Lewis and Clark County is located in the west central portion of the state, and contains the state capital, Helena. Over 36% of land in Lewis & Clark County is classified as farm land.

Overview

Population
68,700
County Size (acres)
2,213,363
Land in Farms (%)
36.2
Number of Farms
707
Median Farm Size (acres) 25
Average Farm Size (acres) 1,132

 

 

 

 

 

 
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 over $47 million while production expenses were over $44 million. Government payments were 2.3% of farm revenues.

 

Market Value of Products Sold
$43,187,000
Government Payments
$1,081,000
Farm-Related Income
$3,218,000
Total Farm Production Expenses
$44,426,000
Net Farm Cash Income $3,060,000



 

 

 

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

Taxation

The market value of all property in Lewis and Clark County was approximately $8 billion in 2019.  The taxable value assigned by the Montana Department of Revenue was $145 million.  Agricultural Property (as defined by Montana Department of Revenue as Class 3 property) comprised 1.4% of the county's taxable value.

Property Tax Summary
2019
2014
Market Value of Property $8,484,058,113 $4,699,476,292
Taxable Value of All Property $145,474,049 $117,022,597
Taxable Value ofAgricultural Property $2,035,354 $1,989,633
Ag Taxable Value as % of All Property 1.40% 1.70%



 

 

 

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 31%, while the market value of livestock increased by 60%, from 1997 to 2017.

 

Market Value of Crops and Livestock-Lewis and Clark County

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

Crops and Livestock

Cattle (49%) and other (31%) comprised 80% of total crop and livestock sales in 2017.


Crops and Livestock-Lewis and Clark 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 83% to 87%, while the percentage of larger farms, 500 acres or more, decreased from 17% to 13% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size
by Acres
2017 2012
Number of
Farms

%
Number of
Farms

%
1 to 9 112 16 82 12
10 to 49 355 50 334 48
50 to 179 108 15 113 16
180 to 499     38 5 53 8
500 to 999 15 2 35 5
1,000 or more 79 11 86 12
TOTAL 707 100 703 100
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 and the proportion of total sales from the largest farms of $100,000 remained virtually unchanged from 2012 to 2017.

 
Farm Size 
by Sales
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
Less than 2,500 345 49 360 51
2,500 to 4,999 81 11 75 11
5,000 to 9,999 98 14 76 11
10,000 to 24,999 55 8 73 10
25,000 to 49,999 46 7 36 5
50,000 to 99,999 17 2 24 3
100,000 or more 65 9 59 8
TOTAL 707 100 703 100

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, reduced or intensive tillage decreased from 2012 to 2017.

Tillage
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
No tillage 30 4 32 5
Reduced tillage 8 1 15 2
Intensive tillage 64 9 68 10
Cover crops 36 5 10 1
TOTAL 707   703  
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 32% 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-three percent of producers in the county were males, while 60% of Montana producers were males. Farming was the primary occupation for 58% 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 1 570 1
25 to 34 90 7 3,285 7
35 to 44 139 11 5,179 11
45 to 54 246 19 7,309 15
55 to 64 350 28 13,838 29
65 to 74 307 24 11,469 24
75 and older 98 8 5,587 12
Gender
Male 674 53 28,563 60
Female 593 47 18,673 40
Primary Occupation
Yes 406 32 23,847 50
No 861 68 24,314 50
TOTAL PRODUCERS 1,267 100 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 canola.

Tops Crops by Acre-Lewis and Clark County

 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 40,202
Sheep 2,359
Turkeys 2,037
Chickens - Broilers 38

 

 

 

 


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

Employment Impact

Agricultural production employed 1,272 workers, or 4% of the county’s labor force.  According to IMPLAN, economic impact model, 777 of the workers were directly employed in production agriculture.  An additional 328 workers were employed in businesses supporting agricultural production, such as feed and fertilizer dealers, and another 167 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 35,249  
Direct Impact 777
Indirect Impact 328 0.42
Induced Impact 167 0.21
Total Impact 1,272 0.64
Agriculture Share (%) 4  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Value Added Impacts

Farms and ranches generated $48.5 million of value-added, or 1% of the county’s total gross domestic product of $3,348 million in 2017.  According to IMPLAN, $18.6 million was directly contributed by farmers and ranchers.  An additional $18.7 million was generated by businesses supporting agricultural production and $11.3 million was generated by other related businesses.  Each dollar of value-added in agriculture by a farmer or rancher contributes an additional $1.62 of value-added in other sectors of the county’s economy.

 


Impact Type
Value - Added
($1 million)
Impact Multipliers
County GDP* 3,348.0  
Direct Impact** 18.6
Indirect Impact** 18.7 1.01
Induced Impact** 11.3 0.61
Total Impact** 48.5 1.62
Agriculture Share (%) 1  











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

References


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