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Briefs for March 20, 2019

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Free workshop offered at LCCDC 

News from Lake County Community Development Corporation

RONAN — On Thursday, April 4, from 9 a.m.-noon at the LCCDC office, 407 Main Street SW, a free workshop entitled,  “USDA Rural Development Value Added Producer Grants,” will be offered. 

The USDA Value Added Producer Grant Program assists farmers and ranchers in the development of value added products. Join us for this free workshop to learn more about the program and how it can help you finance your value added products. Grants and matching funds can be used for planning activities or expenses related to producing and marketing a value-added agricultural product. 

Presenters include Lad Barney, business programs specialist with the Kalispell USDA Rural Development office and Heather Handeland, area specialist with Missoula USDA Rural Development. 

Space is limited so reserve your seat today. Register online at: lccdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/526 or call 406-676-5914. 

For more information call 406-676-5905. 

 

Montana NRCS announces 2019 organic, sage grouse initiatives

BOZEMAN – The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering additional funding through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program to target specific resource concerns in Montana in 2019: organic and sage grouse initiative cropland seeding.

While NRCS accepts EQIP applications on a continuous basis, NRCS has set a deadline of April 12 to apply for 2019 initiatives funding. 

National Organic Initiative: NRCS will assist producers with installation of conservation practices on agricultural operations related to organic production. Producers currently certified as organic, transitioning to organic, or National Organic Program exempt will have access to a broad set of conservation practices to assist in treating their resource concerns while fulfilling many of the requirements in an organic system plan.

Sage Grouse Initiative Cropland Seeding: Loss and fragmentation of sage grouse habitat is the primary threat to sage grouse. Through this initiative, landowners can work with NRCS to seed cropland in sage grouse habitat back to perennial species to improve the connectivity for not only sage grouse, but the many other species that depend on large, intact landscapes.

EQIP offers financial and technical assistance to eligible participants to install or implement structural and management practices on eligible agricultural land. Conservation practices must be implemented to NRCS standards and specifications. In Montana, socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and beginning farmers and ranchers will receive a higher payment rate for eligible conservation practices applied.

For more information about EQIP, or other programs offered by NRCS, please contact your local USDA Service Center or visit: www.mt.nrcs.usda.gov.

 

Cherry growers hold 83rd annual meeting

News from Flathead Lake Cherry Growers, Inc.

YELLOW BAY — The 83rd annual cherry growers’ horticultural meeting will be held on Saturday, April 6, at the Yellow Bay Community Clubhouse, Highway 35, mile-marker 18. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. and the meeting begins promptly at 9 a.m.  

Dr. David Granatstein, sustainable agriculture specialist from the Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee at Washington State University, will be the main speaker for the day. His extensive background in soil health, replant disease, orchard issues, and floor management strategies and practices will provide attendees with the latest research and practical applications to ensure healthy and productive cherry orchards. 

Brian Campbell, local fieldman for Monson Fruit Company, will discuss observations on upcoming bloom timing and density, and will provide identification and control methods for the small cherry virus which can be extremely harmful to cherry orchards. Campbell will lead a tour and on-sight discussion of four orchards on Thursday, April 4, with a review of the orchards at Saturday’s meeting. To participate in the tour, meet at the Yellow Bay Clubhouse at 2:30 p.m. to caravan and carpool to the orchards.

The meeting agenda on Saturday includes additional presentations of interest to local cherry growers. Sponsored by the Flathead Lake Cherry Growers, Inc. co-operative, the meeting is open to anyone interested in cherry farming.    

Pre-registration is recommended; seating is limited. General admission is $20 per person and includes morning refreshments and lunch. For more information or to preregister, call 406-982-3069, fax 406-982-3065, email: hammons@centurytel.net, or mail with payment to FLCG, PO Box 2409, Bigfork MT 59911.  The registration form can be downloaded at: www.montanacherries.com in the “FLCG Calendar” section

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