Northern Ag Network’s Most Popular Stories of 2017


As we put a bow on 2017 and prepare for the new year, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at the past year and some of the most viewed stories on


1.      Lodgepole Fire Complex

It should be no surprise that the most viewed story of 2017 was the call and directions for help after the Lodgepole Fire in July. The work of so many great community members in Garfield and Petroleum Counties became a blueprint for how to effectively develop and direct relief efforts after a disaster.


2.      Catastrophic Wildfires and who’s really to blame

 Another extremely popular story this year actually came from 2015 but is still just as relevant today. If you haven’t seen it yet, we encourage you to check out Lane Nordlund’s interview with Dr. Clayton Marlow.


3.      The Death of Capitalism has Finally Occurred

A story that we covered all year was the implementation of the Electronic Logging Devices and the challenges it poses for the trucking and livestock industries. An opinion editorial from a local trucker discussed these challenges.


4.      President Trump Strikes Deal with China on Beef

One story that has continued to develop all year, took off in April when China agreed to allow U.S. beef exports for the first time in 13 years.


5.      Montana Beef Headed to China

Just seven months after China agreed to begin importing U.S. beef again, the Montana Stockgrowers inked a deal of their own for to purchase $200 million in Montana beef and invest $100 million in a processing plant.


6.      Trump Repeals BLM Planning 2.0 Rule

In March, President Trump announced the repeal of the BLM’s Planning 2.0 rule that would have caused a significant shift in the management and use of public lands.


7.      Beef Scandal: JBS Selling U.S. Feedlots

After months of being entrenched in scandal, JBS announced a billion-dollar divestment plan to cut debt.


8.      Trump Issues Executive Order on WOTUS

Early this year, Trump’s order to reconsider WOTUS was met by resounding support from ag organizations all of the country.


9.      Another Case of Tuberculosis Discovered in South Dakota

Unfortunately, this year tuberculosis was found twice in South Dakota. First in February and again in October. An investigation is ongoing to determine the infection source.


10.   Two of Montana's Largest Stockyards Joining Forces

This fall PAYS and BLS announced they would be joining forces to better serve the region’s livestock industry.


What will 2018 hold for agriculture? It’s already shaping up to be an interesting year. We’re looking at a 100-year low in wheat acres in the U.S. and soybeans may overtake corn in terms of total acreage. The beef cow herd continues to grow and many analysts are predicting a decline in calf prices for 2018. International trade will surely remain in the spotlight as NAFTA negotiations continue and of course we’re going to be hearing a lot more about the Farm Bill very soon.

This is always “next year” country, so here’s to it! Best wishes to everyone in 2018 from the Northern Ag Network!

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