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Full text of "United States census of agriculture: 1954"

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DEPOSITORY 



ol. Ill - pt. 9 ch. VI 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 
IN THE UNITED STATES 

(A COOPERATIVE REPORT) 



Western Stock Ranches and 
Livestock Farms 




SPECIAL REPORTS 




1954 

Census 

of 

Agriculture 



'7 



U. S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 

BUREAU OF THE CENSUS AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE 

\^ASHIHG10H . 7956 






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U. S. Department of Agriculture 

Ezra Tah Benson, Secretary 

Agricultural Research Service 

Byron T. Show, Adminiitrator 

U. S. Department of Commerce 

Sincloir Weeks, Secrefary 

Bureau of the Census 

Robert W. Burgess, Director 



United States 

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ensus 



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Aqriculture 



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1954 

Volume III 
SPECIAL REPORTS 

Part 9 

Farmers and Farm Production in the United States 

(A Cooperative Report) 



Chapter VI 

Western Stock Ranches and 
Livestock Farms 



CHARACTERISTICS OF FARMERS and FARM PRODUCTION • 
PRINCIPAL TYPES OF FARMS • 



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BUREAU OF THE CENSUS 
Robert W. Burgess, Director 

AGRICULTURE DIVISION 
Ray Hurley. Chief 
Warder B. Jenkins, Assistant Chief 



AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE 
Byron T. Shaw, Administrator 

FARM AND LAND MANAGEMENT RESEARCH 
Sherman E. Johnson, Director 

PRODUCTION ECONOMICS RESEARCH BRANCH 
Carl P. Heisig, Chief 



Boston Public Library 
Superintendent of Documents 

JUL 1 7 1957 






SUGGESTED IDENTIFICATION 

U. S. Bureau of the Census. U. S. Census of Agriculture: 1954. Vol. Ill, Special Reports 

Part 9, Farmers and Farm Production in the United States. 

Chapter VI, Western Stock Ranches and Livestock Farms 

U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C, 1956. 



For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C. 
or any of the Field Offices of the Department of Commerce, Price 40 cents (paper cover) 



PREFACE 

The purpose of this report is to present an analysis of the characteristics of farmers and farm production 
for the most important types of farms as shown by data for the 1954 Census of Agriculture. The analysis 
deals with the relative importance, pattern of resource use, some measures of efficiency, and problems of 
adjustment and change for the principal types of farms. 

The data given in the various chapters of this report have been derived largely from the special tabula- 
tion of data for each type of farm, by economic class, for the 1954 Census of Agriculture. The detailed 
statistics for each type of farm for the United States and the principal subregions appear in Part 8 of Volume 
III of the reports for the 1954 Census of Agriculture. 

This cooperative report was prepared under the direction of Ray Hurley, Chief of the Agriculture Divi- 
sion of the Bureau of the Census, U. S. Department of Commerce, and Kenneth L. Bachman, Head, Produc- 
tion, Income, and Costs Section, Production Economics Research Branch, Agricultural Research Service of 
the U. S. Department of Agriculture. 

Jackson V. McElveen, Agricultural Economist, Production, Income, and Costs Section, Production 
Economics Research Branch, Agricultural Research Service of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, super- 
vised a large part of the detailed planning and analysis for the various chapters. 

The list of chapters and the persons preparing each chapter are as follows: 



Chapter I Wheat Producers and Wheat 

Production 
A. W. Epp, 
University of Nebraska. 

Chapter II Cotton Producers and Cotton 

Production 
Robert B. Glasgow, 
Production Economics Research 

Branch, 
Agricultural Research Service, 
United States Department of 

Agriculture. 

Chapter III Tobacco and Peanut Producers 

and Production 
R. E. L. Greene, 
University of Florida. 

Chapter IV Poultry Producers and Poultry 

Production 
William P. Mortenson, 
University of Wisconsin. 

Dairy Producers and Dairy Pro- 
duction 
P. E. McNall, 
University of Wisconsin. 



Chapter VI . 



