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Montana Ag Network: Thursday, January 2

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Posted at 12:58 PM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-02 17:35:47-05

BILLINGS — As we begin the new year, there is still time to register for next weeks Hemp Workshop in Great Falls on Tuesday January 7th at the Times Square Building. The workshop is hosted by the Montana Farmers Union and will provide updates on marketing, processing and growing in the Big Sky State.

MFU President Walt Schweitzer said the work shop is to help farmers understand all aspects of industrial hemp.

“This is an opportunity for producers to hear firsthand from browers that hemp it last year,” Schweitzer explained.” “Attendees can visit with them ask them questions about the good bad and ugly of growing hemp. There's also going to be buyers there and processors. So, it's an opportunity to visit with them and possibly get a contract.”



The workshop is geared towards hemp producers and is at no cost. The event will run from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM January 7th. Lunch will be provided. Please register by this Friday January 3,2020 for an accurate meal count. For more visit Montana Farmers Union online.

CoBank says it isn’t just farmers that saw lower cash returns in 2019. Grain elevators will also see their profit margins drop compared to the previous year.

The lower returns are blamed on a higher basis for corn, soybeans, and wheat. says, “In addition to having to buy a more expensive basis, grain elevators are offering farmers incentives to sell bushels, such as lower rates on storage, free delayed pricing, and free grain drying.”

Lower quality and high-moisture grain coming in from wet fields around rural America also boost elevator costs. Propane shortages in 2019 also continued to put a damper on elevator revenue. As if that’s not enough, drying wet grain can lead to commodity shrinkage, which adds to lost bushels and higher costs for elevators.

CoBank says those challenges from 2019 will likely carry into the new year. “Grain elevators’ margins will get squeezed in 2020 by the tightness in basis, diminishing carries in the futures markets, and many other challenges from low test-weight and high-moisture grain,” CoBank says.

On New Years Day the Montana Ag Network shared a few of the highlights of the 2019 year and events that impacted agriculture. If you didn’t get a chance to watch it, you find it on this TV’s stations website or on the Montana ag network Facebook page.

USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service will spend several months here in 2020 gathering information about farm economics and production practices from farmers and ranchers across the Mountain States Region, which includes Montana.

As the agency conducts the third and final phase of the 2019 Agricultural Resource Management survey, a handful of producers will be asked to participate in the surveys that do have a big impact on our local ag economies. For more information contact USDA NASS today.