BILLINGS — Russell Nemetz has the Montana Ag Network report for Friday, March 6, 2020:
#1: This past week hog producers from across the nation including our region were in Kansas City for the National Pork Industry Forum. One of the attendees was John Rouser from Toston, who says a big issue up for discussion was African Swine Fever.
#2: Farmers and ranchers may apply to enroll grasslands in the Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands signup beginning March 16. The signup runs through May 15. Through CRP Grasslands, participants retain the right to conduct common grazing practices, such as haying, mowing or harvesting seed from the enrolled land. Timing of some activities may be restricted by the primary nesting season of birds. Participants will receive an annual rental payment and may receive up to 50 percent cost-share for establishing approved conservation practices. The duration of the CRP contract is either 10 or 15 years. For more information or to enroll in CRP Grasslands, contact your local FSA county office or visit the Farm Service Agency’s website.
#3: The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act or Senate Bill 1822. The legislation which was approved by the Senate last year now heads to President Trump for his signature. The DATA Act requires broadband providers to report more specific data to create a significantly more accurate and granular National Broadband Map. With more precise data, federal agencies can target funding to areas that need it the most. American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvall says reliable access to broadband is no longer a luxury but a necessity for farmers, ranchers and their rural communities and this legislation helps to ensure resources are targeted to the areas that need it the most.