Liberty County is a rural sparsely populated county located in the northern portion of the golden triangle region bordering Canada.  Over 99% of land in Liberty County is classified as farm land.

Overview

Population
2,430
County Size (acres)
915,189
Land in Farms (%)
99
Number of Farms
246
Median Farm Size (acres) 2,807
Average Farm Size (acres) 3,714

 

 

 

 

 

 
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 $104 million dollars while production expenses were $75 million.  Government payments comprised 10% of all revenues for 2017.

 

Market Value of Products Sold
$88,292,000
Government Payments
$10,873,000
Farm-Related Income
$5,106,000
Total Farm Production Expenses
$74,225,000
Net Farm Cash Income $30,016,000



 

 

 

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

Taxation

The market value of all property in Liberty County was approximately $454 million in 2019.  The taxable value assigned by the Montana Department of Revenue was $9 million.  Agricultural Property (as
defined by Montana Department of Revenue as Class 3 property) comprised 44% of the county's taxable value.

 

Property Tax Summary
2019
2014
Market Value of Property $454,229,823 $295,813,938
Taxable Value of All Property $9,474,199 $7,226,901
Taxable Value ofAgricultural Property $4,173,611 $3,024,825
Ag Taxable Value as % of All Property 44% 42%



 

 

 

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 55%, while the market value of livestock increased by 37%, from 1997 to 2017.

Market Value of Crops and Livestock-Liberty County

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

Crops and Livestock

Grain (73%) and other livestock (13%) comprised 86% of total crop and livestock sales in 2017.


Crops and Livestock-Liberty 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 19% to 15%, while the percentage of larger farms, 500 acres or more, increased from 81% to 85% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size
by Acres
2017 2012
Number of
Farms

%
Number of
Farms

%
1 to 9 1 0 6 2
10 to 49 4 2 6 2
50 to 179 9 4 14 5
180 to 499     23 9 33 11
500 to 999 23 9 43 14
1,000 or more 186 76 202 66
TOTAL 246 100 304 100
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 35%, while the proportion of total sales from the largest farms with sales of $100,000 or more increased from 52% to 65% from 2012 to 2017.

 
Farm Size 
by Sales
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
Less than 2,500 40 16 81 27
2,500 to 4,999 2 1 4 1
5,000 to 9,999 4 2 4 1
10,000 to 24,999 11 4 9 3
25,000 to 49,999 15 6 13 4
50,000 to 99,999 15 6 36 12
100,000 or more 159 65 157 52
TOTAL 246 100 304 100

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

Tillage and Land Use

The percentage of farms using no till or 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 158 64 171 56
Reduced tillage 29 12 24 8
Intensive tillage 13 5 29 10
Cover crops 6 2 19 6
TOTAL 246   304  
Source: Census of Agriculture: Table 41 Land Use Practices
 

Producer Profile

The county producer population was younger than the Montana producer population. Thirty-seven percent of county producers were under 55 years of age, while 34% 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-four percent of producers in the county were males, while 60% of Montana producers were males. Farming was the primary occupation for 70% 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 0 0 570 1
25 to 34 48 11 3,285 7
35 to 44 39 9 5,179 11
45 to 54 68 16 7,309 15
55 to 64 121 29 13,838 29
65 to 74 95 22 11,469 24
75 and older 50 12 5,587 12
Gender
Male 271 64 28,563 60
Female 152 36 18,673 40
Primary Occupation
Yes 298 70 23,847 50
No 125 30 24,314 50
TOTAL PRODUCERS 423 100 48,161 100

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Census of Agriculture: Table 45 Selected Operation and Producer Characteristics   

Top Crops by Acre

The top crops were winter and spring wheat, lentils, chickpeas, peas dry edible, barley, durum wheat, hay & haylage, mustard, canola, and potatoes.

Tops Crops by Acre-Liberty County

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

Top Livestock

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

Livestock
Number of Head
Chicken-Layers 107,810
Chicken-Broilers 21,000
Hogs 19,624
Cattle 10,245
Turkeys 1,575

 

 

 

 

 


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

Employment Impact

Agricultural production employed 887 workers, or 90.6% of the county’s labor force.  According to IMPLAN, economic impact model, 455 of the workers were directly employed in production agriculture.  An additional 355 workers were employed in businesses supporting agricultural production, such as feed and fertilizer dealers, and another 77 workers were employed in other related businesses, such as grocery and drugs stores. For every 10 jobs on farms and ranches, 10 additional jobs are generated in the county.

 

Impact Type
Labor Force
Impact Multipliers
County Labor Force 979  
Direct Impact 455
Indirect Impact 355 0.78
Induced Impact 77 0.17
Total Impact 887 0.95
Agriculture Share (%) 91  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Value Added Impacts

Farms and ranches generated $41 million of value-added, or 37% of the county’s total gross domestic product of $112 million in 2017. According to IMPLAN, $16.5 million was directly contributed by farmers and ranchers.  An additional $18.8 million was generated by businesses supporting agricultural production and $5.6 million was generated by other related businesses. Each dollar of value-added in agriculture by a farmer or rancher contributes an additional $1.48 of value-added in other sectors of the county’s economy.


Impact Type
Value-Added
($1 million)

Impact Multipliers
County GDP* 112.0  
Direct Impact** 16.5
Indirect Impact** 18.8 1.14
Induced Impact** 5.6 0.34
Total Impact** 41.0 1.48
Agriculture Share (%) 37  











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

References


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