kuethe said. But is also means it may be more difficult to explain farming practices and the necessity of long-term improvements to the land owner. And it means that farmers bear the brunt

Havre Daily News/Ryan Welch An old car lays covered in fresh snow in March in the Bear Paw Mountains after the region recieved more snow. look at their fields. A summer that turned to drought By the end of winter last year, the farming weather in this part of Montana wasn’t looking too bad. At the end of March, Havre had received more than 1.5 inches of precipitation for the year, greater than an inch more than the norm. Then the precipitation started dropping

off. The precipitation received in the Havre area at the end of July had dropped to less than half of its normal precipitation, about 3.5 inches in Havre compared to a norm of 7.5 inches at that time. And it just got drier. By the end of August, the moisture deficit increased, with Havre showing some 5 inches less than the about 8.5 inches it normally receives by that time.

Havre Daily News/Ryan Welch Snow blankets a hill in the Bear Paw Mountains in December. While the snow brought plenty of moisture to local agricultural producers, its melting is creating another problem — fields too wet for work. It continued to increase, with Havre showing a nearly 5.5-inch shortfall by the beginning of October. That turned to a fierce winter Then the region got dumped on with a record-setting blizzard Oct. 2-3 that dropped

more than 13 inches of heavy, wet snow, breaking trees, blocking roads and knocking out power for more than a week for some people in the region affected from Chester to Malta. That added about 2 inches to the total pre-

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■ Continued from page 5 cipitation, but still left the region below the norm. And not much came to the region in the next two months. By the end of November, Havre, for example, was still nearly 4 inches behind the norm for that time of year at 6.86 inches. But then serious winter weather set in in mid to late December and stuck. Snow in December — including plenty of snowfall and below-zero weather the week of Christmas — dropped nearly an inch of precipitation on Havre, well more than the norm, though still leaving the calendar year far below its norm. But it didn’t stop. Snow and cold weather continued in January, and by the end of the month, the snow that piled up brought nearly a half-inch of precipitation, more than normal. But February blew that away. By Feb. 20, Havre had received 31.8 inches of snow, nearly doubling its previous record and burying the norm for the month of 5.8 inches. It brought 1.66 inches of precipitation, again demolishing the norm for February of .28 inches. March continued with precipitation in the form of snow, although not as heavily, with less-than-the the norm snowfall — 4.4 inches compared to a norm of 6.3 inches — bringing more-than-the-norm worth of precipitation, .69 inches versus .54 inches. April reversed that, with more-than-thenorm snowfall by April 24 — 8.9 inches compared to a norm of 2.7 inches — bringing .54 inches of precipitation compared to a norm of .61 inches. But the heavy snow brought much more than the norm for the year, with, as of April 24, Havre’s total snowfall being less than an inch below setting a new record, 92.5 inches compared to the record set in 1981 at 93.4 inches. And it brought 3.37 inches of precipitation so far this year, compared to a norm of 1.76 inches. And factoring in the snow from October through December for the water year, figured from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, the region is even more above average. As of April 24, Havre had received 6.89 inches of precipitation compared to a norm of 3.17 inches for the water year, with more rain and snow in the forecast. But while the ag producers have plenty of moisture to work with, the question is when they can start working. Cool, wet weather in the forecast The forecast does not call for weather that would dry out the fields — and in some areas melt some still-remaining snow — very quickly. More rain, and even snow, was in the forecast for the end of April and the prediction by the National Weather Service’s online Climate Prediction Center was for below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation through early May. The longer-range prediction, through July, was for the weather to return to normal temperatures and precipitation.

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More Missouri landowners rent out farm land

By ERIN MCKINSTRY Columbia Missourian C O LU M B I A , M o . ( A P ) — R u t h Rabinowitz’s father used to tell her, “They’re not making any more farmland.” He had grown up poor in the Great Depression and, after putting himself through medical school, saved enough money to buy a few small broccoli farms near his Phoenix, Arizona, home. But her dad didn’t farm those acres himself. In fact, he never farmed anywhere, or even lived in a rural community. For him, farmland was an investment. “What he noticed was every time he sold a farm, he made money,” Rabinowitz told the Columbia Missourian. He read about globalization, about how many mouths would need to be fed in the future. And he saw development gobbling up tillable acres. So he decided to look beyond his own backyard. David Rabinowitz set his sights on Iowa, where he learned that glaciers had dropped some of the best soil in the country. Iowa, a place he had no connection to, a place he’d never even visited. He rented the land to local Iowa farmers and hired a manager to help. That was back in 1978, before Wall Street investors turned a serious eye to farmland to diversify their portfolios. A few years ago, Rabinowitz’s aging father passed the farms on to her and her sister. They both live in California. Rabinowitz is part of a growing number of

Midwestern farmland owners who don’t farm themselves and who don’t live on the land they own. Renting farmland is nothing new. Think back to the days of sharecropping. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of acres rented out has remained steady over the last 50 years, at around 40 percent. The difference is the landowner is increasingly not the farmer next-door or a landlord intimately involved in the farming operation. Instead, many farmers rent from multiple owners who may have little to no connection to farming or the local community and who may own land strictly for investment purposes. Some see the shift as a good thing. They argue it’s putting more capital into rural communities, that investors rent to productive and responsible farmers and that farmers really can’t afford to buy land. Others see it as one more barrier for farmers trying to access land or expand their operations. They worry that the trend has driven up farmland prices, led to irresponsible conservation practices and drained money from rural economies. According to the USDA, almost 40 percent of all landlords have no prior experience with farming, and a quarter of all Midwestern farmland is rented out by someone who doesn’t live in the county where the land is. Of the roughly 46 percent of farmland that

Havre Daily News/Ryan Welch A field at the intersection of Gildford Road North and Hill County Road 160 North stands underwater April 16 as melting snow flooded the region. With cool, wet weather in the short-range forecast and normal temperatures and precipitation expected through July, when fields will fully dry out is anyone’s guess.

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Havre Daily News/Ryan Welch Justin Miller walks to his tractor after moving gates from a flooded pasture April 16 near Gildford. The flooding forced him to move cattle. Flooded fields in north-central Montana could take weeks or longer to dry out enough to be farmed.

