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Montana Ag Network: Ag lender offers drought advice to producers

Posted at 2:49 PM, Aug 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-02 16:49:38-04

BILLINGS — In agriculture, it’s hard enough to stay in business in the good news but certainly even more difficult in years like this where drought continues to take its toll on crops, pastures, and rangelands.

Montana Livestock Ag Credit’s president and CEO Ty Wells says that in addition to taking care of their mental health, farmers and ranchers really need to visit with their Ag lenders and others who are there to help them through this difficult time.

“What we've just been telling people is every there is no silver bullet,” said Wells. “Every operation is different. How it's affected each operation is different. And really, there's only one way you can do this."

"That's to sit down with your Ag lender or with your financial planner and go through the numbers, run the scenarios and get the emotion out of some of this deal. Because I believe that's what the overwhelming part of it is.”

He says despite the tough conditions in farm and ranch country these days, one thing that’s lending at least a little bit of help, our strong livestock markets for ranchers and crop insurance for farmers.

“The livestock market has been excellent,” said Wells. “The lamb market's been probably the highlight of the whole year so far. And now it looks like calves are picking up the steam, too. So, that's positive. For the crop guys, we're going to be talking about a lot of crop insurance. And there'll probably be some government programs that come out later on that'll help out with that."

"So, I guess just take it day by day. You know, that's really all you can do. But focus on the positives and we'll get through this. We've done it before. I don't know how many times but when you start talking to the older generations, they can name the years. We'll look back on this and our operations will become stronger because of it.”

Several resources are available to help keep farmers and ranchers up-to-date on drought-related information including the Montana Stockgrowers Association’s Drought Hub which can be found online at MTbeef.org.