Lake County is a fairly populated county located in the northwestern part of the state, and contains the Flathead Reservation as well as Flathead Lake.  Over 67% of land in Lake County is classified as farm land.

Overview

Population
30,250
County Size (acres)
953,900
Land in Farms (%)
67.2
Number of Farms
1,170
Median Farm Size (acres) 40
Average Farm Size (acres) 548

 

 

 

 

 

 
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 $70 million while production expenses were over $65 million. Government payments were 2.1% of farm revenues.

 

Market Value of Products Sold
$64,796,000
Government Payments
$1,442,000
Farm-Related Income
$3,670,000
Total Farm Production Expenses
$65,636,000
Net Farm Cash Income $4,271,000



 

 

 

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

Taxation

The market value of all property in Lake County was approximately $4 billion in 2019.  The taxable value assigned by the Montana Department of Revenue was $67 million.  Agricultural Property (as defined by Montana Department of Revenue as Class 3 property) comprised 3% of the county's taxable value.

 

Property Tax Summary
2019
2014
Market Value of Property $4,720,782,133 $3,532,526,095
Taxable Value of All Property $67,261,170 $76,233,003
Taxable Value ofAgricultural Property $1,708,759 $1,455,376
Ag Taxable Value as % of All Property 2.54% 1.91%



 

 

 

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 10%, while the market value of livestock increased by 31%, from 1997 to 2017.

Market Value of Crops and Livestock-Lake County

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

Crops and Livestock

Cattle (56%) and other (24%) comprised nearly 80% of total crop and livestock sales in 2017.

Crops and Livestock-Lake County

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

Farm Size by Acres 

The percentage of smaller farms, less than 500 acres, decreased from 91% to 87%, while the percentage of larger farms, 500 acres or more, increased from 9% to 13% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size
by Acres
2017 2012
Number of
Farms

%
Number of
Farms

%
1 to 9 245 21 196 17
10 to 49 407 35 438 38
50 to 179 256 22 292 25
180 to 499     118 10 123 11
500 to 999 67 6 38 3
1,000 or more 77 7 69 6
TOTAL 1,170 100 1,156 100
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 89% to 87%, while the proportion of total sales from the largest farms with sales of $100,000 or more increased from 11% to 13% from 2012 to 2017.

 
Farm Size 
by Sales
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
Less than 2,500 445 38 407 35
2,500 to 4,999 124 11 104 9
5,000 to 9,999 133 11 159 14
10,000 to 24,999 139 12 195 17
25,000 to 49,999 109 9 96 8
50,000 to 99,999 68 6 73 6
100,000 or more 152 13 122 11
TOTAL 1,170 100 1,156 100

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

Tillage and Land Use

The percentage of farms using 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 38 3 39 3
Reduced tillage 25 2 13 1
Intensive tillage 104 9 143 12
Cover crops 53 5 41 4
TOTAL 1,170   1,156  
Source: Census of Agriculture: Table 41 Land Use Practices

Producer Profile

The county producer population was somewhat older than the Montana producer population. Thirty-five 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. Fifty-eight percent of the producers in the county were males, while 60% of Montana producers were males. Farming was the primary occupation for 44% 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 18 1 570 1
25 to 34 71 4 3,285 7
35 to 44 220 11 5,179 11
45 to 54 391 19 7,309 15
55 to 64 536 27 13,838 29
65 to 74 487 24 11,469 24
75 and older 280 14 5,587 12
Gender
Male 1,181 58 28,563 60
Female 839 42 18,673 40
Primary Occupation
Yes 880 44 23,847 50
No 1,140 56 24,314 50
TOTAL PRODUCERS 2,020 100 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, potatoes, barley, canola, peas dry edible, and other vegetables.

Tops Crops by Acre-Lake County

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

Top Livestock

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

Livestock
Number of Head
Cattle 56,119
Chickens - Layers 14,273
Sheep 1,444
Hogs 146
Chickens - Broilers 114
Turkeys 10

 

 

 







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

Employment Impact

Agricultural production employed 2,281 workers, or 17% of the county’s labor force.  According to IMPLAN, economic impact model, 1,434 of the workers were directly employed in production agriculture.  An additional 748 workers were employed in businesses supporting agricultural production, such as feed and fertilizer dealers, and another 99 workers were employed in other related businesses, such as 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 13,133  
Direct Impact 1,434
Indirect Impact 748 0.52
Induced Impact 99 0.07
Total Impact 2,281 0.59
Agriculture Share (%) 17  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Value Added Impacts

Farms and ranches generated $55.9 million of value-added, or 7% of the county’s total gross domestic product of $776 million in 2017.  According to IMPLAN, $30.4 million was directly contributed by farmers and ranchers.  An additional $19.7 million was generated by businesses supporting agricultural production and $5.8 million was generated by other related businesses.  Each dollar of value-added in agriculture by a farmer or rancher contributes an additional $0.84 of value-added in other sectors of the county’s economy.

 


Impact Type
Value-Added
($1 million)

Impact Multipliers
County GDP* 776.0  
Direct Impact** 30.4
Indirect Impact** 19.7 0.65
Induced Impact** 5.8 0.19
Total Impact** 55.9 0.84
Agriculture Share (%) 7  











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

References


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