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is rented in the Midwest, around 81 percent is owned by someone who doesn’t farm themselves. Past comparisons are difficult because the USDA hasn’t collected consistent data on land owners over time, and methodologies have varied. “A lot of people show they have high concern,” said Peggy Petrzelka, a sociologist at Utah State University. The lack of data has led to a lot of assumptions, but not a lot of concrete information, she said. State data does show an increase. The state of Iowa mandates an ownership survey every five years. In 1982, only 6 percent of Iowa’s farmland was owned by someone other than a full-time resident. That number jumped to almost a quarter by 2012. Todd Kuethe, a land economics professor at the University of Illinois, said the increase across the Midwest has been slow but steady, around a half to 1 percent annually. The numbers are highest in the most fertile parts of the corn belt. Forty-one percent of Iowa’s and half of Illinois’ farmland is now owned by a nonfarmer. And in pockets like northwest Iowa, where farmland can fetch as much as $10,000 an acre, that number is almost 70 percent. The reasons for the shift are complex. Inheritance, individual investment and institutional interests all play a role. Most land trickles down from kids, to

grandkids, to great-grandchildren. More than half of all the farmland rented out by nonfarmers was acquired as a gift or an inheritance. And as technology has advanced and fewer people are needed on the farm, those heirs have moved away from farming, both culturally and geographically. That transition is expected to continue. The USDA estimated that 10 percent of America’s farmland was expected to change hands between 2015 and 2019, most in the form of trusts or wills to relatives. Only a tiny fraction of land was predicted to end up on the open market. Although some of that inherited land may eventually come up for sale, many heirs who don’t farm hold onto the land for financial or sentimental reasons. The land can also be tied up in a trust, and sometimes, it’s just too complicated to sell it with so many heirs and competing interests. “Nobody wants to be the generation that has to get rid of the farm,” said J. Arbuckle, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Iowa. “It’s part of a family legacy, and the longer it goes on, the harder it is to give up.” As the land is passed down through generations, Illinois farmland real estate broker Dave Klein said he’s seen that distance change people’s perceptions of the land. The financial returns they expect might be

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■ Continued from page 5 cipitation, but still left the region below the norm. And not much came to the region in the next two months. By the end of November, Havre, for example, was still nearly 4 inches behind the norm for that time of year at 6.86 inches. But then serious winter weather set in in mid to late December and stuck. Snow in December — including plenty of snowfall and below-zero weather the week of Christmas — dropped nearly an inch of precipitation on Havre, well more than the norm, though still leaving the calendar year far below its norm. But it didn’t stop. Snow and cold weather continued in January, and by the end of the month, the snow that piled up brought nearly a half-inch of precipitation, more than normal. But February blew that away. By Feb. 20, Havre had received 31.8 inches of snow, nearly doubling its previous record and burying the norm for the month of 5.8 inches. It brought 1.66 inches of precipitation, again demolishing the norm for February of .28 inches. March continued with precipitation in the form of snow, although not as heavily, with less-than-the the norm snowfall — 4.4 inches compared to a norm of 6.3 inches — bringing more-than-the-norm worth of precipitation, .69 inches versus .54 inches. April reversed that, with more-than-thenorm snowfall by April 24 — 8.9 inches compared to a norm of 2.7 inches — bringing .54 inches of precipitation compared to a norm of .61 inches. But the heavy snow brought much more than the norm for the year, with, as of April 24, Havre’s total snowfall being less than an inch below setting a new record, 92.5 inches compared to the record set in 1981 at 93.4 inches. And it brought 3.37 inches of precipitation so far this year, compared to a norm of 1.76 inches. And factoring in the snow from October through December for the water year, figured from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, the region is even more above average. As of April 24, Havre had received 6.89 inches of precipitation compared to a norm of 3.17 inches for the water year, with more rain and snow in the forecast. But while the ag producers have plenty of moisture to work with, the question is when they can start working. Cool, wet weather in the forecast The forecast does not call for weather that would dry out the fields — and in some areas melt some still-remaining snow — very quickly. More rain, and even snow, was in the forecast for the end of April and the prediction by the National Weather Service’s online Climate Prediction Center was for below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation through early May. The longer-range prediction, through July, was for the weather to return to normal temperatures and precipitation.

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More Missouri landowners rent out farm land

By ERIN MCKINSTRY Columbia Missourian C O LU M B I A , M o . ( A P ) — R u t h Rabinowitz’s father used to tell her, “They’re not making any more farmland.” He had grown up poor in the Great Depression and, after putting himself through medical school, saved enough money to buy a few small broccoli farms near his Phoenix, Arizona, home. But her dad didn’t farm those acres himself. In fact, he never farmed anywhere, or even lived in a rural community. For him, farmland was an investment. “What he noticed was every time he sold a farm, he made money,” Rabinowitz told the Columbia Missourian. He read about globalization, about how many mouths would need to be fed in the future. And he saw development gobbling up tillable acres. So he decided to look beyond his own backyard. David Rabinowitz set his sights on Iowa, where he learned that glaciers had dropped some of the best soil in the country. Iowa, a place he had no connection to, a place he’d never even visited. He rented the land to local Iowa farmers and hired a manager to help. That was back in 1978, before Wall Street investors turned a serious eye to farmland to diversify their portfolios. A few years ago, Rabinowitz’s aging father passed the farms on to her and her sister. They both live in California. Rabinowitz is part of a growing number of

Midwestern farmland owners who don’t farm themselves and who don’t live on the land they own. Renting farmland is nothing new. Think back to the days of sharecropping. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of acres rented out has remained steady over the last 50 years, at around 40 percent. The difference is the landowner is increasingly not the farmer next-door or a landlord intimately involved in the farming operation. Instead, many farmers rent from multiple owners who may have little to no connection to farming or the local community and who may own land strictly for investment purposes. Some see the shift as a good thing. They argue it’s putting more capital into rural communities, that investors rent to productive and responsible farmers and that farmers really can’t afford to buy land. Others see it as one more barrier for farmers trying to access land or expand their operations. They worry that the trend has driven up farmland prices, led to irresponsible conservation practices and drained money from rural economies. According to the USDA, almost 40 percent of all landlords have no prior experience with farming, and a quarter of all Midwestern farmland is rented out by someone who doesn’t live in the county where the land is. Of the roughly 46 percent of farmland that

Havre Daily News/Ryan Welch A field at the intersection of Gildford Road North and Hill County Road 160 North stands underwater April 16 as melting snow flooded the region. With cool, wet weather in the short-range forecast and normal temperatures and precipitation expected through July, when fields will fully dry out is anyone’s guess.

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Havre Daily News/Ryan Welch Justin Miller walks to his tractor after moving gates from a flooded pasture April 16 near Gildford. The flooding forced him to move cattle. Flooded fields in north-central Montana could take weeks or longer to dry out enough to be farmed.

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is rented in the Midwest, around 81 percent is owned by someone who doesn’t farm themselves. Past comparisons are difficult because the USDA hasn’t collected consistent data on land owners over time, and methodologies have varied. “A lot of people show they have high concern,” said Peggy Petrzelka, a sociologist at Utah State University. The lack of data has led to a lot of assumptions, but not a lot of concrete information, she said. State data does show an increase. The state of Iowa mandates an ownership survey every five years. In 1982, only 6 percent of Iowa’s farmland was owned by someone other than a full-time resident. That number jumped to almost a quarter by 2012. Todd Kuethe, a land economics professor at the University of Illinois, said the increase across the Midwest has been slow but steady, around a half to 1 percent annually. The numbers are highest in the most fertile parts of the corn belt. Forty-one percent of Iowa’s and half of Illinois’ farmland is now owned by a nonfarmer. And in pockets like northwest Iowa, where farmland can fetch as much as $10,000 an acre, that number is almost 70 percent. The reasons for the shift are complex. Inheritance, individual investment and institutional interests all play a role. Most land trickles down from kids, to

grandkids, to great-grandchildren. More than half of all the farmland rented out by nonfarmers was acquired as a gift or an inheritance. And as technology has advanced and fewer people are needed on the farm, those heirs have moved away from farming, both culturally and geographically. That transition is expected to continue. The USDA estimated that 10 percent of America’s farmland was expected to change hands between 2015 and 2019, most in the form of trusts or wills to relatives. Only a tiny fraction of land was predicted to end up on the open market. Although some of that inherited land may eventually come up for sale, many heirs who don’t farm hold onto the land for financial or sentimental reasons. The land can also be tied up in a trust, and sometimes, it’s just too complicated to sell it with so many heirs and competing interests. “Nobody wants to be the generation that has to get rid of the farm,” said J. Arbuckle, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Iowa. “It’s part of a family legacy, and the longer it goes on, the harder it is to give up.” As the land is passed down through generations, Illinois farmland real estate broker Dave Klein said he’s seen that distance change people’s perceptions of the land. The financial returns they expect might be

