News & Alerts

Season 1

  • Episode 1: Montana Cattle Industry
  • Episode 2: Schutter Diagnostic Lab
  • Episode 3: Invasive Plants Part 1
  • Episode 4: Invasive Plants Part 2
  • Episode 5: Science Cast
  • Episode 6: 2020 in Review
  • Stream Season 1 Now Via Apply Podcasts, Good Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher

Season 2

  • Extension Values and the Value of Extension
    • Listen to "Value of Extension" Podcast Episode
    • This episode will take a brief detour from agriculture and focus on MSU Extension as a whole.
    • Extension Agent Jackie Rumph, Extension Specialist Tara Mastel and Extension Executive Director Cody Stone join Mat Walter as special guests.
    • Mat and guests discuss how Extension develops programming that supports all of Montana across multiple disciplines and needs. And of course, the impact that Covid-19 has had on our organization and the way we provide our programming.

Register for Hay U Webinar Series

March 18, 2021

  • Alfalfa and Annual Forage Planting and Stand Establishment
  • Dr. Hayes Goosey
    • MSU Extension Forage Specialist

March 25, 2021

  • Forage Crop Management and Pest Control
  • Dr. Hayes Goosey

April 1, 2021

  • Harvest and Storage of Forages
  • Dr. Hayes Goosey

April 8, 2021

  • Hay Quality for Livestock
  • Dr. Megan Van Emon
    • MSU Extension Beef Cattle Specialist

April 15, 2021

  • Hay Valuation
  • Dr. George Haynes
    • MSU Agricultural Economics & Economics Professor and Agricultural Policy Specialist
Hay U Webinar Schedule Image

2021 Montana Next Generation Conference Videos

For the presentation slides and handouts, visit

Important Dates and Events
Title of Presentation Date Time Location Information Registration Information

Agricultural Economics Virtual Conference in March

Friday, March 5, 2021 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM



MSU Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics and MSU Extension will host a 2021 Agricultural Economics Outlook Conference

This event is free and open to the public and will be a virtual conference.

Register for Economics Conference Here

Soil Health Innovation Conference

March 8 and 9, 2021

8:30 AM to 3 PM

Both Days


Guest Speakers:

  • Rick Clark
  • Dr. Buz Kloot
  • Dr. Bianca Moebius
  • Dr. Fed Provenza
  • Dr. Cindy Daley
  • Rex Dufour
  • Dr. Dorn Cox
  • Dr. Phillip Owens
  • Cooper Hibbard
  • Dr. Clain Jones
  • Dan Kittredge
  • Elyssa McFardland
  • Aria McLauchlan
  • Dr. Mike Morris
  • Dr. Jeff Mosley
  • Laura Wood Peterson
  • Dave Scott
  • Arohi Sharma
  • Chinmay Soman
  • Dr. Kristen Veum

Register for Soil Health Innovation Conference

The Soil Health Innovation Conference will bring together producers, industry professionals, educators, and students who are at the cutting edge of soil health across the country, including on - farm practices, soil biology, carbon markets, and public policy.

Registration fee is $75, or a discounted $50 for farmers and ranchers.

For more information or if you have questions, contact Alyssa Ness at or Sandra Booth at

(406) 494-4572

Agricultural Economics Conference

Friday, March 5, 2021 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM Online

Montana Commodity Market Update

  • Eric Belasco

Recreational Marijuana

  • Tino Sonora

Economic Impact of Agriculture in Montana

  • Joel Shumacher

Farm Labor Supply and Rising H-2A Guest Worker Demand

  • Diane Charlton

Economic Impact of Covid-19 and Stimulus Programs

  • George Haynes

Register for Agricultural Economics Conference here


Invasive Diseases of Landscape Trees

Tuesday, March 9, 2021 11:00 AM Pacific Time Online

Marion Murray (IPM Poject Leader at Utah State University) discusses tree diseases that occur in Utah, or diseases to watch out for.

These include bleeding canker, bacterial scorch, pine wilt, and others!

Registration for Tree Diseases Webinar

Utah Industrial Hemp Seminar

March 10 - 11, 2021

March 10th

  • 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

March 11th

  • 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM

A variety of professionals addressing hemp as a commercial agricultural crop in Utah.

Registration for Utah Hemp Seminar

Small Farms Bootcamp

Monday, March 15, 2021

6:30 PM to 8:00 PM



A workshop series to help small farmers and agri-business people learn about land management and farm enterprise options. Open to land owners and farmers of any size, market, gardeners, orchardists, livestock producers and those who think principles in small farm sustainable agriculture are beneficial.

Topics covered include:

  • Understanding soil science and soil health
  • Agricultural plant communitities
  • Weed management and integrated control options
  • Livestock integration
  • Fruit, berries, and other high value perennial crops
  • Marketing your farm products
  • Goal and management plans

$50 fee for class and materials

Register for the Small Farms Bootcamp

Contact the Missoula County Extension Office before March 10th for more information and to register.



