Carter County is a rural sparsely populated county located in the very southeastern tip of the state. Over 82% of land in Carter County is classified as farm land.

Overview

Population
1,238
County Size (acres)
2,137,905
Land in Farms (%)
82.7
Number of Farms
323 
Median Farm Size (acres) 4,085
Average Farm Size (acres) 5,473

 

 

 

 

 

 
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 $83 million while production expenses were $56 million. Government payments were 9% of farm revenues.

Market Value of Products Sold
$70,628,000
Government Payments
$7,229,000
Farm-Related Income
$4,923,000
Total Farm Production Expenses
$56,878,000
Net Farm Cash Income $25,902,000



 

 

 

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

Taxation

The market value of all property in Carter County was approximately $535 million in 2019.  The taxable value assigned by the Montana Department of Revenue was $43 million.  Agricultural Property (as defined by Montana Department of Revenue as Class 3 Property) comprised 5% of the county's taxable value.

Property Tax Summary
2019
2014
Market Value of Property   $535,266,430 $466,505,729
Taxable Value of All Property $43,741,120 $37,663,915
Taxable Value ofAgricultural Property  $1,973,256 $2,363,226
Ag Taxable Value as % of All Property 5% 6%



 

 

 

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 5.5%, while the market value of livestock increased by nearly 83%, from 1997 to 2017.

Market Value of Crops and Livestock-Carter County

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

Crops and Livestock

Cattle (86%) and grain (6%) comprised 92% of total crop and livestock sales in 2017.

Crops and Livestock-Carter 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 slightly from 17% to 19%, while the percentage of larger farms, 500 acres or more, decreased slightly from 83% to 81% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size
by Acres
2017 2012
Number of
Farms

%
Number of
Farms

%
1 to 9 8 2 18 6
10 to 49 6 2 3 1
50 to 179 19 6 16 5
180 to 499     29 9 18 6
500 to 999 29 9 30 9
1,000 or more 232 72 242 74
TOTAL 323 100 327 100
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 from 48% to 44%, while the proportion of total sales from the largest farms with sales of $100,000 or more increased from 52% to 56% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size 
by Sales
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
Less than 2,500 47 15 50 15
2,500 to 4,999 10 3 3 1
5,000 to 9,999 16 5 2 1
10,000 to 24,999 16 5 32 10
25,000 to 49,999 23 7 33 10
50,000 to 99,999 30 9 38 12
100,000 or more 181 56 169 52
TOTAL 323 100 327 100

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

Tillage and Land Use

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

 
Tillage
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
No tillage 21 7 39 12
Reduced tillage 9 3 21 6
Intensive tillage 53 16 68 21
Cover crops 16 5 7 2
TOTAL 323   327  
Source: Census of Agriculture: Table 41 Land Use Practices
 
 

Producer Profile

The county producer population was younger than the Montana producer population. Thirty-nine percent of county producers were under 55 years of age, while 26% 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 males. Farming was the primary occupation for 66% 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 12 2 570 1
25 to 34 47 7 3,285 7
35 to 44 106 16 5,179 11
45 to 54 97 14 7,309 15
55 to 64 205 30 13,838 29
65 to 74 92 14 11,469 24
75 and older 85 13 5,587 12
Gender
Male 406 60 28,563 60
Female 267 40 18,673 40
Primary Occupation
Yes 444 66 23,847 50
No 229 34 24,314 50
TOTAL PRODUCERS 673 100 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, winter wheat, peas dry edible, and barley.


Top Crops by Acres (Carter County)

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

Top Livestock

The top livestock were cattle, sheep, and chickens.

Livestock
Number of Head
Cattle 91,252
Sheep 20,734
Chickens-Layers 465

 

 

 

 

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

Employment Impact

Agricultural production employed 535 workers, or 77% of the county’s labor force.  According to IMPLAN, economic impact model, 333 of the workers were directly employed in production agriculture.  An additional 152 workers were employed in businesses supporting agricultural production, such as feed and fertilizer dealers, and another 50 workers were employed in other related businesses, such a grocery and drugs stores. For every 10 jobs on farms and ranches, 6 additional jobs are generated in the county.

 

Impact Type
Labor Force
Impact Multipliers
County Labor Force 696  
Direct Impact 333
Indirect Impact 152 0.46
Induced Impact 50 0.15
Total Impact 535 0.61
Agriculture Share (%) 77  

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

Value Added Impacts

 

Farms and ranches generated $40.3 million of value-added, or 50% of the county’s total gross domestic product of $80 million in 2017.  According to IMPLAN, $27.2 million was directly contributed by farmers and ranchers.  An additional $10.2 million was generated by businesses supporting agricultural production and $3 million was generated by other related businesses.  Each dollar of value-added in agriculture by a farmer or rancher contributes an additional $0.48 of value-added in other sectors of the county’s economy.


Impact Type
Value - Added
($1 million)

Impact Multipliers
County GDP* 80.0  
Direct Impact** 27.2
Indirect Impact** 10.2 0.37
Induced Impact** 3.0 0.11
Total Impact** 40.3 0.48
Agriculture Share (%) 50  











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

References


Montana State University Extension is an ADA/EO/AA/Veteran’s Preference
Employer and Provider of Educational Outreach.