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Renting: Farmland investment by foreign owners doubled from 2004 to 2014 ■ Continued from page 7 different, and they may view it as more of an investment than a family heirloom. “As the next generation comes around, sometimes people look at things a little differently and compare it to other alternative investments versus, ‘Oh that’s the farm and I’ll take whatever it provides me for income,’” he said. That’s where investors with no obvious family ties come in. Some are wealthy individuals looking to diversify their portfolios. Kuethe said many are local, like the owner of Jimmy John’s who owns thousands of acres of prime farmland in central Illinois. Organizations such as the Mormon Church also own farmland across the country. And then, there are institutional investors. Although interest in farmland by Wall Street investors and pension funds dates back at least to the late 1980s and early 1990s, the 2007 financial crisis reignited interest. Farmland investment looked stable in comparison to other real estate. “It’s certainly true there was new money that came into agriculture during the boom period between 2007 and say 2013,” said Pat We s t h o f f , d i re c to r o f t h e Fo o d a n d Agricultural Policy Research Institute at MU. Institutional investors, both domestic and foreign, are still only a small fraction of the market. The vast majority of farmland is still bought and owned by individuals. And depending on a state’s corporate farming laws, it may be difficult or even impossible

for institutional investors to buy farmland. But a recent investigation by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting did find that farmland investment by foreign owners doubled between 2004 and 2014. And domestic avenues for investment have increased as well. In 2013, Gladstone Land Corps. became the first farmland real estate investment trust, and in 2014, Farmland Partners followed suit. Anyone can buy a share in their publiclytraded company, and they now own around 160,000 acres across the country. Pension funds such as TIAA investments, one of the largest retirement providers of financial services for academic, research, medical, cultural and governmental industries, have also bought into farmland. By 2016, they owned $6 billion worth of farmland globally. Richard Oswald is a farmer and the policy director of Missouri Farmers Union. Oswald and his brother farm around 2,500 acres. Oswald said he rents his land from several different landlords, some of whom live in different states. He said he communicates with his landlords frequently, usually via email. “It’s kind of like a marriage really,” he said. “There’s a lot of trust involved.” In many ways, Oswald is typical of a Midwestern row crop farmer. He owns some land and rents the rest from multiple landlords. As plots of inherited farmland are being divided and subdivided among relatives, the

average size of the farm has grown. According to the last USDA Census of Agriculture, the average size of a farm is now 434 acres. For prime farmland in Iowa or Illinois, that could cost a farmer a whopping $4 million. This is where an outside investor is helpful. “The upside is you don’t have to have 10 million dollars invested in farmland to have a good-sized operation,” Westhoff said. “You could do with a lot less than that.” Add in institutional investors and wealthy individuals buying into farmland, and a farmer might rent from 10, 20 or even 40 different land owners from across the country to make up a profitable farming operation. Oswald’s has crop share leases, which means his landlords get a portion of his profits from the harvest. In good years, they get more, and in bad years they get less. That means they’re typically pretty involved in Oswald’s farming operations. It also means that, if he has a bad year, not all the liability falls on him. His leases are longterm commitments, typically around 15 years. He said that takes a strong relationship with his landlords. “They want to make sure that it has income, so you have to educate them and teach them about yields, tell them about other problems you might have,” Oswald said. “That way if you have a bad crop because of a drought, then they’re kind of educated, they

see that’s it not your fault.” Crop share leases are now less common. Instead, farmers often rent farmland under short-term cash rent leases. “Of course, those do put a higher percentage of the risk onto the farmer, the tenant. It’s one of the reasons that crop insurance is very, very important,” Klein said. Under cash rental agreements, farmers are solely responsible for buying seed and fertilizer and selling their crops. Crop insurance, a federally subsidized program, can reimburse farmers for losses from natural disasters on crops such as soybeans and corn. “It places a high information burden on the farmer,” Westhoff said. At least partly, outside landownership has played a role in the shift. “As absentee landowners, maybe, are a little more removed than they used to be from the farm or maybe it’s a second or third generation, or they just don’t understand that ins and outs of what should be expected in managing a farm,” Klein said. “The cash rent route tends to become a more understandable alternative for them to be able to work with a farmer on.” Under a cash rental agreement, investors know exactly what returns to expect. Farmers have less to negotiate with their landlords, and they may have more power to decide how the farm is run, Kuethe said. But is also means it may be more difficult to explain farming practices and the necessity of long-term improvements to the land owner. And it means that farmers bear the brunt

Havre Daily News/Ryan Welch An old car lays covered in fresh snow in March in the Bear Paw Mountains after the region recieved more snow. look at their fields. A summer that turned to drought By the end of winter last year, the farming weather in this part of Montana wasn’t looking too bad. At the end of March, Havre had received more than 1.5 inches of precipitation for the year, greater than an inch more than the norm. Then the precipitation started dropping

off. The precipitation received in the Havre area at the end of July had dropped to less than half of its normal precipitation, about 3.5 inches in Havre compared to a norm of 7.5 inches at that time. And it just got drier. By the end of August, the moisture deficit increased, with Havre showing some 5 inches less than the about 8.5 inches it normally receives by that time.

Havre Daily News/Ryan Welch Snow blankets a hill in the Bear Paw Mountains in December. While the snow brought plenty of moisture to local agricultural producers, its melting is creating another problem — fields too wet for work. It continued to increase, with Havre showing a nearly 5.5-inch shortfall by the beginning of October. That turned to a fierce winter Then the region got dumped on with a record-setting blizzard Oct. 2-3 that dropped

more than 13 inches of heavy, wet snow, breaking trees, blocking roads and knocking out power for more than a week for some people in the region affected from Chester to Malta. That added about 2 inches to the total pre-

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After drought then snow, farmers now face flooded fields Tim Leeds tleeds@havredailynews.com Following a summer that turned dry and full of fire and then a near-record winter, north-central Montana agriculture producers are now facing flooded fields that may significantly delay getting out to plant spring crops. Blaine and Hill counties both have been declared disaster areas due to the flooding in April, both on the county and state levels. After a winter that wouldn’t stop snowing, warmer weather melted snowpack that was at near-record levels, causing flooding in Blaine, Chouteau, Hill and Liberty counties. As of late April, the flooding had receded, but National Weather Service warned that it could take weeks for flooded regions to dry out. County road departments at that time were just starting to be able to get out and assess damage to, and start repairing, roads. Some local producers the last week of April were saying that due to mud and road damage — and even, in some places, due to snow — they could not even get out to take a

Havre Daily News/Ryan Welch A pasture lays submerged under 5 to 15 feet of water at the Gildford Colony north of Gildford April 16. The melting snow could keep farmers out of fields till weeks later than normal this year.

