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The last time wheat prices were in this territory was 2008, the start of the Great Recession, a time when Montana grain sales buoyed a state economy that was being rocked by a collapse the housing industry.

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As 2021 comes to a close, farmers and ranchers in Montana are still suffering through the worst drought conditions the state has seen in nearly three decades. Dry weather started creeping in mid-2020 and stretched on through a dry winter, spring and summer in 2021.

Due in part to consolidation, the farmer’s share of every dollar consumers spend on food has fallen from 50 percent in 1952 to less than 16 percent today. The people doing the hard work of growing and harvesting our food see scant returns from their labors. Meanwhile, the lion’s share of profits generated from food sales goes to these corporations and their shareholders.

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