Beaverhead County is a rural county located in the southwestern part of the state, and borders Idaho for much of its southern border. Over 34% of land in Beaverhead County is classified as farmland. 

Overview

Population
9,404
County Size (acres)
3,547,320
Land in Farms (%)
34.8
Number of Farms
494 
Median Farm Size (acres) 115
Average Farm Size (acres) 2,498

 

 

 

 

 

 
Source: Census of Agriculture: Table 1: County Summary Highlights: 2017

Farm Revenue

Farm revenue (which includes the market value of products sold, government payments, and farm-related income) topped $123 million in 2017 while production expenses were $95 million.  Government payments accounted for only 0.05% of revenues.

Market Value of Products Sold
$118,202,000
Government Payments
$577,000
Farm-Related Income
$4,839,000
Total Farm Production Expenses
$95,350,000
Net Farm Cash Income $28,268,000



 

 

 

Source: Census of Agriculture: Tables 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6:  2017

Taxation


The market value of all property in Beaverhead County was approximately $1.2 billion in 2019.    Agricultural Property (as defined by Montana Department of Revenue as Class 3 Property) comprised 12% of the county's taxable value.

Property Tax Summary
2019
2014
Market Value of Property $1,288,769,420 $1,133,322,350
Taxable Value of All Property $24,049,312 $18,482,656
Taxable Value ofAgricultural Property $2,823,709 $2,717,143
Ag Taxable Value as % of All Property 12% 15%



 

 

 

Source: Montana Dept. of Rev. Montana Taxes by County in2018and Montana Taxes by County in2014

Market Value of Crops and Livestock

After adjusting for inflation, the market value of crops increased by over two fold, while the market value of livestock increased by nearly 18%, from 1997 to 2017.

Market Value of Crops and Livestock-Beaverhead County

Sources: Census of Agriculture: Table 1: County Summary Highlights: 2017 and St. Louis Fed Producer Price Index

Crops and Livestock

Cattle (66%) and Other Crops and Hay (20%) comprised 86% of total crop and livestock sales in 2017.

Crops and Livestock-Beaverhead County

Source: Census of Agriculture:  Table 2: County Summary Highlights: 2017

 

Farm Size by Acres


The percentage of smaller farms, less than 500 acres, increased from 59% to 67%, while the percentage of larger farms, 500 acres or more, decreased from 41% to 33% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size
by Acres
2017 2012
Number of
Farms

%
Number of
Farms

%
1 to 9 72 15 54 13
10 to 49 130 26 85 20
50 to 179 81 16 62 14
180 to 499     49 10 51 12
500 to 999 14 3 27 6
1,000 or more 148 30 151 35
TOTAL 494 100 430 100
Source: Census of Agriculture:  Table 2: County Summary Highlights: 2017

Farm Size by Sales

The proportion of total sales from the smallest farms with less than $100,000 in sales increased from 68% to 75%, while the proportion of total sales from the largest farms with sales of $100,000 or more decreased from 32% to 25% from 2012 to 2017.
 
Farm Size 
by Sales
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
Less than 2,500 166 34 112 26
2,500 to 4,999 34 7 47 11
5,000 to 9,999 51 10 22 5
10,000 to 24,999 27 5 43 10
25,000 to 49,999 42 9 27 6
50,000 to 99,999 49 10 40 9
100,000 or more 125 25 139 32
TOTAL 494 100 430 100

Source: Census of Agriculture: Table 1: County Summary Highlights: 2017

Tillage and Land Use

The percentage of farms using no till, reduced tillage or cover crops increased, while the percentage of farms using intensive tillage decreased from 2012 to 2017.
 
Tillage
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
No tillage 10 2 6 1
Reduced tillage 12 2 5 1
Intensive tillage 41 8 59 14
Cover crops 25 5 16 4
TOTAL 494   430  
Source: Census of Agriculture: Table 41 Land Use Practices

Producer Profile

The county producer population was older than the Montana producer population. Thirty-two percent of county producers were under 55 years of age, while 38% were over 65 years of age. Thirty-four percent of the Montana producer population were under 55, while 36% were over 65 years of age. Sixty percent of producers in the county were males, while 60% of Montana producers were also males. Farming was the primary occupation for 55% of county producers, while farming was the primary occupation for 50% of Montana producers.

Characteristics
County State
Number of 
Producers

%
Number of 
Producers

%
Age
18 -25 14 2 570 1
25 to 34 64 7 3,285 7
35 to 44 86 10 5,179 11
45 to 54 127 14 7,309 15
55 to 64 255 28 13,838 29
65 to 74 237 26 11,469 24
75 and older 104 12 5,587 12
Gender
Male 534 60 28,563 60
Female 363 40 18,673 40
Primary Occupation
Yes 491 55 23,847 50
No 406 45 24,314 50
TOTAL PRODUCERS 897 100 48,161 100

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Census of Agriculture: Table 45 Selected Operation and Producer Characteristics

Top Crops by Acre

The top crops were hay and haylage, barley, spring wheat and chickpeas.

Tops Crops by Acre-Beaverhead

 Source: Census of Agriculture: Table 1: County Summary Highlights: 2017

Top Livestock

The top livestock were cattle, sheep, and poultry (chickens and turkeys).

Livestock
Number of Head
Cattle 126,752
Sheep 13,290
Chickens-Layers 773
Chickens-Broilers 56
Turkeys 12

 

 

 

 

 

 
Source: Census of Agriculture: Tables 11 (Cattle), 13 (Sheep) and 19 (Poultry) 

Employment Impact

Agricultural production employed 1,191 workers, or 24% of the county’s labor force.  According to IMPLAN, economic impact model, 607 of the workers were directly employed in production agriculture.  An additional 398 workers were employed in businesses supporting agricultural production, such as feed and fertilizer dealers, and another 186 workers were employed in other related businesses, such as grocery and drugs stores. For every job on farms and ranches, about 1 additional job is generated in the county.

 

Impact Type
Labor Force
Impact Multipliers
County Labor Force 5,048  
Direct Impact 607
Indirect Impact 398 0.66
Induced Impact 186 0.31
Total Impact 1,191 0.96
Agriculture Share (%) 24  

 

 

 

 

 

 


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/#cntyaa and IMPLAN Estimates

Value Added Impacts


Farms and ranches generated $81.9 million of value-added, or 19% of the county’s total gross domestic product of $438 million in 2017.  According to IMPLAN, $51.5 million was directly contributed by farmers and ranchers.  An additional $19.5 million was generated by businesses supporting agricultural production and $10.9 million was generated by other related businesses.  Each dollar of value-added in agriculture by a farmer or rancher contributes an additional $0.59 of value-added in other sectors of the county’s economy.

 

Impact Type
Value - Added
($1 million)
Impact Multipliers
County GDP* 438.0  
Direct Impact** 51.5
Indirect Impact** 19.5 0.38
Induced Impact** 10.9 0.21
Total Impact** 81.9 0.59
Agriculture Share (%) 19  











Sources:  * St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, ** IMPLAN Estimates

References


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