50 State Agricultural Rankings

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The tables below offer information about Montana agriculture from the general agricultural groups to the more specific commodities or products. The ranking assigned to a given commodity is based on the commodity's cash receipts; how much money it made.

Commodity groups cash receipts - 2004

As you can see from the table below, Montana ranks 33rd among the states for total agricultural production.

Commodity groups cash receipts - 2004
Product Group Value ($1,000) % State total State rank
All commodities 2,238,979 100.0% 33
Livestock & livestock products 1,278,045 57.1% 31
Crops 960,934 42.9% 31
Source: USDA:Economic Research Service

Montana's top five commodities by cash receipts - 2004

This table lists Montana's top commodities in each of Montana's two agriculutural groups, livestock and crops.

Montana's top five commodities by cash receipts - 2004
Livestock products % State total Crop products % State total
Cattle and calves 49.3% Wheat 25.3%
Dairy products 2.4% Barley 5.6%
Hogs 1.7% Hay 3.9%
Sheep and lambs 1.0% Sugar beets 2.5%
Chicken eggs 0.3% Greenhouse/nursery 1.5%
Source: USDA:Economic Research Service

Montana's most valuable agricultural production is in cattle in calves, accounting for almost 1/2 of the state's total agricultural receipts. In the livestock products category, dairy products are important followed by hogs. Sheep and lambs are also raised in Montana.

Wheat is Montana's most valuable crop. Barley, hay, sugar beets and greenhouse and nursery products are also important to the state.

Leading commodities for cash receipts - 2004

This table offers a more complete view of the most important agricultural products of Montana.

Leading commodities for cash receipts - 2004
Product Value ($1,000) % State Value
1. Cattle and calves 1,104,387 49.3%
2. Wheat 565,647 25.3%
3. Barley 124,839 5.6%
4. Hay 86,794 3.9%
5. Sugar beets 56,244 2.5%
6. Dairy products 53,165 2.4%
7. Hogs 38,789 1.7%
8. Greenhouse/nursery 32,590 1.5%
9. Sheep and lambs 23,288 1.0%
10. Potatoes 22,670 1.0%
11. Honey 11,427 0.5%
12. Chicken eggs 5,862 0.3%
13. Corn for grain 4,709 0.2%
14. Cherries 4,473 0.2%
15. Dry beans 4,101 0.2%
16. Wool 2,892 0.1%
17. Oats 1,592 0.1%
18. Flaxseed 1,438 0.1%
19. Farm chickens 4 Less than 0.1%
Safflower *    
Sunflower *    
* Commodities at the bottom of the above ranked list of commodities and having no accompanying data would have appeared within the ranked list of leading commodities, but were excluded to avoid disclosure of confidential information about individual producers.
Source: USDA:Economic Research Service

The 2004 table above contains information about Montana agricultural production provided by the Economic Research Service at the United States Department of Agriculture.

The first column of the table lists the product (commodity).

The second column of the table lists a number representing the dollar value of the product. This number is not the dollar value of the product. This number represents the dollar value of the product in thousands of dollars. For example, the number listed for the value of cattle and calves produced in Montana is 1,104,387. This number represents a dollar value of $1,104,387,000 (1,104,387 x 1,000): one billion, one hundred and four million, three hundred and eighty-seven thousand dollars.

The third column of the table lists the percent (part) of the total agricultural value produced in Montana. For example, cattle and calves account for 49.3% of Montana's total agricultural production value. The dollars generated by the production of these cattle and calves add up to almost 1/2 of Montana's total agricultural production.

Montana farms and farmland - 2004

Because of different rounding methods (e.g., farm acres given by the National Argriculture Statistics Service), percentage of farmland per state should be considered a rough estimate.

Montana farms and farmland - 2004
Number of farms Total farm acres Percent of state Average farm size (acres)
28,000 60,088,000 65% 2,146
Source: USDA:National Agriculture Statistics Service

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