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Montana needs statewide seek rules

April 8, 2017 GMT

Montana’s Seed Bill Farmers continue to evolve crops naturally, or with genetic selection and enhancement. In some circles, this is referred to as research. It is a constant process to find new ways to outsmart old problems: insect damage, heat or drought tolerance, less time and energy consumption to manage and prep soils and planting and harvesting a desired crop. Montana agriculture is being proactive with the support of the seed bill, SB155. Agriculture seed regulation has fallen into an administrative nightmare in some agricultural areas that include parts of urban California, Colorado and Oregon counties. SB155 proposes to use the existing Montana Department of Agriculture to regulate crop seeds, rather than individual counties or cities. It makes sense to have uniformity across our state. Besides, since when does Montana want to be like California?

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Many ranches and farms have a crop field spanning more than one county or even within city limits. Imagine Montana’s 56 counties and multiple municipalities writing their version of a seed regulation ordinance!

Ronda C. Johnston

Melville