Cold-Hardy Berry Varieties Suited for the Mountain West

Thursday March 18, 2021

11:00 AM

Pacific Time


This presentation will highlight berry and small fruit varieties that are well suited for growing in the Intermountain West.

Considerations for cold hardiness, soil conditions, pests, and market opportunities will be included.

Register for Cold-Hardy Berry Webinar

Integrated Pest Management  (IPM) for Spotted Lanternfly

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

1:30 PM MDT


This topic is a continuation of our IPM for Tree Pests webinar series  and will review one of the newest invasive challenges to face trees in the U.S. - the spotted laternfly.

This webinar will present the latest in prevention and control strategies used by arborits, including pesticides (biopesticides and conventional pesticides), cultural controls, and biological controls.

Register for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Spotted Lanternfly

Drone Applications for Biologists

Two-part Workshop

April 15 - 16, 2021

April 22 - 23, 2021

April 15th

  • 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM Pacific Time

April 16th

  • 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM Pacific Time

April 22

  • 8:00 AM - 1:30 PM Pacific Time

April 23

  • 8:00 AM - 1:30 PM Pacific Time


This virutal workshop is designed to provide an overview of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology, regulations, and image analysis in support of drone applications.

Additionally, the intructors will discuss geospatial technology for monitoring and mapping natural resources with hands-on experience on practical examples.

Read more information and register for Drone Applications Workshop


Crop Resources

Article Title

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease in Montana

Click link above to read the full article!

U.S. Cow Herd Continues to Slowly Shrink

Click link above to read the full article!

USDA Forecasts Higher Sales and Lower Farm Income in 2021

Click link above to read the full article!

Buckwheat: A Hazard to Montana's Export Markets

Click link above to read the full article!


Helena, MT

  • February 5, 2021, the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) received notification of four rabbits in Yellowstone County tested positive for Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD).
  • Samples from the rabbit were submitted to the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in New York State where infection was confirmed.
  • RHD is highly fatal.
  • The disease affects both domestic and wild rabbits.
  • The virus does not affect humans or other domestic animals.
  • The USDA released its semi-annual cattle inventory last month, and although the numbers largly came in where the industry expected them to, the report does offer insight into the future direction of cattle markets.
  • Surveyed producers were asked to report their cattle inventories and calf crop for the entire year of 2020. All cattle and calves in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021 totaled 93.6 million head, slightly under the 2020 number.
  • The tightening of cattle supplies should lend support to cattle prices as less cows means a smaller calf crop, which eventuall leads to lower beef supplies. Much of the recovery of cattle prices, will depends on beef demand. Demand has been a strength over the last year for the cattle industry.
  • Farmers and Ranchers are expected to receive higher cash value for their crops and livestock in 2021, but direct government payments will fall this year, leading to an overall 8.1% decline in net farm income for the year.
  • An early 2021 farm income forecast by USDA also coincided with a monthly and annual update on trade data by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census Bureau showed record overall U.S. farm exports for 2020 with sales to China up 43% from 2019.
  • USDA released a statement on Feb 5 noting the farm income and trade numbers "reflect a growing need to ramp up our focus on expanding existing markets to create new opportunities for farmers, ranchers, and producers at home and abroad."
  • The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee is reminding producers to ensure that wheat shipments destine for export are buckwheat - free.
  • Tame buckwheat is a deadly allergen in Asian counties. It is often compared to peanut allergies, carrying different levels of reaction severity, ranging from mild to extreme.
  • Use of buckwheat must be excluded from cover crops planting in rotation or adjacent to fields with wheat production of abstain from growing wheat as a commodity for 2 calendar years after planting buckwheat.
  • Use of buckwheat must be excluded from pollinator plantings in rotation with or adjecent to fields currently planted or that will be planted to commodity wheat within the next 2 years.
  • There is ZERO tolerance for export elevator deliveries exposed to buckwheat.

Monthly Weed Posts

MT Harvest of the Month

Livestock Resources

Article Title

Pesticide Education Program

Managing Drought on the Ranch

Beef MOOving Minutes

Article Highlights

PEP is an educational program promoting the proper use of pesticides to protect public health and the environment.

"Managing Drought on the Ranch" Article covers:

  • Grasses and Drought
  • Grazing and Drought
  • Financial Considerations
  • Planning
  • Weather and Drought
  • Livestock and Drought
  • Before, during, and after drought

Monthly Updates on cattle information, management, and care.

