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Montana Ag Network: May 21st Report – Judith Basin Conservation District range school, trade talks

Posted: 6:33 PM, May 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-21 20:42:15-04

The Judith Basin Conservation District is hosting its annual range school on May 29 and 30.

This year’s event will feature Johann Zietsman, a world-renowned speaker from Zimbabwe. Zietsman will be in Hobson at the Bos Terra Feed Lot for the two-day seminar on livestock management and grazing.

Zietsman will share proven concepts for selecting and utilizing the best adapted genetics with ultra-high-density grazing resulting in much higher profitability per acre while greatly improving the land.

Teresa Wilhelms with the Judith Basin Conservation District said the information will be something ranchers have not heard in Montana before.

“I think it’s an opportunity for ranchers to learn from a renowned research specialist who has created new grazing management plans and research on genetics,” said Wihelms. “Ranchers that have attended his workshops in parts of the U.S. say they did increase their profit utilizing Zietsman’s knowledge. It’s a totally different analogy than what they’ve heard before in Montana.”

A $30 registration fee includes lunch, snacks, and drinks for both days, in addition to the admittance to the range school. For more information, contact Teresa Wilhelms at the Judith Basin Conservation District 406-566-2311, ext 107. You can also register here .

The U.S. trade talks with China seem to be a long way from wrapping up. However, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is trying to assure producers that when an agreement is reached, China will purchase even more farm goods than before the trade dispute began.

In the meantime, the Trump Administration is still working on a short-term trade relief package for farmers and ranchers burned by retaliatory tariffs from China. Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said this round of trade aid will look different than the first round.

“First of all, we got to study what the Chinese tariffs will be going to impact and this round different than last round,” said Northey. “So we have to understand that that analysis is being done.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the timing of the trade aid is different this time around. The last trade package came out during harvest. The latest round is occurring during planting. Because of that detail, the USDA does not want to impact farmers planting decisions.

“One of our criteria is not to influence planting decisions by a trade mitigation package,” said Northey. “So whatever we end up doing we want that to not influence the decision. I would remind farmers to plant for the market. Don’t plant for a package that’s yet to be decided what it is.”

The later the package is announced, the less chance it will influence farmers planting decisions. That announcement has yet to be determined. Agriculture groups are firm that would rather have trade, and not aid from USDA.

In other news, the USDA has released this weeks crop progress numbers.

In Montana, winter wheat conditions were rated as 69 percent good to excellent compared to 64 percent this time last year.

A reporter in Judith Basin County noted the winter wheat is struggling from the tough winter, but is recovering slowly.

Sixty-nine percent of spring wheat has been planted, ahead of last year’s 63% pace but behind the five-year average of 82 percent.

-Reported by Lane Nordlund/MTN News