Chapter VII- 



Western Stock Ranches and Live- 
stock Farms 

Mont H. Saunderson, 

Western Ranching and Lands 
Consultant, 

Bozeman, Mont. 

Cash-grain and Livestock Pro- 
ducers in the Com Belt 

Edwin G. Strand, 

Production Economics Research 
Branch, 

Agricultural Research Service, 

United States Department of 
Agriculture. 

Chapter VIII- _ Part-time Farming 
H. G. Halcrow, 
University of Connecticut. 



Chapter IX Agricultural Producers and Pro- 
duction in the United States — 
A General View 
Jackson V. McElveen, 
Production Economics Research 

Branch, 
Agricultural Research Service, 
United States Department of 
Agriculture. 

The editorial work for this report was performed by Caroline B. Sherman, and the preparation of the 
statistical tables was supervised by Margaret Wood. 



Chapter V- 



December 1956 



UNITED STATES CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE: 1954 

REPORTS 

Volume I. — Counties and State Economic Areas. Statistics for counties include number of farms, acreage, value, and farm operators; 
farms by color and tenure of operator; facilities and equipment; use of commercial fertilizer; farm labor; farm expenditures; livestock and 
livestock products; specified crops harvested; farms classified by type of farm and by economic class; and value of products sold by source. 

Data for State economic areas include farms and farm characteristics by tenure of operator, by type of farm, and by economic class. 

Volume I is published in 3.3 parts. 

Volume II. — General Report. Statistics by Subjects, United States Census of Agriculture, 1954. Summary data and analyses of 
the data for States, for Geographic Divisions, and for the United States by subjects. 



Volume III. — Special Eeports 

Part 1. — Multiple-Unit Operations. This report wiU be similar to 
Part 2 of Volume V of the reports for the 1950 Census of Agri- 
culture. It vfill present statistics for approximately 900 
counties and State economic areas in 12 Southern States and 
Missouri for the number and characteristics of multiple-unit 
operations and farms in multiple units. 

Part 2. — Ranking Agricultural Counties. This special report will 
present statistics for selected items of inventory and agricul- 
tural production for the leading counties in the United States. 

Part 3. — Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, District of Columbia, and 
U. S. Possessions. These areas were not included in the 1954 
Census of Agriculture. The available current data from vari- 
ous Government sources will be compiled and published in 
this report. 

Part 4. — Agriculture, 1954, a Graphic Summary. This report will 
present graphically some of the significant facts regarding 
agriculture and agricultural production as revealed by the 1954 
Census of Agriculture. 

Part 5. — Farm-Mortgage Debt. This wiU be a cooperative study 
by the Agricultural Research Service of the U. S. Department 
of Agriculture and the Bureau of the Census. It will present, 
by States, data based on the 1954 Census of Agriculture and a 
special mail survey conducted in January 1956, on the num- 
ber of mortgaged farms, the amount of mortgage debt, and the 
amount of debt held by principal lending agencies. 

Part 6. — Irrigation in Humid Areas. This cooperative report by 
the Agricultural Research Service of the U. S. Department of 
Agriculture and the Bureau of the Census will present data ob- 
tained by a mail survey of operators of irrigated farms in 28 
States on the source of water, method of applying water, num- 
ber of pumps used, acres of crops irrigated in 1954 and 1955, 
the number of times each crop was irrigated, and the cost of 
irrigation equipment and the irrigation system. 

Part 7. — Popular Report of the 1954 Census of Agriculture. This 
report is planned to be a general, easy-to-rcad publication for 
the general public on the status and broad characteristics of 
United States agriculture. It will seek to delineate such as- 
pects of agriculture as the geographic distribution and dif- 
ferences by size of farm for such items as farm acreage, princi- 
pal crops, and important kinds of livestock, farm facilities, 
farm equipment, use of fertilizer, soil conservation practices, 
farm tenure, and farm income. 