www.havredailynews.com of financial burden in bad years. With low commodity prices and high rental rates in the last few years, fixed rents aren’t always easy to make. Rents have come down a bit in recent years, but not too much. Most of the farmers across the Midwest are seeing three to four years of loss,” said Wendong Zhang, an applied economist at the University of Iowa and researcher for Iowa’s farmland ownership survey. “They’re essentially burning through their working capital.” Local, rural communities continue to lose wealth as seed and fertilizer companies no longer remain local and people move out of communities to find work as they’re no longer needed on the farm. And outside land ownership doesn’t help, said Joe Koenen, who’s an agriculture business specialist for MU Extension, mostly in rural Putnam and Sullivan counties. “It does have an overall negative impact on the communities, because those folks don’t live here, and they don’t bring in the dollars and spend money here,” he said. “Probably half of our land is owned by absentee landowners.” About 10 years ago, Rabinowitz’s father started emailing her the reports for his farmland investments. He’d taken her to the farms when she was

FARM & RANCH young, but she’d never been involved in the business. But that changed when she started digging through the reports. “I could tell that something was wrong from a business perspective,” she said. The erosion was terrible. Long-term conservation was an afterthought. And all of that was affecting the profitability of the business. She decided she had to do something. “This land, my father loved (it) but didn’t really understand how to care for (it),” Rabinowitz said. “Somehow he was kept insulated on these annual visits. He just got in the car with the manager and it was just them visiting the farm and that was it. He wasn’t going to talk to the USDA, the NRCS. He wasn’t meeting the farmer,” she said. When Rabinowitz went to talk to the farm managers who managed the land for him, they couldn’t provide her with the data they were supposed to be tracking. They weren’t following the provisions in the leases. This is one of the biggest fears that people have about “absentee” land ownership. Because the owner is disconnected from farming, he or she might not know enough to take care of the land properly or to ask the right questions.

And if they’re only looking at the land from an investment perspective, owners may see it as something to turn a profit rather than an investment in conservation or sustainability. A 2012 USDA study did find that landowners who don’t farm themselves are less likely to participate in conservation programs. When Rabinowitz realized that her father’s farms weren’t doing well, she started asking questions. “I wanted to meet every single farmer that first year. It was a little scary,” she said. But the farm management company told her to leave farming to the farmer. “I was told don’t get into the weeds of talking about fertility and the real stuff that we would be talking about. Just thank them for mowing,” Rabinowitz said. Eventually, she took over management, realizing that the company hadn’t been enforcing many of the provisions outlined in their leases. And she started to fall in love with her father’s land. “I bought an iPad and used the heck out of it doing research on NRCS programs, YouTube videos on cover crops, and I self-educated myself,” she said. She connected with Iowa State University Extension and the Women, Food and

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Agriculture Network. She even spent two and a half months, over a thousand miles from her California home, making sure the farms got back on track. When the older tenants weren’t receptive to the changes she wanted to make, she shifted to younger tenants, lowered the rent and worked closely with the USDA to put in waterways and develop the land sustainably. For a few of the farms she felt she couldn’t manage on her own, she found a farm management company that she could trust. It’s important to her to honor her father’s investment and legacy in a way that also honors the longevity of the land. “I put conservation above investment, and I don’t see land as a stock in a stock market. I see land as community,” she said. Rabinowitz texts her tenants often. And she visits. She’s not letting go anytime soon. “I have been approached a little bit about the future of these farms and ownership and my father raised us, he probably said it a thousand times, ‘Don’t sell the farms,’” she said. “He got himself educated and he bought something that he believed in. It’s that simple, I don’t want to undo what he did.” —— Information from: Columbia Missourian, http://www.columbiamissourian.com/.

Tariffs could hinder a growing market for U.S. beef in China Noah Higgins-Dunn Columbia Missourian (AP) Cattle producers like John and Amy Jo Estes applauded after President Donald Trump struck a deal with China that would allow U.S. beef to stream back into the Chinese market. Now, China’s proposed retaliatory tariffs have the same producers asking for a truce during budding trade tensions. Agriculture is a family business for John and Amy Jo Estes. The couple met while attending University of Missouri and moved back to John Estes’ family farm in Rosebud, Missouri, in 1993. The original deed to the family’s 160 acres in Gasconade County dates back to the early 19th century — John Estes’ 82-year-old father inherited the land from his father, who inherited the land from his father. Underneath their plot, the ground is full of rocks and clay — not ideal for cash crops like corn and wheat, but well-suited for grazing animals like cattle and sheep. Cottonwood trees line rolling hills of crisp green grazing ground cut by a single dirt road, a small creek and cross-ties that organize their land into controllable, sustainable patches for gnawing cattle. Nearly two centuries and an additional 700 acres later, working on the farm has not proven as easy, or financially viable, when compared to previous generations in the Estes family. Being a farmer is similar to gambling for John and Amy Jo Estes because they never know what will happen with cattle prices, the weather or the government. A conversation with John and Amy Jo Estes “On the good years, you have to store money away and invest it wisely,” John Estes said. “If you invest in a different piece of equipment, is it going to pay? Is there a tax advantage to doing that? It’s in the back of everybody’s mind all the time and you have

to be prepared for it.” Now, John Estes said he feels the gambling is in Trump’s hands, and Trump could be using their money to pay the bill. On April 4, in response to the $50 billion worth of tariffs Trump levied on China for unfair trade practices, China’s Ministry of Commerce issued a proposal to impose a 25 percent tariff on a variety of goods, according to a statement by the United States Department of Agriculture. Nearly one-third of the proposed tariff items would target U.S. food and agriculture commodities, including beef. If implemented, they would impact approximately $16.5 billion worth of Chinese imports of food and agriculture products from the U.S, according to the statement. “Somebody, somewhere, sometime is going to have to stand up to China, and the problem is that it’s going to hurt, and it’s going to hurt somebody along the way,” John Estes said. “It’s looking like it might be us this time.” China, along with Japan and South Korea, banned imports of American beef in 2003 after the first case of mad cow disease was discovered in Washington state. The U.S. provided China 70 percent of their total imports before the ban went into effect, according to the USDA. Yet demand for beef in China was nowhere near its current level, and cattle producers in the U.S. had to sit on the sidelines as China’s beef imports grew from $275 million in 2012 to $2.5 billion in 2016, according to the USDA. China’s cattle imports increase The exporting hiatus ended last June when the Trump administration finalized a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping that would allow American beef to be exported into the country for the first time in over a decade. “If a tariff is put into place, you are really looking at lost growth potential,” U.S. Meat

Export Federation spokesperson Joe Schuele said. “It’s not a major market situation where large volumes of beef are being closed. It’s really a market we just entered and haven’t even scratched the surface.” W h e n t h e Tr u m p a d m i n i s t r a t i o n

announced the deal with China, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association praised the president for reopening the door to a foregone relationship, but now they’re voicing concern that a trade war could harm their efforts.


