Yellowstone County is the most populated county in the state, containing the major town of Billings.  Over 95% of land in Yellowstone County is classified as farm land. 

Overview

Population
160,137
County Size (acres)
1,685,441
Land in Farms (%)
95.1
Number of Farms
1,314
Median Farm Size (acres) 60
Average Farm Size (acres) 1,220

 

 

 

 

 

 
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 nearly $150 million while production expenses were over $127 million.  Government payments were 3.7% of farm revenues.

Market Value of Products Sold
$135,287,000
Government Payments
$5,615,000
Farm-Related Income
$8,851,000
Total Farm Production Expenses
$127,316,000
Net Farm Cash Income $22,437,000



 

 

 

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

Taxation

The market value of all property in Yellowstone County was approximately $21 billion in 2019.  The taxable value assigned by the Montana Department of Revenue was $390 million.  Agricultural Property (as defined by Montana Department of Revenue as Class 3 Property) comprised 1% of the county's taxable value.

Property Tax Summary
2019
2014
Market Value of Property $21,814,044,437 $11,181,311,047
Taxable Value of All Property $390,133,029 $307,533,037
Taxable Value ofAgricultural Property $3,659,212 $3,439,242
Ag Taxable Value as % of All Property 0.94% 1.1%



 

 

 

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 6%, while the market value of livestock decreased by 8%, from 1997 to 2017.

Market Value of Crops and Livestock-Yellowstone County

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

Crops and Livestock

Cattle (64%) and other (16%) comprised 80% of total crop and livestock sales in 2017.

Crops and Livestock-Yellowstone 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 slightly from 78% to 79%, while the percentage of larger farms, 500 acres or more, decreased from 22% to 21% from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size
by Acres
2017 2012
Number of
Farms
% Number of
Farms
%
1 to 9 201 15 211 16
10 to 49 402 31 428 32
50 to 179 262 20 242 18
180 to 499     172 13 159 12
500 to 999 86 7 97 7
1,000 or more 191 15 193 15
TOTAL 1314 100 1330 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 and the largest farms with sales of $100,000 or more was unchanged from 2012 to 2017.

Farm Size 
by Sales
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms
% Number of 
Farms
%
Less than 2,500 571 43 611 46
2,500 to 4,999 98 7 107 8
5,000 to 9,999 122 9 106 8
10,000 to 24,999 149 11 129 10
25,000 to 49,999 107 8 85 6
50,000 to 99,999 66 5 86 6
100,000 or more 201 15 206 15
TOTAL 1314 100 1330 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 no till or intensive tillage decreased from 2012 to 2017.

 

Tillage
2017 2012
Number of 
Farms
% Number of 
Farms
%
No tillage 84 6 94 7
Reduced tillage 50 4 46 3
Intensive tillage 124 9 191 14
Cover crops 32 2 20 2
TOTAL 1314   1330  
Source: Census of Agriculture: Table 41 Land Use Practices
 

Producer Profile 

The county producer population was younger than the Montana producer population. Thirty-five 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. Fifty-eight percent of producers in the county were males, while 60% of Montana producers were males. Farming was the primary occupation for 36% 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 13 1 570 1
25 to 34 119 5 3,285 7
35 to 44 309 13 5,179 11
45 to 54 379 16 7,309 15
55 to 64 710 30 13,838 29
65 to 74 534 22 11,469 24
75 and older 237 10 5,587 12
Gender
Male 1,386 58 28,563 60
Female 988 42 18,673 40
Primary Occupation
Yes 848 36 23,847 50
No 1,526 64 24,314 50
TOTAL PRODUCERS 2,374 100 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, spring wheat, peas dry edible, safflower, lentils, durum wheat, and potatoes.

 

Tops Crops by Acre-Yellowstone County

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

Top Livestock  

The top livestock were cattle, chicken-layers, and sheep.

Livestock
Number of Head
Cattle 110,710
Chicken - Layers 20,552
Sheep 2,082

 

 

 

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

Employment Impact

Agricultural production employed 3,323 workers, or 4% of the county’s labor force.  According to IMPLAN, economic impact model, 1,393 of the workers were directly employed in production agriculture.  An additional 1,386 workers were employed in businesses supporting agricultural production, such as feed and fertilizer dealers, and another 544 workers were employed in other related businesses, such as grocery and drugs stores. For every 10 jobs on farms and ranches, 14 additional jobs are generated in the county.

 

Impact Type
Labor Force
Impact Multipliers
County Labor Force 81,829  
Direct Impact 1,393
Indirect Impact 1,386 0.99
Induced Impact 544 0.39
Total Impact 3,323 1.39
Agriculture Share (%) 4  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Value Added Impacts

Farms and ranches generated $211.8 million of value-added, or 2% of the county’s total gross domestic product of $8,898 million in 2017.  According to IMPLAN, $48.1 million was directly contributed by farmers and ranchers.  An additional $123 million was generated by businesses supporting agricultural production and $40.8 million was generated by other related businesses.  Each dollar of value-added in agriculture by a farmer or rancher contributes an additional $3.41 of value-added in other sectors of the county’s economy.  This significant contribution to the local economy is because Billings is an economic hub for southern Montana.

 

Impact Type
Labor Force
Impact Multipliers
County GDP* 8,898.0  
Direct Impact** 48.1
Indirect Impact** 123.0 2.56
Induced Impact** 40.8 0.85
Total Impact** 211.8 3.41
Agriculture Share (%) 2  










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

References


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