Part 8, — Size of Operation by Type of Farm. This will be a coop- 
erative special report to be prepared in cooperation with the 
Agricultural Research Service of the U. S. Department of Agri- 
culture. This report will contain data for 119 economic sub- 



regions (essentially general type-of-farming areas) showing the 
general characteristics for each type of farm by economic class. 
It will provide data for a current analysis of the differences 
that exist among groups of farms of the same type. It will 
furnish statistical basis for a realistic examination of produc- 
tion of such commodities as wheat, cotton, and dairy products 
in connection with actual or proposed governmental policies 
and programs. 
Part 9. — Farmers and Farm Production in the United State's. 
The purpose of this report is to present an analysis of the 
characteristics of farmers and farm production for the most 
important types of farms as shown by data for the 1954 Census 
of Agriculture. The analysis deals with the relative importance, 
pattern of resource use, some measures of efficiency, and prob- 
lems of adjustment and change for the principal types of farms. 
The report was prepared in cooperation with the Agricultural 
Research Service of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. 

The list of chapters (published separately only) and title 
for each chapter are as follows: 

Chapter I — Wheat Producers and Wheat Production 
II — Cotton Producers and Cotton Production 
III — Tobacco and Peanut Producers and Production 
IV — Poultry Producers and Poultry Production 

V — Dairy Producers and Dairy Production 
VI — Western Stock Ranches and Livestock Farms 
VII — Cash-Grain and Ldvestock Producers in the Corn 
Belt 
VIII — Part-Tiine Farming i 

IX — Agricultural Producers and Production in the 
United States — A General View 
Part 10. — Use of Fertilizer and lime. The purpose of this report 
is to present in one publication most of the detailed data com- 
piled for the 1954 Census of Agriculture regarding the use of 
fertilizer and lime. The report presents data for counties, 
State economic areas, and generalized type-of-farming areas 
regarding the quantity used, acreage on which used, and 
expenditures for fertilizer and lime. The Agricultural Research 
Service cooperated with the Bureau of the Census in the prep- 
aration of this report. 
Part 11. — Farmers' Expenditures. This report presents detailed 
data on expenditures for a large number of items used for farm 
production in 1955, and on the living expenditures of farm 
operators' families. The data were collected and compiled 
cooperatively by the Agricultural Marketing Service of the 
U. S. Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of the Census. 
Part 12. — Methods and Procedures. This report contains an 
outline and a description of the methods and procedures used 
in taking and compiling the 1954 Census of Agriculture. 



INTRODUCTION 



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INTRODUCTION 



Purpose and scope. — American agriculture is exceedingly diverse 
and is undergoing revolutionary changes. Farmers and their 
families obtain their income by producing a large variety of 
products under a large variety of conditions as well as from sources 
other than farming. The organization of production, type of 
farming, productivity, income, e.xpenditures, size, and character- 
istics of operators of the 4.8 million farms in the United States 
vary greatly. Agriculture has been a dynamic, moving, adjusting 
part of our economy. Basic clianges in farming have been occurring 
and will continue to be necessary. Adjustments brought by tech- 
nological change, by changing consumer wants, by growth of 
population, and by changes in the income of nonfarm people, have 
been significant forces in changing agriculture since World War II. 
The transition from war to an approximate peacetime situation 
has also made it necessary to reduce the output of some farm 
products. Some of the adjustments in agriculture have not pre- 
sented relatively difficult problems as they could be made by the 
transfer of resources from the production of one product to another. 
Others require substantial shifts in resources and production. 

Moreover, a considerable number of farm families, many of whom 
are employed full time in agriculture, have relatively low incomes. 
Most of these families operate farms that are small when compared 
with farms that produce higher incomes. The acreage of land and 
the amount of capital controlled by the operators of these small 
farms are too small to provide a very high level of income. In 
recent years, many farm families on these small farms have made 
adjustments by leaving the farm to earn their incomes elsewhere, 
by discontinuing their farm operations, and by earning more non- 
farm income while remaining on the farm or on the place they 
farmed formerly. 