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BLM District Manager Answers Questions on APR Request A.J. ETHERINGTON FOR FARM AND RANCH

The Bureau of Land Management North Central Montana District Manager Mark Albers, went on the record about American Prairieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grazing request. As has been reported previously, the American Prairie Foundation Inc. is attempting to remove interior fencing on their BLM leased lands, fortify the external fencing with an electric wire and they are applying to graze bison year-round. The BLMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s role in that request began with a scoping period in which the agency is seeking input from the public on what issues, if any, should be considered in the environmental assessment (EA). Albers clariďŹ ed that nothing in the scoping period would determine if the agency would conduct an environmental impact statement (EIS) the scoping input from the public would only determine the agencies actions on the EA then the EA would determine if an EIS is conducted. Albers provided that the EA would have one of two outcomes. Either the agency would certify a ďŹ nding of no signiďŹ cant impact (FONSI) and move ahead with allowing American Prairieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s request, or they would initiate the environmental impact statement. If an EIS is initiated, the timing could delay the process by years as the in-depth analysis is conducted. Albers said he would be the decision maker for whether the process warranted a FONSI or an EIS.

Albers discussed the scoping process as looking for input on, â&#x20AC;&#x153;real substantive issues,â&#x20AC;? adding that they are looking for issues such as fencing concerns and socio-economic impact concerns from the public, afďŹ rming that they want the public to provide input on signiďŹ cant impacts that should be assessed in the EA. As Albers put it they want the public to, â&#x20AC;&#x153;please give us things we can sink our teeth into to analyze.â&#x20AC;? The BLM decision-making process would, therefore, go from the scoping period, to an environmental assessment, then from an EA to whether a FONSI or an EIS is conducted, and from there to a decision on the APR grazing request. Albers said the decision would be based in the ďŹ ndings of BLM regarding the public comments, the analysis of BLM and the judgement of the personnel involved and himself as it relates to the ďŹ ndings of the EA. The District Manager also contended with the idea that it would be appropriate to go directly to an EIS in the case of large impactful actions like installing a large dam, but that in the case of APR, Albers said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;this is basically a grazing action, and we do hundreds of grazing actions a year. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s different, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s odd, and it involves people who are not normally a part of this process, but at the crux of that it is still a grazing proposal and grazing proposals require an EA. So, I think it would be doing everyone a disservice to jump to an EIS.â&#x20AC;? See APR GRAZING ACTION Page 11

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Author's husband, Odin, milking one of the beef cows, so that the milk could be used to tube feed her baby who wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sucking.

Calving Fray CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 cute, rambunctious calves. Then I went with Odin to the pasture to check and tag. Seeing them renewed my spirits. I was so embedded in the poop, death, cold, and the effort to bring back frozen ears and save the calves who arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t making it, that I missed the 71 miracles of life that were doing

oh so well. Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that just like life? We can get so focused on what is right in front of us or all the struggle that we miss the beauty around us! So tonight I may close my eyes, but I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sleep until heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home. I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t dread hearing his extra laden footsteps on the porch. With renewed energy and hope, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll warm calves in the middle of the night with my hubby beside me and look forward to seeing them bouncing around with their mommas in the morningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s light.

The Month in Weather only seven days in the month saw at least a trace of reported precipitation, with two of said days providing 75 percent of the precipitation for the entire month. As for winds, eight days saw sustained winds greater than 25 mph, and 15 days with winds greater than 20 mph. The highest sustained wind and wind gust were both reported on April 21, with 43 mph for sustained and 56 mph for gust. As of press date, per the National Weather Service in Glasgow, the highest observed temperature for the month was 77 degrees on April 21, and the lowest was 0 on April 1. The total liquid precipitation reported at Glasgow was 0.38â&#x20AC;?, which was approximately a quarter of an inch below normal. For the month, 5.6â&#x20AC;? of snowfall was also reported, which (possibly) will mean that the total snowfall for this past winter season will end at 63.4â&#x20AC;?. Over a 24-hour period, the greatest precipitation total was 0.17â&#x20AC;?, which

ers that averaged $1,200. The Red Angus replacement heifers were in high demand. On March 29, Woodland Farms held their 7th annual Angus bull and female production auction. C.K. Allen of Hinsdale sold 15 Angus bulls averaging $3,750. Top seller went for $5,500 to Larry Roberton of Opheim. Fahlgren Angus of Glasgow also held their 7th annual sale. John Fahlgren sold 12 Angus bulls averaging $2,525. Top seller was $3,250. All three of the top selling Fahlgren bulls were sired by Musgrave Aviator. Aviator is one of the top Origen sires. Lot 39 to Taylor Ranch of Saco; Lot 913 to John Bellon of Nashua and Lot 111 to Joleen Kirn of Poplar. Gibbs Red Angus held their ďŹ rst auction at the Glasgow Stockyards. Pat and Bill Gibbs of Jordan, Mont., sold 19 Red Angus bulls averaging $3,171, with the top four bulls all selling for $4,500.

It took almost the ďŹ rst two weeks of the month of April for winter to ďŹ nally call it quits and let spring return to northeast Montana. Temperatures continue to be near to below normal across the region, and that trend doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem to be going away anytime soon. The latest forecast for May from the Climate Prediction Center continues to paint Montana as having below-normal temperatures, and while they seem to pinpoint our area as expecting above-normal precipitation, such a forecast is generally fairly low in conďŹ dence. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not to say that May looks to be miserable, as below-normal temperatures for the month should still generally mean 50s to 70s for daily highs. For the month of April, as of press date,

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occurred on April 8. The overall mean temperature for the month was approximately 35 degrees, which was approximately 8 degrees below normal. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor was released on April 19. Even though, for Glasgow, precipitation for the month was below normal, there continues to be improvements in drought conditions across the northeast, which is now the only section of the state reporting any drought conditions at all. Currently, under 10 percent of the state is now classiďŹ ed as at least Abnormally Dry and under four percent of the state is in Moderate Drought or worse conditions. Only the far northeast, with portions of Daniels, Sheridan and Roosevelt counties are still listed in the Severe Drought category, decreasing to the south and to the west. The current edge of the drought conditions generally follows a line from Opheim to Baker.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

Author's oldest, Ella, bottle feeding a calf. ELIZABETH SHIPSTEAD FOR FARM AND RANCH Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 12:30 a.m. and my hubby just left to go check cows. It snowed again tonight which increases the likelihood of cold calves and losing ears. I have our entryway prepped. I have the storm door propped open so he only has to get through one door with a calf. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got an old sheet out on the ďŹ&#x201A;oor to try to keep the mess to a minimum. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll stay in place as long as our cat doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t decide itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a play thing. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got the baby gates ready in case we get a four-legged runner. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m ready to throw my muck boots on and enter the calf warming fray.But for now I wait, for a text that tells me a tag number and sex of my potential customer or the sound of him pulling up in the pickup. Do I go back to bed and get a few more minutes of sleep? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easier said than done because I know my hubby is out in the snow and wind with the pickup and a ďŹ&#x201A;ashlight, checking for cold calves and dodging protective mamas. It sure would be easier to be our

