Ranch & Farm


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  • Grasshopper Management Options

    Jun 6, 2024

    By PR Extension Office Reports of grasshoppers are circulating from “heaps” to “just a few”, according to MSU Powder River Extension Agent Mary Rumph. Every fall, the USDA-APHIS publishes a grasshopper hazard map. This map, released in October of 2023, highlights Montana's severe risk of intensive outbreaks this season. Powder River County is primarily in the “orange zone”, indicating a high probability of 8-15 grasshoppers per square yard. Thus, it is important to be prepared. Erika Rodbell, MSU Extension Entomologist has provided the...

  • Rabies Confirmed In Powder River County Cow

    May 9, 2024

    Helena, Mont. – On Wednesday April 24, 2024, Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) received confirmation of a rabid cow in Powder River County. The rabies-infected cow was tested after displaying neurological symptoms. Three people were exposed to the cow while administering treatment. The last documented cases of terrestrial (non-bat) rabies in Powder River County was in June 2022. This animal is the first confirmed case of rabies in Montana in 2024 and serves as an important reminder to keep pets currently vaccinated for rabies. Montana s...

  • Grasshopper Control Options

    Mar 14, 2024

    By PR Extension Office Landowners interested in a Rangeland Grasshopper Suppression through USDA/APHIS are encouraged to complete the paperwork necessary to send shapefiles of prospective treatment areas. A request form to the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in addition to a new AD-2047 (dated 01-08-24) form through the FSA are needed to complete the request for shapefiles (digital maps). This information will be used to plan large scale treatment blocks, and to ask for and prioritize funding if it becomes available, according to Powder River E...

  • Update on the USDA Grasshopper Suppression Program

    Feb 8, 2024

    By PR Extension Office More than seventy-five landowners attending the recent Extension Ag Winter Series in late January learned that the double-digit sub-zero temperatures we suffered in January likely had no effect on the grasshopper eggs laid in pods in the soil, according to MSU Extension Powder River Agent Mary Rumph. “I’ve been hearing optimism that the frigid cold spell was at least beneficial for destroying grasshopper eggs, however, according to Gary Adams, State Plant Health Director for the USDA Montana APHIS, the eggs were likel...

  • Livestock Reports and Payments Due March 1

    Feb 8, 2024

    HELENA - Montanans have just a few more weeks to report the number of each type of livestock they own and to pay the per capita fees set yearly by the Montana Board of Livestock. Livestock reports and payments are due March 1. Owners can report and pay online through the department's TransAction Portal at https://MT Revenue.gov/livestock. Livestock owners must report what they owned as of February 1, 2024. If you reported last year but no longer own livestock, you still need to submit a reporting form to let us know your livestock count is...

  • A Glimpse Into PR County Agriculture, By The Numbers

    Jan 25, 2024

    Each year the Montana Department of Agriculture, in coordination with the US Department of Agriculture, prints a Montana Agricultural Statistics bulletin, which presents the data on a wide variety of agricultural information from across the state, some of which is broken down by county. We recently received the 2023 bulletin and wanted to relate the pertinent data for Powder River County. Between 2021 and 2023, the number of cattle in Powder River County dropped around 12%, from 83,000 to 73,000. That drop in percentage is in line with the stat...

  • Cattle Might Need More Feed

    Dec 21, 2023

    By Mary Rumph, Powder River Extension and Megan Van Emon, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist “We have had such mild winter weather that many ranchers have relied solely on standing grass for grazing. Though this philosophy saves the hay in the stackyard, it is important to note that the low-quality forage is probably not meeting the nutritional needs of the pregnant cow,” according to MSU Extension Powder River Agent Mary Rumph. “We love to see those cows out “working for a living”, however, it is important to recognize the limitations of grazin...

  • Extension Ag Winter Series Planned For Late January

    Dec 21, 2023

    By PR Extension Office A variety of topics will be covered at the annual Extension Ag Winter Series on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024, according to Powder River Extension Agent Mary Rumph. The workshop will begin at noon at the Broadus Community Center. Private applicator credits will be available for participants. The first topic will be Grasshopper Biology and Suppression by Gary Adams and Hannah Lewis, USDA-APHIS. “The 2024 Grasshopper prediction map has most of Powder River County in the 8-14 grasshoppers square yard, indicating we might be...

