Blaine County is a rural sparsely populated county located in the north central portion of the state bordering Canada.  Over 75% of land in Blaine County is classified as farm land. 

Overview

Population
6,807
County Size (acres)
2,705,358
Land in Farms (%)
75.4
Number of Farms
491 
Median Farm Size (acres) 1,000
Average Farm Size (acres) 4,155

 

 

 

 

 

 
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) were nearly $115 million while production expenses were $82 million. Government payments were over 9% of revenues.

Market Value of Products Sold
$89,977,000
Government Payments
$10,435,000
Farm-Related Income
$14,318,000
Total Farm Production Expenses
$81,987,000
Net Farm Cash Income $32,743,000



 

 

 

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

Taxation


The market value of all property in Blaine County was approximately $643 billion in 2019.  The taxable value assigned by the Montana Department of Revenue was $15 million.  Agricultural Property (as defined by Montana Department of Revenue as Class 3 Property) comprised 35% of the county's taxable value.

Property Tax Summary
2019
2014
Market Value of Property $643,936,055 $1,578,056,530
Taxable Value of All Property $15,026,273 $12,637,616
Taxable Value ofAgricultural Property $5,248,250 $4,970,098
Ag Taxable Value as % of All Property 35% 39%



 

 

 

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 1.8%, while the market value of livestock increased by nearly 48%, from 1997 to 2017.


Market Value of Crops and Livestock-Blaine County

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

Crops and Livestock

Cattle (48%) and grain (36%) comprised nearly 85% of total crop and livestock sales in 2017.

Crops and Livestock-Big Horn County

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

 

Farm Size by Acres 


The proportion of total sales from smaller farms, less than 500 acres, increased from 33% to 37%, while the proportion of total sales of larger farms, 500 acres or more, decreased from 67% to 63% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size
by Acres
2017 2012
Number of
Farms

%
Number of
Farms

%
1 to 9 16 3 29 5
10 to 49 21 4 20 4
50 to 179 63 13 54 10
180 to 499     81 16 79 14
500 to 999 61 12 65 12
1,000 or more 249 51 299 55
TOTAL 491 100 546 100
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 decreased slightly from 60% to 59%, while the proportion of total sales from the largest farms with sales of $100,000 or more increased slightly from 40% to 41% from 2012 to 2017.

 
Farm Size 
by Sales
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
Less than 2,500 127 26 136 25
2,500 to 4,999 11 2 6 1
5,000 to 9,999 11 2 28 5
10,000 to 24,999 31 6 30 5
25,000 to 49,999 57 12 61 11
50,000 to 99,999 55 11 68 12
100,000 or more 199 41 217 40
TOTAL 491 100 546 100

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

Tillage and Land Use

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

%
Number of 
Farms

%
No tillage 102 21 134 25
Reduced tillage 62 13 41 8
Intensive tillage 101 21 144 26
Cover crops 10 2 22 4
TOTAL 491   546  
Source: Census of Agriculture: Table 41 Land Use Practices
 

Producer Profile

The county producer population was about the same age as the Montana producer population. Thirty-five percent of county producers were under 55 years of age, while 37% 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-three percent of producers in the county were males, while 60% of Montana producers were males. Farming was the primary occupation for 62% 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 5 1 570 1
25 to 34 59 7 3,285 7
35 to 44 111 13 5,179 11
45 to 54 117 14 7,309 15
55 to 64 240 28 13,838 29
65 to 74 192 23 11,469 24
75 and older 115 14 5,587 12
Gender
Male 534 63 28,563 60
Female 317 37 18,673 40
Primary Occupation
Yes 528 62 23,847 50
No 323 38 24,314 50
TOTAL PRODUCERS 851 100 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

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

Top Livestock

The top livestock were cattle and sheep.

Livestock
Number of Head
Cattle 70,698
Sheep 3,036

 

 

 

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

Employment Impact

Agricultural production employed 721 workers, or 31% of the county’s labor force.  According to IMPLAN, economic impact model, 538 of the workers were directly employed in production agriculture.  An additional 143 workers were employed in businesses supporting agricultural production, such as feed and fertilizer dealers, and another 40 workers were employed in other related businesses, such as grocery and drugs stores. For every 10 jobs on farms and ranches, 3 additional jobs are generated in the county.

 

Impact Type
Labor Force
Impact Multipliers
County Labor Force 2,352  
Direct Impact 538
Indirect Impact 143 0.27
Induced Impact 40 0.07
Total Impact 721 0.34
Agriculture Share (%) 31  

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

Value Added Impacts


Farms and ranches generated $38.2 million of value-added, or 24% of the county’s total gross domestic product of $156 million in 2017.  According to IMPLAN, $27.4 million was directly contributed by farmers and ranchers.  An additional $8.5 million was generated by businesses supporting agricultural production and $2.2 million was generated by other related businesses.  Each dollar of value-added in agriculture by a farmer or rancher contributes an additional $0.39 of value-added in other sectors of the county’s economy.

 


Impact Type
Value - Added
($1 million)

Impact Multipliers
County GDP* 156.0  
Direct Impact** 27.4
Indirect Impact** 8.5 0.31
Induced Impact** 2.2 0.08
Total Impact** 38.2 0.39
Agriculture Share (%) 24  











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

References


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