One objective of this report is to describe and analyze some of 
the existing differences and recent adjustments in the major types 
of farming and farm production. For important commodities and 
groups of farms, the report aims to make available, largely from 
the detailed data for the 1954 Census of Agriculture but in a more 
concise form, facts regarding the size of farms, capital, labor, and 
land resources on farms, amounts and sources of farm income and 
expenditures, combinations of crop and livestock enterprises, 
adjustment problems, operator characteristics, and variation in use 
of resources and in size of farms by areas and for widely differing 
production conditions. Those types of farms on which production 
of surplus products is important have been emphasized. The 
report will provide a factual basis for a better understanding of 
the widespread differences among farms in regard to size, resources, 
and income. It will also provide a basis for evaluating the effects 
of existing and proposed farm programs on the production and 
incomes of major types and classes of farms. 

Income from nonfarm sources is important on a large number 
of farms. About 1.4 million of the 4.8 million farm-operator 
families, or about 3 in 10, obtain more income from off-farm sources 
than from the sale of agricultural products. More than three- 
fourths of a million farm operators live on small-scale part-time 
farms and ordinarily are not dependent on farming as the main 
source of family income. These part-time farmers have a quite 
different relation to adjustments, changes, and farm problems 
than do commercial farmers. A description of and facts regarding 
these part-time farms and the importance of nonfarm income for 
commercial farms are presented in Chapter 8. 



Exce|)t for Chapter 8, this report deals with commercial farms 
(see economic class of farm). The analysis is limited to the major 
types of agricultural production and deals primarily with geo- 
graphic areas in which each of the major types of agricultural 
production has substantial significance. 

Source of data. — Most of the data presented in this report are 
from special compilations made for the 1954 Census of Agriculture, 
although pertinent data from research findings and surveys of the 
U. S. Department of Agriculture, State Agricultural Colleges, and 
other agencies have been used to supplement Census data. The 
detailed Census data used for this report are contained in Part 8 of 
Volume III of the reports of the 1954 Census of Agriculture. 
Reference should be made to that report for detailed explanations 
and definitions and statements regarding the characteristics and 
reliability of the data. 

Areas for which data are presented. — Data are presented in 
this report primarily for selected economic subregions and for the 
United States. The boundaries of the 119 .subregions used for the 
compilation of data on which this report is based are indicated by 
the map on page vi. These subregions represent primarily general 
type-of-farming areas. Many of them extend into two or more 
States. (For a more detailed description of economic subregions, 
see the publication "Economic Subregions of the United States, 
Series Census BAE; No. 19, published cooperatively by the Bureau 
of the Census, and the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, U. S. 
Department of Agriculture, July 1953.) 

DEFINITIONS AND EXPLANATIONS 

Definitions and explanations are given only for some of the more 
important it«ms. For more detailed definitions and explanations, 
reference can be made to Part 8 of Volume III and to Volume II of 
the reports of the 1954 Census of Agriculture. 

A farm. — For the 1954 Census of Agriculture, places of 3 or 
more acres were counted as farms if the annual value of agricultural 
products, exclusive of home-garden products, amounted to $150 
or more. The agricultural products could have been either for 
home use or for sale. Places of less than 3 acres were counted as 
farms only if the annual value of sales of agricultural products 
amounted to $150 or more. Places for which the value of agricul- 
tural products for 1954 was less than these minima because of crop 
failure or other imusual conditions, and places operated at the time 
of the Censvis for the first time were counted as farms if normally 
they could be expected to produce these minimum quantities of 
agricultural products. 

All the land under the control of one person or partnership was 
included as one farm. Control may have been through ownership, 
or through lease, rental, or cropping arrangement. 

Farm operator. — A "farm operator" is a person who operates 
a farm, either performing the labor himself or directly supervising 
it. He may be an owner, a hired manager, or a tenant, renter, or 
sharecropper. If he rents land to others or has land cropped for 
him by others, he is fisted as the operator of only that land which 
he retains. In the case of a partnership, only one partner was 
included as the operator. The numlx>r of farm operators is con- 
sidered the same as the number of farms. 

vn 



VIII 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Farms reporting or operators reporting. — Figures for farms 
reporting or operators reporting, based on a tabulation of all farms, 
represent the number of farms, or farm operators, for which the 
specified item was reported. For example, if there were 11,922 
farms in a subregion and only 11,465 had chickens over 4 months 
old on hand, the number of farms reporting chickens would be 
11, 465. The difference between the total number of farms and the 
number of farms reporting an item represents the number of farms 
not having that item, provided the inquiry was answered 
completely for all farms. 

