Musselshell County is a rural county located in the central part of the state. Over 92% of land in Musselshell County is classified as farm land.

Overview

Population
4,651
County Size (acres)
1,196,133
Land in Farms (%)
92.2
Number of Farms
346
Median Farm Size (acres) 220
Average Farm Size (acres) 3,189

 

 

 

 

 

 
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 $41 million while production expenses were nearly $34 million. Government payments were 5.4% of farm revenues.

Market Value of Products Sold
$37,284,000
Government Payments
$2,231,000
Farm-Related Income
$1,764,000
Total Farm Production Expenses
$33,954,000
Net Farm Cash Income $7,326,000



 

 

 

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

Taxation

The market value of all property in Musselshell County was approximately $589 million in 2019.  The taxable value assigned by the Montana Department of Revenue was $13 million.  Agricultural Property (as defined by Montana Department of Revenue as Class 3 property) comprised 12.5% of the county's taxable value.

 

Property Tax Summary
2019
2014
Market Value of Property $589,317,564 $458,383,205
Taxable Value of All Property $13,010,630 $9,948,213
Taxable Value ofAgricultural Property $1,624,212 $1,574,517
Ag Taxable Value as % of All Property 12.5% 15.8%



 

 

 

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 65%, from 1997 to 2017.

Market Value of Crops and Livestock-Musselshell County

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

Crops and Livestock

Cattle (76%) and grain (8%) comprised 84% of total crop and livestock sales in 2017.


Crops and Livestock-Musselshell 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 57% to 59%, while the percentage of larger farms, 500 acres or more, decreased from 43% to 41% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size
by Acres
2017 2012
Number of
Farms
% Number of
Farms
%
1 to 9 11 3 5 1
10 to 49 39 11 43 12
50 to 179 106 31 107 30
180 to 499     47 14 47 13
500 to 999 24 7 36 10
1,000 or more 119 34 118 33
TOTAL 346 100 353 100
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 decreased from 82% to 79%, while the percentage of the largest farms with sales of $100,000 or more increased from 18% to 21% from 2012 to 2017.

 
Farm Size 
by Sales
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms
% Number of 
Farms
%
Less than 2,500 165 48 178 50
2,500 to 4,999 17 5 30 8
5,000 to 9,999 20 6 18 5
10,000 to 24,999 23 7 23 6
25,000 to 49,999 28 8 26 7
50,000 to 99,999 22 6 16 4
100,000 or more 71 21 65 18
TOTAL 346 100 356 100

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

Tillage and Land Use

The percentage of farms using reduced tillage increased, while the percentage of farms using intensive tillage or cover crops decreased from 2012 to 2017.

Tillage
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms
% Number of 
Farms
%
No tillage 31 9 33 9
Reduced tillage 17 5 11 3
Intensive tillage 34 10 48 13
Cover crops 7 2 12 3
TOTAL 346   356  
Source: Census of Agriculture: Table 41 Land Use Practices
 

Producer Profile

The county producer population was older than the Montana producer population. Twenty-eight percent of county producers were under 55 years of age, while 40% 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-four percent of producers in the county were males, while 60% of Montana producers were males. Farming was the primary occupation for 54% 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 4 1 570 1
25 to 34 21 3 3,285 7
35 to 44 61 10 5,179 11
45 to 54 88 14 7,309 15
55 to 64 204 32 13,838 29
65 to 74 167 26 11,469 24
75 and older 89 14 5,587 12
Gender
Male 343 54 28,563 60
Female 293 46 18,673 40
Primary Occupation
Yes 344 54 23,847 50
No 292 46 24,314 50
TOTAL PRODUCERS 636 100 48,161 100

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Top Crops by Acre

The top crop was hay & haylage, winter wheat, and barley.

Tops Crops by Acre-Musselshell 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 38,861
Sheep 4,619
Chicken - Layers 980
Chicken - Broilers 151
Hogs 37
Turkeys 32

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

Employment Impact

Agricultural production employed 567 workers, or 25% of the county’s labor force.  According to IMPLAN, economic impact model, 419 of the workers were directly employed in production agriculture.  An additional 147 workers were employed in businesses supporting agricultural production, such as feed and fertilizer dealers, and another 1 worker was employed in other related businesses, such as grocery and drugs stores. For every 10 jobs on farms and ranches, 4 additional jobs are generated in the county.

 

Impact Type
Labor Force
Impact Multipliers
County Labor Force 2,287  
Direct Impact 419
Indirect Impact 147 0.35
Induced Impact 1 0.00
Total Impact 567 0.35
Agriculture Share (%) 25  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Value Added Impacts

Farms and ranches generated $20.2 million of value-added, or 7% of the county’s total gross domestic product of $278 million in 2017.  According to IMPLAN, $13.8 million was directly contributed by farmers and ranchers.  An additional $6.4 million was generated by businesses supporting agricultural production and other related businesses.  Each dollar of value-added in agriculture by a farmer or rancher contributes an additional $0.47 of value-added in other sectors of the county’s economy.


Impact Type
Value-Added
($1 million)

Impact Multipliers
County GDP* 278.0  
Direct Impact** 13.8
Indirect Impact** 6.4 0.47
Induced Impact** 0.0 0.00
Total Impact** 20.2 0.47
Agriculture Share (%) 7  











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

References


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