February 2021

  • Lice Management for Cattle
    • Be on the lookout for lice year. As our temperatures start to drop, lice may become an issue on your cows, bulls, and calves.
    • Lice infestation tpically occur on beef cattle that are stressed from the cold weather, inadequate nutrition, have internal parasite infestation, or have lowered immune systems.
    • Heavy lice infestations can result in reduced feed efficiency, millk production, and weight gains.
More related links

Montana Private Applicator Training Program

Pesticide News

Pesticide Resources

New Applicators and Recertifying

Rangeland Drought Resilience

Follow this link to view MOOving minutes from 2019 and 2020

Beef MOOving Minutes


*If interested in buying or selling hay, please feel free to contact the office, 406-566-2277 ext 104 or 105

Services Offered at the Office

High-Nitrate levels have been prevalent across Montana during the past three years.

One of the major drawbacks of cereal forages is that under stress conditions (heat, drought, frost, nutrient, etc.) these crops can accumulate levels of nitrate that are toxic to livestock.

A number of chronic symptoms of nitrate poisoning occur in livestock, but in severe cases abortions and deaths are common.

The hay probe is a stainless steel tube with a sharp cutting end.

Probes are simply pushed through the bale.

One core should be sampled from at least 20 randomly selected bales of hay.

Get your hay tested to find out the level of nutrients in the hay to determine how much to feed to your livestock.

  • Energy
  • Protein
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • Water

Time to Test Your Hay!

Soil testing is used to determine whether aluminum toxicity or other issues related to soil acidification are teh causes of poor crop growth.

Soil Sampling

How much hay do you need?

  • Depends on location and winter conditions, you will need a one to four month supply of hay per cow.

Why test forages?

  • Hay is fed in large quantities, and thorough forage testing is the first step to design an economical winter feeding strategy.
  • Hay is the bulk package to deliver energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals to cattle, sheep, and horse.
  • Hay can be tested accurately and inexpensively.

How do I get a hay or straw sample?

  • Every hay "lot" should be sampled separately.
  • A hay lot is defined as hay taken from the same field and cut, harvested within 48 hours, and stored under the same conditions.
  • Samples are obtained by using a hay probe in randomly selected bales.
  • Probe should be inserted 12 to 18 inches into bales.

Where do I send a roughage sample for testing?

What tests should be run on my hay?

  • For a winter feeding program in Montana, the primary winter feeding tests are: Crude Protein (CP), Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) and Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF).

What are some special considerations?

  • Winter Tetany and Nitrate Toxicity are a concern during late gestation due to stress and high roughage intake.
  • Forages grown on many Montana soils are deficient in the trace minerals copper and zinc, testing can detect these levels.

How do I put it all together?

  • Once you get results back from the lab, use the information to balance rations to provide the desired levels of productivity.
  • Stop by in the office if you need help figuring out rations or have more questions!

Stop by in the office or call to get more information on how to determine rations or step-up your rations.

This link below is also a great resource. It is based on feeding a 4-H steer but it has all the information needed to help you determine how to change your rations.

Step Up Rations

MontGuides are a great resource to use whether you are wondering about AG related information or Human Resource related information.

There is a MontGuide for just about everything.

Stop by in the office to pick one up or click the link below to be taken to the pages to find and download your MontGuide.

MSU Extension Economics Publications and MontGuides

Stop by the office to pick up or browse publications or visit this link to browse through and download them online!


At the office we have a smaller livestock scale that is perfect for weighing small calves, pigs, and sheep!

We do rent it out if needed!

The Pesticide Applicator Training (PAT) Program is for individuals and/or their employees who wish to apply Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs) to land they own, rent or lease for the purpose of growing an agricultural commodity.

Private Applicator Training Program

To Become a License as a Private Applicator

Private applicators must be licensed prior to purchasing and using restricted use pesticides. To become a certified an applicator has two options: (1) take an exam or (2) attend an Initial Private Applicator Training.

Montana Private Applicator Certification Exam

The Montana Private Applicator Cerfication Exam can be taken here at the Judith Basin County MSU Extension Office. The exam has 50 questions and must be passed with a 70% or better. The exam is open book and not timed. Contact office to set up a time to take your exam.

Initial Private Applicator Training

An Initial Private Applicator Traiing is a seven hour program covering the basics of pesticide use. Upon completion of the program applicators must take an ungraded 50 question exam. Initial Private Applicator Trainings must adhere to criteria set forth for initial programs. Contact the Extension office for information about trainings.

License Fees

Private applicators must pay $12 for each year of the cycle for a total of $60 per each 5 year cycle recertification cycle to the Montana Department of Agriculture. This fee is to be paid at the time of licensing and when the license is renewed.

Paraquat Training for Pesticide Applicators

An online paraquat training is available, created by pesticide manufacturers and approved by the EPA. This training provides information about paraquat's toxicity, person protective equipment, new label requirements, restrictions, and the consequences of misuse.

Applicators must print out certificates online and retain for their own records. In addition, the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) wil retain certification records as well.

In order to take this training you will need an email address to set up a guest account.