2017 Census of Agriculture – Sherman County

by Dallas Fridley

October 18, 2019

The market value of agricultural products sold in Sherman County totaled $33.8 million in 2017. Crops represented 94 percent or $31.7 million and livestock, poultry, and products about 6 percent or $2.1 million.
With 190 farms operating in 2017, agricultural product sales per farm averaged $177,883, well above Oregon’s $133,104. Sherman County‘s 2017 agricultural sales total ranked 28th in Oregon, while its average sales per farm ranked ninth. Marion County earned the top spot in Oregon with $702 million in agricultural product sales. And Morrow County ranked highest for its per farm average, at about $1.6 million.

Not every farm in Sherman County averaged $177,883 in agricultural product sales.  Operations with less than $2,500 in 2017 sales comprised 29 percent of Sherman County’s farms, while those with sales of $100,000 or more represented 76 farms or 40 percent. Farms in the $100,000 or more group brought in $31.7 million or 94 percent of Sherman County’s agricultural product sales total.
Sherman County’s top crop in 2017, wheat for grain, covered 131,504 acres, ranking third in Oregon behind Morrow County and top ranking Umatilla County. The market value of Sherman County’s grains, oilseeds, dry beans, and dry peas reached $31 million in 2017, ranking fourth in Oregon. Sherman County’s livestock included 3,369 head of cattle and calves, which produced $2.1 million in sales.

Farm production expenses in Sherman County averaged $155,325 in 2017. In addition to sales, 87 percent of Sherman County farms received government payments, averaging $59,533 per farm. Net cash income per farm averaged $100,304, ranking third behind Gilliam County and first place Morrow County’s $237,633, although far above Oregon’s $19,757.

Sherman County’s 2017 agricultural census identified 190 farms, an increase of 2 percent compared with 2012. Land in farms also rose in 2017, climbing 2 percent to 524,857 acres. The average size of a Sherman County farm held steady at 2,762 acres, substantially above Oregon’s 424 acre average.

Operations with 1,000 acres or more represented 63 percent (119 farms) of Sherman County’s farms compared with Oregon’s 6 percent. About 33 percent of Oregon’s farms belonged to the one to nine acres group in 2017 compared with Sherman County’s 3 percent. The 10 to 49 acres group led the state, with 34 percent of Oregon’s farms but for Sherman County the group represented just 5 percent. In the 500 to 999 acres group, Sherman County’s 8 percent more than doubled Oregon’s 3 percent.

Sherman County was home to 359 farm producers (maximum of four producers per farm) in 2017, with about 64 percent or 231 male producers and 128 female producers. About 42 percent of Sherman County’s farm producers were age 65 or older – and 86 percent of its farms were family farms.

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