Respect the Fields and Cows: Facts About Farming in Montana
With 7.16 people per square mile, Montana DOES have more cows than people. Farming and ranching is still incredibly important across the entire state. (We've got 2.51 cattle per person, BTW.)
We thought we'd gather the latest facts about Montana farming and ranching as an easy snapshot of just how important this industry is. Fun facts and tidbits are our favorite way of actually remembering new info. There are a lot of dollars packed into Montana's economy, so let's take a look.
- Montana's 58.1 million acres of land in farms and ranches ranks second in the nation behind Texas. (USDA/National Agricultural Statistics Service)
- Carter County has way more cows than people: 74 cows for every human (Prairie Populist)
- Montana Proportion of Land in Farms and Ranches: 62.4% (USDA 2019 figures)
- Number of Montana Farms: 29,500 (AgInTheClassroom.org)
- Average Montana Farm Size: 2,079 acres
- Total Montana Farmland: 61.3 million acres
- Land in Conservation or Wetland Reserve Programs: 3.5 million acres
- Montana's Top Agriculture Commodities: Cattle and calves with $1,279,709,000, wheat with $1,052,269,000, hay with $446,765,000, and barley with $185,468,000 (University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture study).
Montana's Top Agricultural Exports: Wheat with $689,925,938, Beef and Veal with $165,599,011, Other Plant Products with $105,033,208, Feeds and Other Feed Grains $98,493,151, Grain Products Processed with $94,760,328.
- Montana generates over $4 billion in agricultural cash receipts (Beef2Live.com)
- Montana accounts for 23% of the barley (by value) produced in the United States
- Montana accounts for 9% of the wheat (by value) produced in the United States
- Montana accounts for 41% of the dry peas (by value) produced in the United States
- Montana accounts for 35% of the lentils (by value) produced in the United States
How to get a brand in Montana: "Currently, there are 47,669 registered Montana Livestock Brands maintained by the Brands Enforcement Division Brand Office".
You can order a Brand Book for Montana, and also check brands county by county.