HELENA, Mont. (NMB) – The Montana Department of Agriculture has received a verified petition from 25 Montana oilseed growers to create an advisory committee.
Of the 25 growers that signed the petition, the majority are from North-Central Montana. According to an MDA spokesperson, 8 of the 25 are from Conrad, 6 are from Sunburst and 2 are from Valier. There was also one signee each from Havre, Chester, Sweet Grass, Box Elder, Whitewater, Oilmont, Brady and Ledger.
MDA will hold a listening session to receive additional grower input regarding the proposal in Glendive on February 14 at 11 AM at the Glendive Agricultural Trade Exposition.
Growers will have the opportunity to learn about the process for creating a commodity advisory committee and provide input regarding its composition, crops to be included, and rate of assessment. Based on feedback received during the legislative session, MDA will decide whether to propose an oilseed research and market development program for adoption by administrative rule.
Montana ranks second in canola production nationwide. Canola production in Montana totaled 200 million pounds in 2019, while flaxseed production totaled 1.34 million bushels.
The MDA currently administers committees for potatoes, alfalfa seed, wheat and barley and pulse crops. These programs annually contribute over $8 million in check off funds towards research, marketing, and education.