Montana may not be the first place you think of when it comes to agriculture but agriculture is actually a huge part of the economy in Montana. The farmers grow and raise a variety of agricultural products, here are some of the bigger cash crops that you will find in Montana.
Montana has more than 2.5 million heads of cattle, that is roughly three times as many cows as people. Cattle ranching is a big business in Montana bringing in $1.5 billion in revenue. This makes Montana the 6th largest cattle producing state in the country.
With nearly 10,000 wheat farms in the state, wheat adds roughly $900 million dollars to the state economy. The northern part of the state, referred to as the “Triangle Area” is where the bulk of the wheat in Montana is grown.
Since Montana is one of the largest cattle producers in the country it also makes sense that they grow hay as well. There are nearly 2 acres of alfalfa hay and the state produces 3.5 million tons of hay each year. That means more than $300 million of revenue each year.
There are more than a million acres of barley that grow in Montana and each generates about 50 bushels for each acre, the industry generates around $220 million for farmers each year.
You probably weren’t aware that Montana is the number one producer of lentils in the country. There are more than half a million acres of farmland producing lentils that help the state generate more than $200 million in revenue.
Each year in Montana there are more than 1.25 million tons of sugar beets that are harvested in Montana each year making it the 6th largest producer in the nation. The yield generates almost $100 million dollars in revenue for Montana farmers.
Hog prices are at an all-time high with a value of more than $145 per head, making this the seventh largest cash crop in Montana giving farmers more than $64 million dollars in revenue.
While beef cattle may be the dominant agricultural product, you’re still going to see plenty of dairy cows across the state. The dairy industry generates more than $55 million per year for Montana dairy farmers.
Montana is one of the bigger producers of flaxseed, safflower and canola in the country. This cash crop is responsible for more than $25 million dollars’ worth of revenue for Montana farmers.
These are the biggest cash crops in Montana generating billions of dollars for Montana farmers each year. Agriculture is a big part of the economy in Montana.