Meagher County is a rural sparsely populated county located in the west central part of the state.  Over 57% of land in Meagher County is classified as farm land.

Overview

Population
1,866
County Size (acres)
1,530,796
Land in Farms (%)
57.6
Number of Farms
145
Median Farm Size (acres) 1,800
Average Farm Size (acres) 6,084

 

 

 

 

 

 
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 $39 million while production expenses were over $32 million. Government payments were 2.3% of farm revenues.

Market Value of Products Sold
$36,769,000
Government Payments
$887,000
Farm-Related Income
$1,677,000
Total Farm Production Expenses
$32,556,000
Net Farm Cash Income $6,777,000



 

 

 

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

Taxation

The market value of all property in Meagher County was approximately $424 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 18% of the county's taxable value.

 

Property Tax Summary
2019
2014
Market Value of Property $424,805,168 $399,544,938
Taxable Value of All Property $9,051,194 $8,114,804
Taxable Value ofAgricultural Property $1,704,472 $1,507,761
Ag Taxable Value as % of All Property 18.83% 18.58%



 

 

 

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 30%, while the market value of livestock increased by 14%, from 1997 to 2017.

Market Value of Crops and Livestock-Meagher County

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

Crops and Livestock

Cattle comprised 80% of total crop and livestock sales in 2017.


Crops and Livestock-Meagher 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 40% to 37%, while the percentage of larger farms, 500 acres or more, increased from 60% to 63% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size
by Acres
2017 2012
Number of
Farms
% Number of
Farms
%
1 to 9 11 8 11 8
10 to 49 20 14 20 15
50 to 179 9 6 10 7
180 to 499     14 10 13 10
500 to 999 3 2 4 3
1,000 or more 88 61 78 57
TOTAL 145 100 136 100
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 60% to 54%, while the proportion of total sales from the largest farms with sales of $100,000 or more increased from 40% to 46% from 2012 to 2017.

 
Farm Size 
by Sales
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms
% Number of 
Farms
%
Less than 2,500 36 25 44 32
2,500 to 4,999 9 6 5 4
5,000 to 9,999 12 8 3 2
10,000 to 24,999 5 3 9 7
25,000 to 49,999 7 5 7 5
50,000 to 99,999 10 7 13 10
100,000 or more 66 46 55 40
TOTAL 145 100 136 100

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

Tillage and Land Use

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

Tillage
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms
% Number of 
Farms
%
No tillage 13 9 9 7
Reduced tillage 5 3 3 2
Intensive tillage 24 17 22 16
Cover crops 10 7 5 4
TOTAL 145   136  
Source: Census of Agriculture: Table 41 Land Use Practices

Producer Profile

The county producer population was older than the Montana producer population. Thirty-six percent of county producers were under 55 years of age, while 46% 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-five percent of producers in the county were males, while 60% of Montana producers were males. Farming was the primary occupation for 63% 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 6 2 570 1
25 to 34 23 9 3,285 7
35 to 44 37 14 5,179 11
45 to 54 27 10 7,309 15
55 to 64 45 17 13,838 29
65 to 74 76 29 11,469 24
75 and older 44 17 5,587 12
Gender
Male 168 65 28,563 60
Female 92 35 18,673 40
Primary Occupation
Yes 165 63 23,847 50
No 95 37 24,314 50
TOTAL PRODUCERS 260 100 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 and barley.

Tops Crops by Acre-McCone County

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

Top Livestock

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

Livestock
Number of Head
Cattle 50,989
Sheep 3,051
Chicken - Layers 98

 

 

 

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

Employment Impact

Agricultural production employed 407 workers, or 44% of the county’s labor force.  According to IMPLAN, economic impact model, 244 of the workers were directly employed in production agriculture.  An additional 116 workers were employed in businesses supporting agricultural production, such as feed and fertilizer dealers, and another 47 workers were employed in other related businesses, such as grocery and drugs stores. For every 10 jobs on farms and ranches, 7 additional jobs are generated in the county.

Impact Type
Labor Force
Impact Multipliers
County Labor Force 930  
Direct Impact 244
Indirect Impact 116 0.48
Induced Impact 47 0.19
Total Impact 407 0.67
Agriculture Share (%) 44  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Value Added Impacts

Farms and ranches generated $24.1 million of value-added, or 35% of the county’s total gross domestic product of $69 million in 2017.  According to IMPLAN, $14.5 million was directly contributed by farmers and ranchers.  An additional $7.3 million was generated by businesses supporting agricultural production and $2.3 million was generated by other related businesses.  Each dollar of value-added in agriculture by a farmer or rancher contributes an additional $0.67 of value-added in other sectors of the county’s economy.


Impact Type
Value-Added
($1 million)

Impact Multipliers
County GDP* 69.0  
Direct Impact** 14.5
Indirect Impact** 7.3 0.51
Induced Impact** 2.3 0.16
Total Impact** 24.1 0.67
Agriculture Share (%) 35  











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

References


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