ELIZABETH SHIPSTEAD / FOR FARM AND RANCH

girls, sleeping through the ruckus. But then again that wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t afford me the opportunity to pull together with my hubby in this calf saving quest. It seems weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on the downside of this spring time, yet winter-like storm system. We have lost more calves than Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like. In my mind, one is too many. My hubby reminds me that even a 96 percent calving rate is great. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had 12 calves in my entryway. Not all at one time, mind you. My record number of calves in the entryway at one time is four. This calving season is deďŹ nitely one for the record books. Yesterday morning, after a wakeful night the night before, I was discouraged and allowing myself to be brought down by the calves we have lost and the ones that we continue to ďŹ ght to save. A friend texted and asked me how it was going, which prompted me to do something I hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t done yet. For the ďŹ rst time, I took the calving book and counted every single one of the calves who are alive and kicking. Seventy-one. Seventy-one healthy, bouncing, See CALVING FRAY Page 10

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May May2018 2018

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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Glasgow Stockyardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Production Reports

FOR FARM AN RANCH Big Dry Angus of Jordan, Mont., had their 30th annual Bull Auction on April 19. They sold 78 bulls for an average of $3,792. The top ten averaged $7,475. Volume buyers were Hoverson Ranch of Jordan with ďŹ ve bulls; Scott Ross of Jordan, Craig Miller of Miles City and Barnard Ranch of Hinsdale all purchased four bulls. The top bull was $9,000 and sold to Kent Johring of Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Neill, Neb. BDAR Royal E9 is herd bull potential. He was sired by Sitz Royal 9784 who has a very good disposition, overall completeness and individual performance. Connealy Cool was on the dam side. BDAR Royal E9: 6# BWT; 752 Adj. WW; 112 WW Ratio and114 YW Ratio. Johring also purchased Lot 5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; BDAR Royal E5. Another Sitz Royal Connealy Cool Cross, selling for $7,250 BW 80#; Adj. WW 700; WW Ratio 104; YW Ratio 115. Lot 35, BDAR JDM Conception E40, sold to Robert Nagel of Circle for $8,500. Another potential herd bull, sired by SAV Resource 1441 out of an OCC Montana Dream Dam. SAV Resource is one of the most popular

sires in the breed. Conception E40 is long, deep, big scrotaled and packed with muscle. BW 88#; Adj. WW 801; WW Ratio 119; YW Ratio 110. On April 12, Eayrs Angus Ranch sold 48 bulls averaging $2,989. The top bull was purchased by Barnard Ranch of Hinsdale for $5,000. The top ten bulls averaged $3,825. Volume buyers were the Beil Ranch of Hinsdale, Bruce Ferguson of Fort Peck and Steve Wanderaas of Vida. The high selling bull lot 537 was sired by a son of Black Cedar 46P. A 70# birth weight; 642 adj. 205; 100 weaning ratio; 37.5 scotal and an 88 fertility score. Lot 210 went to Scott Fossum of Glasgow for $4,000. Sired by Sinclair Emulation 5FX1. He had an 87# birth weight; 767 adj. 205; 119 weaning ratio; 38 scrotal and fertility score of 92. Bowles J5 13th Annual Red Angus Bull & Female Production Auction was on April 5. Jim, Julie, Brady & Tracy Bowles sold 34 Red Angus bulls averaging $3,338. The top bull sold for $5,500 and the top ten averaged $4,525. They also sold 47 Red Angus heifSee PRODUCTION REPORTS Page 10

You Can Prevent Resistance to Herbicides Part II of Chemical-Resistant Weeds

MERYL RYGG MCKENNA FOR FARM AND RANCH Part I of this series (which was printed in Aprilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s edition of Hi-Line Farm and Ranch) addressed the development of herbicide resistance. Part II focuses on the prevention and management of herbicide resistance. At least seven species of weeds in Montana are already identiďŹ ed as resistant to speciďŹ c herbicides. These include kochia (also known as ďŹ reweed, burningbush, or summer cypress), wild oat, Persian darnel, downy brome (cheatgrass), Russian thistle, horseweed, and green foxtail. Chuck Gatzemeier, a certiďŹ ed crop adviser in the Cut Bank area, said herbicide-resistant weeds are now a signiďŹ cant issue across the country. Some Midwestern and Southern states have pigweeds such as Palmer amaranth and waterhemp that have developed resistance to several herbicide groups (also called modes of action). Kochia resistance to glyphosate (Group 9), dicamba (Group 4) and sulfonylurea (Group 2) has been conďŹ rmed in Montana. Wild oat and Persian darnel biotypes resistant to Group 1 and Group 2 herbicides are an increasing concern for Montana cereal producers. Resistant

kochia has been conďŹ rmed in Wyoming. Herbicide resistance is increasing in the provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba, with 68 percent of Manitobaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ elds having at least one herbicide resistant weed. Diagnosing resistant weeds If you applied herbicide and your weeds did not die, consider these questions: One, is the weed species in question listed on the herbicide label? Two, have you used the same herbicide or herbicide group number on the same ďŹ eld for several consecutive years? Repetition increases the chance for resistance. Three, has the level of weed control decreased recently, even when following label instructions? If the species is listed on the herbicide label, then surviving plants may be resistant to the herbicideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mode of action. Four, are there other cases of herbicide-resistant weeds in your area? Seed from resistant plants can spread to or from your ďŹ elds. The Weed Lab at Montanaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Southern Agricultural Research Center offers free resistance testing for growers across the state. If you suspect any herbicide-resistant issues, please contact Prashant Jha, MSU weed scientist, for information on sending samples. Jha can be reached by phone, 406-348-3400, or email, See HERBICIDE RESISTANCE Page 11

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Herbicide Resistance CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 pjha@montana.edu. Countering resistance Most importantly, sprayer speed, spray volume, and application rate (product rate per acre) must be followed according to the herbicide label. Secondly, avoid spraying below 10 gallons of tank mix per acre to ensure adequate coverage and minimal weed escapes and regrowth. Remember that driving too fast while spraying can prevent the weeds from getting a full dose of herbicid. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t rely solely on herbicides. Integrate different management practices, such as diverse crop rotations and occasional mechanical plowing; both can break up weed life-cycles. Tillage is especially effective in reducing small-seeded kochia and Russian thistle seed band. If you must use herbicides, use them in rotation or in mixtures; vary the group numbers so you employ different modes of action. Jha said that herbicide mixtures are better than annual herbicide rotations in preventing or delaying herbicide resistance. Scout your ďŹ elds for live weeds after herbicide application. Clean your equipment before leaving a ďŹ eld to prevent spread of resistant biotypes from one ďŹ eld to another. Make post-harvest weed control part of your regular ďŹ eld practice. Take steps to manage weeds, especially those going to seed, as quickly as possible after harvest. If you apply herbicide in very hot, dry weather, the product may volatilize to the air before it touches the plant. You must add the full recommended rates of adjuvants, water conditioners, or pH buffers (acidiďŹ ers) to allow better penetration and movement of the herbicide into the plant in hard water situations or hot, dry weather. Avoid spraying under dusty conditions. Timing of herbicide application is also key to reducing resistance. Spray weeds before they are 4 inches tall; they are most susceptible at this stage. At 6 to 8 inches tall, they are more tolerant to herbicide and harder to kill. Herbicide is then wasted. Effectively manage weed infestations in