  • Grasshopper Management Workshop in Miles City Next Week

    Dec 14, 2023

    By PR Extension Office The 2024 grasshopper prediction map is sobering, according to Powder River Extension Agent Mary Rumph. Much of the county is in the 8-15 grasshoppers per square yard; with a few areas in the "red zone", 15 grasshoppers or more. The prediction map is developed by USDA-APHIS and is based on the number of adult grasshoppers present in late summer. There is a Grasshopper Management Workshop planned for December 19th beginning at 3 pm in the Custer County Event Center, in M...

  • USDA Invests Nearly $2 Million to Expand Markets for Several Montana Rural Small Businesses and Agricultural Producers

    Dec 14, 2023

    BOZEMAN, Mont. – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development in Montana State Director Kathleen Willims announced today an investment of nearly $2 million in nine Montana small businesses and agricultural producers to help expand markets and create economic opportunities in rural areas across the state. “Small businesses are the life blood of Montana’s economy, and these investments will help our rural entrepreneurs and agricultural producers create opportunities to help grow prosperity in their communities,” said Williams. “These...

  • Protect Your Water Rights Before They Dry Up - Conservation Corner

    Nov 2, 2023

    By Powder River Conservation District Does the sight of lush alfalfa ready for a second or third cutting warm your heart? Want to rest easy knowing you have the water to provide hay during the coming winter? If so, this call to action is for you! Many of you use irrigation to provide water for your crops. The PRCD wants to ensure you're able to use this water for many years to come. However, we need your help. Some of you may already be keeping records of water use. That's wonderful! These...

  • Fall Grazing For Livestock

    Oct 12, 2023

    By PR Extension Office With the mild fall temperatures and the recent moisture, the green up of grass and regrowth of crops has extended the Fall grazing season. One question we have received is “when is it safe to graze alfalfa in the Fall?” said MSU Powder River Extension Agent Mary Rumph. In checking with our Extension Beef Specialist, Megan Van Emon, located at Ft. Keogh, she recommended waiting to graze the alfalfa until at least 5-7 days after a killing frost. Alfalfa generally becomes “safer” to graze in the fall after several consecuti...

  • Mental Health Concerns In Agriculture

    Aug 31, 2023

    Courtesy PR Exension Office, who notes: The following article is a reprint with permission from author Dana Jansen, Director, Montana Ag Safety Program from the Summer 2023 issue of the Montana Farm Bureau Spokesman. Mental health and all of the weight it carries, from depression to anxiety to the ultimate sadness of suicide, remains a grave concern for farmers, ranchers and rural residents. It’s an important topic that needs to be discussed freely, openly and without shame. Any day you look at rural Montana, you know there are folks out the...

  • Fair Livestock Carcass Contest Results

    Aug 17, 2023

    By PR Extension Office The carcass contest provides a look "under the hide" for market animals exhibited at the Powder River County Fair. Technician Elin Kittelmann evaluated the live animals with ultra-sound during the Fair; the results were announced last week at a carcass viewing hosted by Broadus Meats. The top three lambs in the live show also topped the carcass show with a little shuffling between the three. Addison Randall won the carcass contest with her lamb that had placed 2nd on the h...

  • Moisture Complicates Baling

    Jul 6, 2023

    By PR Extension Office The race to beat the grasshoppers and alfalfa weevil has been especially challenging the last few weeks due to the almost daily thunderstorms. How devastating it is to see a beautiful field hammered by hail, reduced to sticks in the field; blown down, drowning in the field; windrows blown or washed away, or floating on water…all of which have been witnessed in the last three weeks, according to MSU Powder River Extension Agent Mary Rumph. Moisture is a critical consideration in quality bales. Too much moisture causes bro...

  • Montana Working Lands Program Brings Together Ranchers And Students

    Jun 15, 2023

    A college student from the University of Montana recently contacted us regarding her participation in the Montana Working Lands Internship Program. The state program, administered through the DNRC, connects beginning natural resource and range specialists, biologists, and soils majors with working Montana ranches, providing real-world hands-on experience at ranching operations throughout the state – connecting those who will work in natural resources with the ranches that help support those r...

  • Grasshoppers In Abundance

    Jun 8, 2023

    By PR Extension Office Grasshoppers are hatching in large numbers, according to MSU Extension Powder River County Agent Mary Rumph.“Reports are coming in from several areas throughout the county,” said Rumph. “Unfortunately, a wide scale rangeland treatment program through APHIS is unlikely in the next few weeks,” she added. “I encourage landowners to scout their fields to determine population densities and to be prepared to protect crops if needed. APHIS will hopefully have scouts in our area this week to determine what species are present...

