Sanders County is located in the northwest portion of the state, bordering Idaho to the west. About 36% of land in Sanders County is classified as farm land.

Overview

Population
11,844
County Size (acres)
1,766,656
Land in Farms (%)
36.4
Number of Farms
521
Median Farm Size (acres) 90
Average Farm Size (acres) 1,233

 

 

 

 

 

 
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 $20 million while production expenses were $16 million.  Government payments were 3.5% of farm revenue.

Market Value of Products Sold
$16,910,000
Government Payments
$570,000
Farm-Related Income
$2,707,000
Total Farm Production Expenses
$16,098,000
Net Farm Cash Income $4,090,000



 

 

 

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

Taxation

The market value of all property in Sanders County was approximately $1 billion in 2019.  The taxable value assigned by the Montana Department of Revenue was $44 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 $1,859,354,507 $1,608,989,729
Taxable Value of All Property $44,196,248 $33,657,548 
Taxable Value ofAgricultural Property $598,734 $627,344
Ag Taxable Value as % of All Property 1.4% 1.9%



 

 

 

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 20%, while the market value of livestock increased by 6%, from 1997 to 2017.

Market Value of Crops and Livestock-Sanders County

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

Crops and Livestock

Cattle (66%) and hay and other crops (17%) comprised 83% of total crop and livestock sales in 2017.


Crops and Livestock-Sanders 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 slightly from 84% to 83%, while the percentage of larger farms, 500 acres or more, increased from 16% to 17% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size
by Acres
2017 2012
Number of
Farms

%
Number of
Farms

%
1 to 9 33 6 16 3
10 to 49 161 31 137 28
50 to 179 155 30 137 28
180 to 499     86 17 153 31
500 to 999 36 7 106 22
1,000 or more 50 10 41 8
TOTAL 521 100 492 100
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 slightly from 94% to 93%, while the percentage of the largest farms with sales of $100,000 or more increased from 6% to 7% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size 
by Sales
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
Less than 2,500 240 46 216 44
2,500 to 4,999 53 10 61 12
5,000 to 9,999 46 9 68 14
10,000 to 24,999 77 15 53 11
25,000 to 49,999 46 9 31 6
50,000 to 99,999 22 4 32 7
100,000 or more 37 7 31 6
TOTAL 521 100 492 100

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

Tillage and Land Use

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

Tillage
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
No tillage 30 6 5 1
Reduced tillage 21 4 3 1
Intensive tillage 53 10 51 10
Cover crops 30 6 23 5
TOTAL 521   492  
Source: Census of Agriculture: Table 41 Land Use Practices
 

Producer Profile 

The county producer population was older than the Montana producer population. Twenty-five percent of county producers were under 55 years of age, while 44% 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-five percent of producers in the county were males, while 60% of Montana producers were males. Farming was the primary occupation for 44% 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 0 570 1
25 to 34 41 5 3,285 7
35 to 44 51 6 5,179 11
45 to 54 119 14 7,309 15
55 to 64 272 31 13,838 29
65 to 74 268 31 11,469 24
75 and older 111 13 5,587 12
Gender
Male 477 55 28,563 60
Female 394 45 18,673 40
Primary Occupation
Yes 386 44 23,847 50
No 485 56 24,314 50
TOTAL PRODUCERS 871 100 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 potatoes.

Tops Crops by Acre-Sanders County

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

Top Livestock

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

Livestock
Number of Head
Cattle 15,539
Chicken - Layers 5,335
Hogs 270
Sheep 192
Chicken -Broilers 113
Turkeys 24

 

 

 

 

 


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

Employment Impact

Agricultural production employed 709 workers, or 15% of the county’s labor force.  According to IMPLAN, economic impact model, 532 of the workers were directly employed in production agriculture.  An additional 170 workers were employed in businesses supporting agricultural production, such as feed and fertilizer dealers, and another 7 workers were employed in other related businesses, such as grocery and drugs stores. For every 10 jobs on farms and ranches, 3 additional jobs are generated in the county.

Impact Type
Labor Force
Impact Multipliers
County Labor Force 4,776  
Direct Impact 532
Indirect Impact 170 0.32
Induced Impact 7 0.01
Total Impact 709 0.33
Agriculture Share (%) 15  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Value Added Impacts

Farms and ranches generated $11.5 million of value-added, or 3% of the county’s total gross domestic product of $337 million in 2017.  According to IMPLAN, $8 million was directly contributed by farmers and ranchers.  An additional $3.1 million was generated by businesses supporting agricultural production and $0.3 million was generated by other related businesses.  Each dollar of value-added in agriculture by a farmer or rancher contributes an additional $0.43 of value-added in other sectors of the county’s economy.

 


Impact Type
Value-Added
($1 million)

Impact Multipliers
County GDP* 337.0  
Direct Impact** 8.0
Indirect Impact** 3.1 0.39
Induced Impact** 0.3 0.04
Total Impact** 11.5 0.43
Agriculture Share (%) 3  











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

References


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