Farms by type. — The classification of commercial farms by 
type was made on the basis of the relationship of the value of 
sales from a particular source, or sources, to the total value of all 
farm products sold from the farm. In some cases, the type of 
farm was determined on the basis of the sale of an individual farm 
product, such as cotton, or on the basis of the sales of closely re- 
lated products, such as dairy products. In other cases, the type 
of farm was determined on the basis of sales of a broader group of 
products, such as grain crops including corn, sorghums, all small 
grains, field peas, field beans, cowpeas, and soybeans. In order to 
be classified as a particular type, sales or anticipated sales of a 
product or group of products had to represent 50 percent or more 
of the total value of products sold. 

The types of commercial farms for which data are shown, to- 
gether with the product or group of products on wliich the classi- 
fication is based are: 

Product or group of products amount- 
ing to 50 percent or more of the 
Type of farm value of all farm products sold 

Cash-grain Corn, sorghum, small grains, field 

peas, field beans, cowpeas, and 
soybeans. 

Cotton Cotton (lint and seed). 

Other field-crop Peanuts, Irish potatoes, sweet- 
potatoes, tobacco, sugarcane, sug- 
ar beets for sugar, and other 
miscellaneous crops. 

Vegetable Vegetables. 

Fruit-and-nut Berries and other small fruits, and 

tree fruits, nuts, and grapes. 

Dairy Milk and other dairy products. 

The criterion of 50 percent of the 
total sales was modified in the 
case of dairy farms. A farm for 
which the value of sales of dairy 
products represented less than 50 
percent of the total value of farm 
products sold was classified as a 
dairy farm if — 

(a) jMilk and other dairy prod- 
ucts accounted for 30 
percent or more of the 
total value of products 
sold, and 
(6) Milk cows represented 50 
percent or more of all 
cows, and 
(c) Sales of dairy products, to- 
gether with the sales 
of cattle and calves, 
amounted to 50 percent 
or more of the total 
value of farm products 
sold. 
Chickens, eggs, turkeys, and other 

poultr}' products. 
Cattle, calves, hogs, sheep, goats, 
wool, and mohair, provided the 
farm did not qualify as a dairy 
farm. 



Poultry. 



Livestock farms other than 
dairy and poultry. 



Product or group of products amount- 
ing to SO percent or more of the 
Type of farm value of all farm products sold 

General Farms were classified as general 

when the value of products from 
one source or group of sources 
did not represent as much as 50 
percent of the total value of all 
farm products sold. Separate 
figures are given for three kinds 
of general farms: 

(a) Primarily crop. 

(6) Primarily livestock. 

(c) Crop and livestock. 

Primarily crop farms are those for 
which the sale of one of the 
following crops or groups of 
crops — vegetables, fruits and 
nuts, cotton, cash grains, or other 
field crops — did not amount to 
50 percent or more of the value 
of all farm products sold, but 
for which the value of sales for 
all these groups of crops repre- 
sented 70 percent or more of the 
value of all farm products sold. 

Primarily livestock farms are those 
which could not qualify as dairy 
farms, poultry farms, or livestock 
farms other than dairy and 
poultry, but on which the sale 
of livestock and poultry and 
livestock and poultry products 
amounted to 70 percent or more 
of the value of all farm products 
sold. 

General crop and livestock farms are 
those which could not be classi- 
fied as either crop farms or live- 
stock farms, but on which the 
sale of all crops amounted to at 
least 30 percent but less than 70 
percent of the total value of all 
farm products sold. 

Miscellaneous This group of farms includes those 

that had 50 percent or more of 
the total value of products ac- 
counted for by sale of horticul- 
tural products, or sale of horses, 
or sale of forest products. 

