Powder River County is a rural sparsely populated county located in the southeastern portion of the state.  Over 77% of land in Powder River County is classified as farm land. 

Overview

Population
1,716
County Size (acres)
2,110,845
Land in Farms (%)
77.1
Number of Farms
325
Median Farm Size (acres) 2,400
Average Farm Size (acres) 5,005

 

 

 

 

 

 
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 $69 million while production expenses were $52 million.  Government payments were 4.1% of farm revenues.

Market Value of Products Sold
$62,094,000
Government Payments
$2,797,000
Farm-Related Income
$3,954,000
Total Farm Production Expenses
$52,337,000
Net Farm Cash Income $16,508,000



 

 

 

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

Taxation

The market value of all property in Powder River County was approximately $434 million in 2019.  The taxable value assigned by the Montana Department of Revenue was $12 million.  Agricultural Property (as defined by Montana Department of Revenue as Class 3 Property) comprised 13% of the county's taxable value.

Property Tax Summary
2019
2014
Market Value of Property $434,895,744 $360,436,587
Taxable Value of All Property $12,680,080 $9,268,206
Taxable Value ofAgricultural Property $1,711,142 $2,047,046
Ag Taxable Value as % of All Property 13% 22%



 

 

 

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 36%, while the market value of livestock increased by 61%, from 1997 to 2017.

Market Value of Crops and Livestock-Powder River County

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

Crops and Livestock

Cattle comprised 92% of total crop and livestock sales in 2017.


Crops and Livestock-Powder River 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 25% to 27%, while the percentage of larger farms, 500 acres or more, decreased from 75% to 73% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size
by Acres
2017 2012
Number of
Farms

%
Number of
Farms

%
1 to 9 6 2 33 10
10 to 49 23 7 20 6
50 to 179 23 7 8 2
180 to 499     36 11 22 7
500 to 999 28 9 37 11
1,000 or more 209 64 208 63
TOTAL 325 100 328 100
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 52% to 46%, while the percentage of the largest farms with sales of $100,000 or more increased from 48% to 54% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size 
by Sales
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
Less than 2,500 50 15 57 17
2,500 to 4,999 9 3 9 3
5,000 to 9,999 15 5 13 4
10,000 to 24,999 18 6 27 8
25,000 to 49,999 27 8 29 9
50,000 to 99,999 31 10 35 11
100,000 or more 175 54 158 48
TOTAL 325 100 328 100

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

Tillage and Land Use

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

Tillage
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
No tillage 35 11 26 8
Reduced tillage 17 5 24 7
Intensive tillage 44 14 86 26
Cover crops 21 6 13 4
TOTAL 325   328  
Source: Census of Agriculture: Table 41 Land Use Practices
 

Producer Profile 

The county producer population was slightly younger than the Montana producer population. Thirty-eight 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. Sixty percent of producers in the county were males, while 60% of Montana producers were males. Farming was the primary occupation for 71% 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 58 9 3,285 7
35 to 44 67 10 5,179 11
45 to 54 113 18 7,309 15
55 to 64 189 29 13,838 29
65 to 74 128 20 11,469 24
75 and older 75 12 5,587 12
Gender
Male 385 60 28,563 60
Female 256 40 18,673 40
Primary Occupation
Yes 452 71 23,847 50
No 189 29 24,314 50
TOTAL PRODUCERS 641 100 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, winter wheat, barley, peas dry edible, and spring wheat.

Tops Crops by Acre-Powder River County

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

Top Livestock

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

Livestock
Number of Head
Cattle 84,944
Sheep 10,620
Chicken - Layers 538
Hogs 36

 

 

 

 

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

Employment Impact

Agricultural production employed 518 workers, or 51% of the county’s labor force.  According to IMPLAN, economic impact model, 360 of the workers were directly employed in production agriculture.  An additional 128 workers were employed in businesses supporting agricultural production, such as feed and fertilizer dealers, and another 30 workers were 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 1,006  
Direct Impact 360
Indirect Impact 128 0.36
Induced Impact 30 0.08
Total Impact 518 0.44
Agriculture Share (%) 51  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Value Added Impacts

Farms and ranches generated $33.6 million of value-added, or 41% of the county’s total gross domestic product of $81 million in 2017.  According to IMPLAN, $24.5 million was directly contributed by farmers and ranchers.  An additional $7.4 million was generated by businesses supporting agricultural production and $1.7 million was generated by other related businesses.  Each dollar of value-added in agriculture by a farmer or rancher contributes an additional $0.37 of value-added in other sectors of the county’s economy.


Impact Type
Value-Added
($1 million)

Impact Multipliers
County GDP* 81.0  
Direct Impact** 24.5
Indirect Impact** 7.4 0.30
Induced Impact** 1.7 0.04
Total Impact** 33.6 0.37
Agriculture Share (%) 41  











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

References


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