Sweet Grass County is a rural county located in the south central portion of the state, between Bozeman and Billings.  Over 69% of land in Sweet Grass County is classified as farm land.

Overview

Population
3,710
County Size (acres)
1,187,491
Land in Farms (%)
69.6
Number of Farms
301
Median Farm Size (acres) 320
Average Farm Size (acres) 2,745

 

 

 

 

 

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

Farm Revenue

Farm revenues (which includes the market value of products sold, government payments, and farm-related income) were $28 million while production expenses were over $26 million.  Government payments were 2.2% of farm expenses.

Market Value of Products Sold
$25,698,000
Government Payments
$617,000
Farm-Related Income
$2,056,000
Total Farm Production Expenses
$26,477,000
Net Farm Cash Income $1,894,000



 

 

 

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

Taxation

The market value of all property in Sweet Grass County was approximately $1 billion in 2019.  The taxable value assigned by the Montana Department of Revenue was $22 million.  Agricultural Property (as defined by Montana Department of Revenue as Class 3 Property) comprised 8% of the county's taxable value.

Property Tax Summary
2019
2014
Market Value of Property $1,000,671,859 $667,597,074
Taxable Value of All Property $22,630,881 $17,451,289
Taxable Value ofAgricultural Property $1,737,217 $1,839,154
Ag Taxable Value as % of All Property 8% 11%



 

 

 

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 2%, while the market value of livestock decreased by 23%, from 1997 to 2017.

 

Market Value of Crops and Livestock-Stillwater County

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

Crops and Livestock

Cattle comprised 82% of total crop and livestock sales in 2017.

Crops and Livestock-Sweet Grass 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 49% to 54%, while the percentage of larger farms, 500 acres or more, decreased from 51% to 46% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size
by Acres
2017 2012
Number of
Farms

%
Number of
Farms

%
1 to 9 15 5 25 8
10 to 49 43 14 35 11
50 to 179 60 20 58 17
180 to 499     44 15 46 14
500 to 999 28 9 37 11
1,000 or more 111 37 131 39
TOTAL 301 100 332 100
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 79% to 76%, while the percentage of the largest farms with sales of $100,000 or more increased from 21% to 24% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size 
by Sales
2012 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
Less than 2,500 95 32 117 35
2,500 to 4,999 16 5 24 7
5,000 to 9,999 35 12 26 8
10,000 to 24,999 22 7 24 7
25,000 to 49,999 29 10 38 11
50,000 to 99,999 31 10 34 10
100,000 or more 73 24 69 21
TOTAL 301 100 332 100

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

Tillage and Land Use

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

Tillage
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms

%
Number of 
Farms

%
No tillage 20 7 9 3
Reduced tillage 4 1 13 4
Intensive tillage 39 13 60 18
Cover crops 15 5 30 9
TOTAL 301   332  
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 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-one percent of producers in the county were males, while 60% of Montana producers were males. Farming was the primary occupation for 60% 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 16 3 570 1
25 to 34 45 8 3,285 7
35 to 44 60 10 5,179 11
45 to 54 94 16 7,309 15
55 to 64 152 26 13,838 29
65 to 74 135 24 11,469 24
75 and older 50 9 5,587 12
Gender
Male 351 61 28,563 60
Female 223 39 18,673 40
Primary Occupation
Yes 344 60 23,847 50
No 230 40 24,314 50
TOTAL PRODUCERS 574 100 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 peas dry edible.

Tops Crops by Acre-Sweet Grass County

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

Top Livestock

The top livestock were cattle, sheep, and poultry (chicken-layers) and hogs.

Livestock
Number of Head
Cattle 33,529
Sheep 3,433
Chicken - Layers 289
Hogs 90

 

 

 

 

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

Employment Impact

Agricultural production employed 592 workers, or 33% of the county’s labor force.  According to IMPLAN, economic impact model, 355 of the workers were directly employed in production agriculture.  An additional 236 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, 7 additional jobs are generated in the county.

Impact Type
Labor Force
Impact Multipliers
County Labor Force 1,796  
Direct Impact 355
Indirect Impact 236 0.66
Induced Impact 1 0.00
Total Impact 592 0.67
Agriculture Share (%) 33  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Value Added Impacts

Farms and ranches generated $19.6 million of value-added, or 8% of the county’s total gross domestic product of $242 million in 2017.  According to IMPLAN, $11.1 million was directly contributed by farmers and ranchers.  An additional $8.5 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 $0.77 of value-added in other sectors of the county’s economy.


Impact Type
 Value-Added
($1 million)

Impact Multipliers
County GDP* 242.0  
Direct Impact** 11.1
Indirect Impact** 8.5 0.77
Induced Impact** 0.0 0.00
Total Impact** 19.6 0.77
Agriculture Share (%) 8  











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

References


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