Garfield County is a rural sparsely populated county located in the central part of the state, and bordered on the north by Fort Peck Lake. Over 74% of land in Garfield County is classified as farm land.  

Overview

Population
1,268
County Size (acres)
2,992,998
Land in Farms (%)
74
Number of Farms
260
Median Farm Size (acres) 4,267
Average Farm Size (acres) 8,519

 

 

 

 

 

 
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 $64 million while production expenses were nearly $50 million. Government payments were 8.7% of farm revenues.

Market Value of Products Sold
$54,538,000
Government Payments
$5,608,000
Farm-Related Income
$3,968,000
Total Farm Production Expenses
$49,975,000
Net Farm Cash Income $14,139,000



 

 

 

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

Taxation

The market value of all property in Garfield County was approximately $285 million in 2019.  The taxable value assigned by the Montana Department of Revenue was $5 million.  Agricultural Property (as defined by Montana Department of Revenue as Class 3 property) comprised 65% of the county's taxable value.

 

Property Tax Summary
2019
2014
Market Value of Property $285,010,882 $2,320,430,153
Taxable Value of All Property $5,544,173 $4,974,077
Taxable Value ofAgricultural Property $3,623,255 $3,674,685
Ag Taxable Value as % of All Property 65.35% 73.88%



 

 

 

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 decreased by 39%, while the market value of livestock increased by 34%, from 1997 to 2017.


Market Value of Crops and Livestock-Garfield County

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

Crops and Livestock

Cattle (79%) and grain (12%) comprised nearly 91% of total crop and livestock sales in 2017.

 

Crops and Livestock-Garfield 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 18%, while the percentage of larger farms, 500 acres or more, decreased from 83% to 82% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size
by Acres
2017 2012
Number of
Farms

%
Number of
Farms

%
1 to 9 0 0 17 6
10 to 49 8 3 9 3
50 to 179 19 7 16 5
180 to 499     20 8 8 3
500 to 999 24 9 18 6
1,000 or more 189 73 229 77
TOTAL 260 100 297 100
Source: Census of Agriculture:  Table 2: County Summary Highlights: 2017
 

Farm Size by Sales

The percentage of the smallest farms with less than $100,000 in sales, and the largest farms with sales of $100,000 or more were virtually unchanged from 2012 to 2017.

 
Farm Size 
by Sales
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
Less than 2,500 54 21 47 16
2,500 to 4,999 4 2 7 2
5,000 to 9,999 6 2 10 3
10,000 to 24,999 26 10 18 6
25,000 to 49,999 8 3 28 9
50,000 to 99,999 29 11 35 12
100,000 or more 133 51 152 51
TOTAL 260 100 297 100

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

Tillage and Land Use

The percentage of farms using no till and reduced tillage 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 46 18 49 16
Reduced tillage 34 13 37 12
Intensive tillage 44 17 105 35
Cover crops 10 4 12 4
TOTAL 260   297  
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-eight percent of county producers were under 55 years of age, while 36% 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-two percent of producers in the county were males, while 60% of Montana producers were males. Farming was the primary occupation for 56% 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 1 0 570 1
25 to 34 62 12 3,285 7
35 to 44 55 11 5,179 11
45 to 54 76 15 7,309 15
55 to 64 123 24 13,838 29
65 to 74 123 24 11,469 24
75 and older 60 12 5,587 12
Gender
Male 316 62 28,563 60
Female 193 38 18,673 40
Primary Occupation
Yes 370 73 23,847 50
No 139 27 24,314 50
TOTAL PRODUCERS 509 100 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, spring wheat, barley, lentils, and peas dry edible.


Tops Crops by Acre-Garfield County

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

Top Livestock

The top livestock were cattle, sheep, poultry (chickens-layers), and hogs.

Livestock
Number of Head
Cattle 74,262
Sheep 12,587
Chicken-Layers 226
Hogs 91

 

 

 

 

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

Employment Impact

Agricultural production employed 327 workers, or 43% of the county’s labor force.  According to IMPLAN, economic impact model, 215 of the workers were directly employed in production agriculture.  An additional 84 workers were employed in businesses supporting agricultural production, such as feed and fertilizer dealers, and another 28 workers were employed in other related businesses, such as grocery and drugs stores. For every 10 jobs on farms and ranches, 5 additional jobs are generated in the county.

Impact Type
Labor Force
Impact Multipliers
County Labor Force 760  
Direct Impact 215
Indirect Impact 84 0.39
Induced Impact 28 1.13
Total Impact 327 0.52
Agriculture Share (%) 43  

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

Value Added Impacts

Farms and ranches generated $28.2 million of value-added, or 54% of the county’s total gross domestic product of $52 million in 2017.  According to IMPLAN, $19.7 million was directly contributed by farmers and ranchers.  An additional $6.8 million was generated by businesses supporting agricultural production and $1.8 million was generated by other related businesses.  Each dollar of value-added in agriculture by a farmer or rancher contributes an additional $0.43 of value-added in other sectors of the county’s economy.


Impact Type
Value-Added
($1 million)

Impact Multipliers
County GDP* 52.0  
Direct Impact** 19.7
Indirect Impact** 6.8 0.34
Induced Impact** 1.8 0.09
Total Impact** 28.2 0.43
Agriculture Share (%) 54  











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

References


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