Farms by economic class. — A classification of farms by eco- 
nomic class was made for the purpose of segregating groups of 
farms that are somewhat alike in their characteristics and size of 
operation. This classification was made in order to present an 
accurate description of the farms in each class and in order to 
provide basic data for an analysis of the organization of agriculture. 

The classification of farms by economic class was made on the 
basis of three factors; namely, total value of all farm products 
sold, number of days the farm operator worked off the farm, and 
the relationship of the income received from nonfarm sources by 
the operator and members of liis family to the value of all farm 
products sold. Farms operated by institutions, experiment sta- 
tions, grazing associations, and community projects were classified 
as abnormal, regardless of any of the three factors. 

For the purpose of determining the code for economic class and 
t3'pe of farm, it was necessary to obtain the total value of farm 
products sold as well as the value of some individual products 
sold. 

The total value of farm products sold was obtained by adding 
the reported or estimated values for all products sold from the 
farm. The value of livestock, livestock products except wool and 
mohair, vegetables, nursery and greenhouse products, and forest 



INTRODUCTION 



IX 



products was obtained by the enumerator from the farm operator 
for each farm. The enumerator also obtained from the farm 
operator the quantitj' sold for corn, sorghums, small grains, hays, 
and small fruits. The value of sales for these crops was obtained 
by multiplying the quantity sold by State average prices. 

The quantity sold was estimated for all other farm products. 
The entire quantity produced for wool, mohair, cotton, tobacco, 
sugar beets for sugar, sugarcane for sugar, broomcorn, hops, and 
mint for oil was estimated as sold. To obtain the value of each 
product sold, the quantity sold was multiplied by State average 
prices. 

In making the classification of farms by economic class, farms 
were grouped into two major groups, namely, commercial farms 
and other farms. In general, all farms with a value of sales of 
farm products amounting to $1,200 or more were classified as 
commercial. Farms ■nith a value of sales of $250 to $1,199 were 
classified as commercial only if the farm operator worked ofiF the 
farm less than 100 days or if the income of the farm operator and 
members of his family received from nonfarm sources was less than 
the total value of all farm products sold. 

land in farms according to use.- — Land in farms was classified 
according to the use made of it in 1954. The classes of land 
are mutually exclusive, i. e., each acre of land was included only 
once even though it may have had more than one use during the 
year. 

The classes referred to in this report are as follows: 

Cropland harvested. — This includes land from which crops 
were harvested; land from which hay (including wild hay) was 
cut; and land in small fruits, orchards, vineyards, nurseries, and 
greenhouses. Land from which two or more crops were reported 
as harvested was to be counted only once. 

Cropland used only for pasture. — In the 1954 Census, the 
enumerator's instructions stated that rotation pasture and all 
other cropland that was used only for pasture were to be in- 
cluded under this class. No further definition of cropland 
pastured was given the farm operator or enumerator. Per- 
manent open pasture may, therefore, have been included under 
this item or under "other pasture," depending on whether the 
enumerator or farm operator considered it as cropland. 

Cropland not harvested and not pastured. — This item includes 
idle cropland, land in soil-improvement crops only, land on 
which all crops failed, land seeded to crops for harvest after 
1954, and cultivated summer fallow. 

In the Western States, this class was subdivided to show 
separately the acres of cultivated summer fallow. In these 
States, the acreage not in cultivated summer fallow represents 
largely crop failure. There are very few comities in the West- 
ern States in which there is a large acreage of idle cropland or 
in which the growing of soil-improvement crops is an important 
use of the land. 

In the States other than the Western States, this general 
class was subdivided to show separately the acres of idle crop- 
land (not used for crops or for pasture in 1954). In these States, 
the incidence of crop failure is usually low. It was expected 
that the acreage figure that excluded idle land would reflect 
the acreage in soil-improvement crops. However, the 1954 
crop year was one of low rainfall in many Eastern and Southern 
States and, therefore, in these areas the acreage of cropland not 
harvested and not pastured includes more land on which all 
crops failed than would usually be the case. 