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FARM & FARM & RANCH RANCH ďŹ eld borders, fence lines, and roadsides/ditch banks by all possible means â&#x20AC;&#x201D; herbicides, mowing, cutting, or tilling. Borders are common areas for the spread of herbicide-resistant weeds, especially for weeds that can tumble across the landscape, such as kochia and Russian thistle. Spray within seven days after a rain while newly germinated weeds are small and easy to kill. Remove survivors by any possible means, and deďŹ nitely before they set seed. Remember that some weed seeds are only viable for one or two years, while others remain viable for decades. Gatzemeier said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The use of soil-applied herbicides with pulse crops is an excellent management practice incorporating different modes of action. Usually these products perform much better applied in fall than in spring. Look at the label for plant-back restrictions to plan ahead for the next cereal or oilseed crop,â&#x20AC;? to account for residual herbicide in the soil. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Golden Triangle,â&#x20AC;? a high wheatproduction area in north central Montana, is a current hot spot for resistant weeds mostly because thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of chem-fallow, Gatzemeier said. Other areas have gone to a more diverse crop rotation and have less chemical resistance. A long-term study conducted by Jha at the Southern Agricultural Research Center shows that a more diverse crop rotation can drastically reduce the proportion of resistant weed seeds in the soil seed bank. The same recommendations apply to fungicide applications. Change or mix modes of action for consecutive chemical applications to avoid developing fungus resistance. Gatzemeier said that a few years ago, chickpeas that had the disease Ascochyta blight were sprayed with Headline. Within two years, the fungus causing Ascochyta blight became resistant and Headline no longer worked. Scout all ďŹ elds for recurring disease. Chemical resistance is a growing problem. Everyone who uses agricultural chemicals will contribute â&#x20AC;&#x201D; either to the problem or to the solution. For more information on certiďŹ ed crop advisers, or to ďŹ nd one near you, go to www. certiďŹ edcropadviser.org.

Farm Service Agency Makes Administrative Change to Livestock Indemnity Program JENNIFER COLE FOR FARM AND RANCH Starting April 24, agricultural producers who have lost livestock to disease, resulting from a weather disaster, have an additional way to become eligible for a key U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance program. USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey announced an administrative clariďŹ -

cation nationwide to the Livestock Indemnity Program. In the event of disease, this change by USDAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Farm Service Agency (FSA) authorizes local FSA county committees to accept veterinarian certiďŹ cations that livestock deaths were directly related to adverse weather and unpreventable through good animal husbandry and management. The committees may then use this certiďŹ cation to allow eligibility for See FSA CHANGES Page 12

APR Grazing Action CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10

Albers expressed concern that such an action would establish a precedent for future actions that would require an EIS for more mundane or routine grazing requests. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to be careful of what precedents we set and what level of analysis we undertake.â&#x20AC;? Confronted with the idea that American Prairieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s request ran contrary to land management precedents, not only supported but promoted by BLM for decades. Albers responded by saying, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Absolutely rotational grazing has worked really well. It brought us out of the open range days. It brought the range back in good condition, but there is a lot of new science coming out that says thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not the only way to manage these prairies.â&#x20AC;? Albers took on directly concerns that American Prairie is receiving unfair treatment from BLM stating, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve heard from a lot of folks that they feel weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re giving unfair treatment to APR. Well I would say to that, that any operation out there that says they want to adopt something akin to what APR is doing or some part of it, bring us a proposal. Come in, show us what your proposal is, why you think that will work and why you think it will ďŹ t into your operation and show that at the end of the day that you meet standards and guides. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll absolutely consider that.â&#x20AC;? According to BLMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website, the 1934 Taylor Grazing Act set up grazing districts for the management and regulation of rangelands. Then in the 1960s such laws as the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969; the Endangered Species Act of 1973; and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 changed public management of rangeland by BLM. BLMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website states, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The agency began to improve the management or protection of speciďŹ c rangeland resources such as riparian areas; threatened and endangered species; sensitive plant species; and cultural or historical objects. Consistent with this enhanced role, the BLM developed or modiďŹ ed the terms and conditions of grazing permits and leases. The agency also implemented new range improvement projects to address speciďŹ c resource issues.â&#x20AC;? This is the environment in which BLM is currently assessing American Prairieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s request. Albers stated that under current language of the Taylor Grazing Act, an applicant is no longer required to be engaged in the livestock industry, but just needs to be a corporation or

11 May2018 2018 11 May individual licensed to operate in the United States and use the land for grazing livestock. Under current law, APRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bison are livestock and not wildlife and as such APR can maintain BLM grazing permits by running their bison on those properties irrespective of whether they are engaged in the livestock industry or not. Albers refused to engage in speculation about American Prairieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greater goal of establishing a 3.5 million acre preserve encompassing the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge and the Missouri River Breaks National Monument. He stated, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We view that as a highly speculative goal which would take a myriad of decisions and changes by many, many levels of government for anything like that to happen. What we have in front of us today is a proposal for a grazing change from cattle to bison and the intended fencing changes and so that is what we get to assess.â&#x20AC;? Albers acknowledge points of contention in the agriculture community but clariďŹ ed that BLM has nothing to hide in this. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want this to be as open and transparent as possible,â&#x20AC;? said Albers explaining, â&#x20AC;&#x153;that is why we are doing scoping.â&#x20AC;? The BLM District Manager also took to task the idea that the assessment was tainted because it was being prepared by a third-party contractor being paid for by American Prairie by stating, â&#x20AC;&#x153;this is a common practice in other parts of BLM. For instance, in water and gas development. We ask the proposal proponent to pay for that analysis by a third-party contractor. We do that instead of tying up inordinate amounts of staff time so that we can continue to work on other projects.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;All we can do is our very best to keep this open and get the information out there that is relevant to do our best to keep this on an even keel,â&#x20AC;? said Albers, discussing the agencies role in moving forward and conducting the EA. The comment period for scoping is still open until May 9. Furthermore, following BLMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s EA a second round of comments and meetings will be held speciďŹ cally on the ďŹ ndings. Scoping comments can be emailed to blm_scoping_ncmd@blm.gov or mailed to APR Scoping Comment, BLM Malta Field OfďŹ ce, 47285 Highway 2, Malta, MT 59538. Comments are subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, so do not provide personally identiďŹ able information you do not want made public.

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Poison Hemlock Gaining Foothold in Northeast Montana

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Lukas Johnson, Brett Dallas Capdeville, Kyle and Patti Armbrister at Lukas Johnson, BrettJohnson, Johnson, Dallas KyleAlbus, Albus,Wyatt WyattPattison Pattison andAdvisor Advisor at JOSEPH M. DITOMASO / FOR FARMCapdeville, AND RANCH CHRIS EVANS / FORPatti FARMArmbrister AND RANCH the state convenstion in Billings. the state convenstion in Billings. Poison hemlock plant. Joseph M. DiTomaso, University Purple mottling on lower stem of poison hemlock. WYATT WYATTPATTISON PATTISON of California HINSDALE HINSDALECHAPTER CHAPTERREPORTER REPORTER