  • Organic Ranch Tour Will Take Place At O'Connor's

    Jun 8, 2023

    Great Falls, Montana (May 18th, 2023) – Montana Organic Association announces 2023 summer farm tours, as participants are invited to visit the Montana Legacy Ranch in Ekalaka. Ty and Sarina O’Connor own and operate Montana Legacy Ranch, as well as OCC‐ O’Connor Crops & Cattle, and OCC Legacy Cuts processing facility. Ty and Sarina strive to provide a family lifestyle on the ranch. The O’Connor’s operate on a 53,000 acre farm and ranch in southeastern Montana, that has 13,000 acres of dry land organic crops, along with organic livestock....

  • Crested Wheatgrass Suffers From Black Grass Bugs

    May 11, 2023

    By PR Extension Office The crested wheatgrass has responded to the moisture and warmer temperatures, exploding in growth. Unfortunately, the black grass bug population has also exploded and is sucking the grass dry, according to Mary Rumph, Powder River Extension Agent. Most notable is the “anemic” look to the grass in the roadside ditches, an area where it should be a healthy green color. The black grass bug literally “sucks the juices” out of the leaves, leaving a whitened, tough and stringy leaf. The black grass bug (labops hesperius...

  • Bur Buttercup Control

    Apr 20, 2023

    By PR Extension Office One of the earliest weeds to appear in the spring, as early as the mustards, is a small yellow flowering annual known as bur buttercup, according to Powder River Extension Agent Mary Rumph. It is a winter annual that emerges, flowers and sets fruit when the temperatures climb into the 45-50 degree range. Plants only grow to be 2 or 3 inches tall. They often occur in dense mats which cover large areas of the ground. Each blossom usually has 5 bright yellow petals. The flowers are tiny, measuring less than a quarter inch l...

  • Prepare For Grass Tetany In Livestock

    Mar 30, 2023

    By PR Extension Office With anticipated warm temperatures and the recent moisture, the grass is starting to green up and cattle and sheep are chasing the new growth, noted MSU/Powder River County Extension Agent Mary Rumph. Producers are encouraged to take precautions to avoid losses from grass tetany. What is grass tetany and when does is occur? Grass tetany is a nutritional or metabolic condition in beef cattle and sheep triggered by low amounts of magnesium (Mg) in the blood serum. This disorder occurs most frequently in the spring when l...

  • Prepare for Calving Season

    Jan 19, 2023

    By Mary Rumph, MSU Powder River Extension Agent The warmer weather has positively affected the outlook of many on the up-coming calving season. For many producers, calving season will be in full swing in six to eight weeks. The following are some tips to offer in preparation for calving. If you haven’t already done so, now is a good time to prepare for the increased workload by checking calving equipment and facilities. Take time to do a walk-through and inspection of your calving facilities: Are the calving pens and working equipment ready f...

  • Winter Cattle Feeding Guidelines

    Jan 12, 2023

    Courtesy PR Extension Office Now that we are a few weeks into the winter season, it is probably a good time to assess not only your cow herd but also your feed inventory and other resources, according to Megan Van Emon, MSU Extension Beef Cattle Specialist. “Weather plays a critical role in how we feed our cows,” explained Emon. Emon encourages producers to consider the following guidelines: In general, a 1,400-pound cow in good body condition during the last 90 days of gestation requires a little over 2 pounds of protein and 14.5 pounds of en...

  • MSU Extension Winter Series January 17th, 2023

    Jan 5, 2023

    By PR Extension Office Identifying and managing invasive grassy weeds; feeding your cattle for best possible breed-up; and shelterbelt recovery following drought will all be addressed at the annual MSU Extension Ag Winter Series scheduled for Tuesday, January 17th, 2023, according to Powder River Extension Agent Mary Rumph. The program will begin at noon and be held at the Broadus Community Center. Three private applicator recertification credits will be available, in addition to valuable information for local producers, said Rumph. Recent w...

  • Additional Detections of Avian Influenza Confirmed in Montana

    Dec 22, 2022

    Helena, Mont. – On Thursday, December 15, the Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) confirmed that Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) killed a small backyard poultry flock in Flathead County. This case marks the 16th HPAI affected flock in the state since the start of the outbreak in March. The 2022 HPAI variant continues to have a significant effect on commercial and backyard flocks, with over 56 million birds in 47 states affected nationally. Avian influenza is an infectious viral disease of birds that can cause high mortality in d...

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