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Creed third place winner and greenhand second place winner Mickayla Johnson accepting an award at the state convention in in Billings. Billings. state convention Flowers of poison hemlock. competing they went went to to various various workshops workshopspresented presentedby bypast paststate stateofďŹ cers ofďŹ cersand andeven evennational nationalofďŹ cers. ofďŹ cers. competing they Three of our younger members, Elise Strommen, Chaykota Christensen and Halle Beil Three of our younger members, Elise Strommen, Chaykota Christensen and Halle Beil served on the the courtesy courtesy corp corp and and helped helped out out with with contests contests whenever whenever needed. needed. Our Ourfive fiveseseserved on niors, Lukas Johnson, Brett Johnson, Dallas Capdeville, Kyle Albus and Wyatt Pattiniors, Lukas Johnson, Brett Johnson, Dallas Capdeville, Kyle Albus and Wyatt Pattison were awarded awarded their their State State Farmer Farmer Degrees Degrees at at the the State State Degree Degree dinner dinner on on Friday Fridaynight. night. son were There were over over 500 500 members, members, advisors advisors and and their their families familiesattending attendingthat thatdinner. dinner.Mickayla MickaylaJohnson Johnson There were competed for star star greenhand greenhand and and received receivedsecond secondplace. place.She Shealso alsocompeted competedwith withother othercreed creedspeakers speakers competed for from around the state and received third. from around the state and received third. Creed third place winner /and greenhand PEDRO TENORIO-LEZAMA FOR FARM ANDsecond RANCHplace winner Mickayla Johnson accepting an award at the

at self-distribution throughout of 25 North The Farmers ofofAmerican) was Billings March -- 28. SHELLEY MILLS TheState State(Future (Future Farmers American)FFA FFAConvention Convention washeld held in in Billings on onmost March 25 28. America. It growsin there is adequate Over members from around to State ranging from FOR FARM AND RANCH Over1,500 1,500FFA FFA members from aroundthe thestate stategathered gathered to compete compete inwhere State CDEs, CDEs, ranging from moisture and frequent disturbance, such as mechanics mechanicstotopublic publicspeaking. speaking. stream bedsYounkin, and ďŹ&#x201A;ood plains. in It more Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had quite a few questions and reTen members of the Hinsdale chapter, including Sophomore Cache competed mechanTen members of the Hinsdale chapter, including along Sophomore Cache Younkin, competed inis mechancompetitive in moister soils but can tolerate quests for identiďŹ cation of a large plant that ics, agronomy, farm business management, star greenhand and state creed speaking. When they werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t ics, agronomy, farm business management, star greenhand and state creed speaking. When they werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t resembles wild carrot a.k.a. Queen Anneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drought due to its large taproot. All parts of the hemlock plant are highly lace. The plant is Poison Hemlock and it has been cropping up throughout the region in toxic to humans and livestock, with the roots areas like gardens, shelterbelts, and even back and lower stems being most toxic. Two alkaalleys. Poison hemlock is a member of the loids that affect the reproductive system and parsley or carrot family Apiaceae, which it can the central nervous system are responsible    for the poisonous nature of the plant. Sympbe mistaken for. It can reach heights of three             toms of poisoning can occur in **as little as 30 "  #$  to eight feet tall and has a deep taproot. The "  #$  * "  #$  root has an odor similar to carrots or parsnips, minutes and include nervousness, trembling,

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 # from loss of coordination, dilabut the foliage has a deep musty smell. It is muscular weakness, from each each way way weak or slow heartbeat, a biennial, producing a large rosette the ďŹ rst tion of the pupils, a each way and fees including includingall all taxes taxes from and fees coma and eventually death year and usually remains in the vegetative 

 including all taxes and fees respiratory    ! CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11  !        ! state until the second year when it produces paralysis. Though all classes of livestock are   producers on a case-by-case basis for LIP.

# affected by hemlock, cattle, goats and horses tall ďŹ&#x201A;owering shoots. The ďŹ&#x201A;owering shoots

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# â&#x20AC;&#x153;This change is part of USDAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s broader are hollow with the exception of where the are particularly sensitive to the poisonous   effort to better serve Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farmers, ranchleaf branches attach (nodes). The leaves are alkaloids.  ers and foresters through ďŹ&#x201A;exible and effective To manage poison hemlock it is critical alternately arranged on the stem and can be programs,â&#x20AC;? said Northey. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s farmers quite large â&#x20AC;&#x201C; up to  12 inches long and four to prevent the plant from expanding its in  feed our nation and much of the world, and inches wide. They are pinnately compound festation. Spot applications of herbicides or throughout history they have known good meaning that they are made up of several manually removing the plant with a hoe will years and bad years. But when disaster strikes, pairs of leaďŹ&#x201A;ets attached to a leaf stem. One help to manage small infestations, but larger USDA is ready to step in and help.â&#x20AC;? key diagnostic characteristic of hemlock is the infestations may require a more aggressive LIP provides beneďŹ ts to agricultural propurple mottling on the lower stem. Hemlock approach. Halting seed production is critiducers for livestock deaths in excess of normal also lacks the hairs that are found on the stems cal to reducing its expansion since that is its Enjoy Enjoythe the ride. Enjoy the ride. mortality caused by adverse weather, disease and leaves of other members ofride. the carrot fam- only method of reproduction, so mowing can or by attacks by animals reintroduced into ily. Flowering occurs in July and August with be used as a control measure. Always wear the wild by the federal government. Eligible white ďŹ&#x201A;owers arranged in a broad umbrella gloves when touching the plant, particularly weather events include earthquakes, hail, shape comprised of a bunch of small ďŹ&#x201A;owers the roots and lower stems. tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, blizzard and For more information on Poison Hemlock on a single stem branching from the terminal ANDREWMCKEAN MCKEAN/ /FOR FORTHE THEHI-LINE HI-LINEFARM FARM&&RANCH RANCH 800-CAPE-AIR capeair.com 800-CAPE-AIR capeair.com 800-CAPE-AIR PEDRO TENORIO-LEZAMA / FOR FARM AND RANCH ďŹ&#x201A;ooding.ANDREW contact your local MSU Extension ofďŹ ce and stalk (Seecapeair.com photos). Lih-An Yang, Merlin, Iris and Ellis Ellis McKean McKean work workon onclearing clearing outaabeaver beaver damalong along theLittle Little Brazil Creek, out dam the Brazil Creek, Producers interested in LIP or other USDA ask for the MontGuide for hemlock written Poison hemlock is from Europe andFares was Flowers of poison hemlock. *Fares subjecttoto availability and other conditions. may notice, and are not guaranteed until ticketed. *Fares are toavailability availability andother otherconditions. conditions. Fares maychange changewithout without notice, and are not guaranteed until ticketed. *Fares are subject and may change without notice, and are not guaranteed until ticketed. of Glasgow. southwest disaster assistance programs should contact introduced to North American in the 1800â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s by Monica Pokorny, Stacy Davis and Jane their local USDA service center. as an ornamental. It has been very successful Mangold.

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PUTTING IN SOME DAM DAM WORK WORK FSA Changes

YOUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;REREADING READINGHI-LINE HI-LINEFARM FARM & RANCH â&#x20AC;&#x201C; THE AG MONTHLY FOR NORTHEAST & NORTH YOUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;RE NORTH CENTRAL CENTRALMONTANA MONTANA

Bulls Stay Stay Steady Steady Bulls

Glasgow Stockyard's Production Reports - Page 2 BLM Answers Questions on APR Request - Page 10 FSA Makes Changes to Livestock Indemnity - Page 11 Bull sales remain strong and the market Bull sales remain strong and the market remainsatataasteady steadyhigh high//Page Page2 2 remains

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