Cultivated summer fallow. — This item includes cropland 
that was plowed and cultivated but left unseeded for several 
months to control weeds and conserve moisture. No land 
from which crops were harvested in 1954 was to be included 
under this item. 

Cropland, total. — This includes cropland harvested, cropland 
used only for pasture, and cropland not harvested and not 
pastured. 

Land pastured, total. — This includes cropland used only for 
pasture, woodland pastured, and other pasture (not cropland 
and not woodland). 



Woodland, total. — This includes woodland pastured and 

woodland not pastured. 

Value of land and buildings. — The value to be reported wa.s 
the approximate amount for which the land and the buildings on 
it would sell. 

Off-farm work and other income. — Many farm operators receive 
a part of their income from sources other than the sale of farm 
products from their farms. The 1954 Agriculture Questionnaire 
included saveral inquiries relating to work off the farm and non- 
farm income. These inquiries called for the number of days 
worked off the farm by the farm operator; whether other members 
of the operator's family worked off the farm ; and whether the 
farm operator received income from other sources, such as sale 
of products from land rented out, cash rent, boarders, old age 
assistance, pensions, veterans' allowances, unemployment com- 
pensation, interest, dividends, profits from nonfarm business, 
and help from other members of the operator's family. Another 
inquiry asked whether the income of the operator and his family 
from off-farm work and other sources was greater than the total 
value of all agricultural products sold from the farm in 1954. 
Off-farm work was to include work at nonfarm jobs, businesses, 
or professions, whether performed on the farm premises or else- 
where; also, work on someone else's farm for pay or wages. Ex- 
change work was not to be included. 

Specified facilities and equipment. — Inquiries were made in 
1954 to determine the presence or absence of selected items on 
each place such as (1) telephone, (2) piped running water, (3) 
electricity, (4) television set, (5) home freezer, (6) electric pig 
brooder, (7) milking machine, and (8) power feed grinder. Such 
facilities or equipment were to be counted even though tem- 
porarily out of order. Piped running water was defined as water 
piped from a pressure system or by gravity flow from a natural 
or artificial source. The enumerator's instructions stated that 
pig brooders were to include those heated by an electric heating 
element, by an infrared or heat bulb, or by ordinary electric bulbs. 
They could be homemade. 

The number of selected types of other farm equipment was also 
obtained for a sample of farms. The selected kinds of farm 
equipment to be reported were (1) grain combines (for harvesting 
and threshing grains or seeds in one operation); (2) cornpickers; 
(3) pickup balers (stationary ones not to be reported) ; (4) field 
forage harvesters (for field chopping of silage and forage crops) ; 
(5) motortrucks; (6) wheel tractors (other than garden); (7) 
garden tractors; (8) crawler tractors (tracklaying, caterpillar); 
(9) automobiles; and (10) artificial ponds, reservoirs, and earth 
tanks. 

Wheel tractors were to include homemade tractors but were not 
to include implements havmg built-in power units such as self- 
propelled combines, powered buck rakes, etc. Pickup and truck- 
trailer combinations were to be reported as motortrucks. School 
buses were not to be reported, and jeeps and station wagons were 
to be included as motortrucks or automobiles, depending on 
whether used for hauhng farm products or suppUes, or as passenger 
vehicles. 

Farm labor. — The farm-labor inquiries for 1954, called for the 
number of persons doing farmwork or chores on the place during 
a specified calendar week. Since starting dates of the 1954 enumer- 
ation varied by areas or States, the calendar week to which the 
farm-labor inquiries related varied also. The calendar week was 
September 26-October 2 or October 24-30. States with the 
September 26-October 2 calendar week were: Arizona, California, 
Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, 
Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, 
Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, 



423023—57- 



X 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, 
Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, 
Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. States with the October 
24-30 calendar week were : Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, 
IlUnois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North 
Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. 
Farmwork was to include any work, chores, or planning necessary 
to the operation of the farm or ranch business. Housework, 
contract construction work, and labor involved when equipment 
was hired (custom work) were not to be included. 

The farm-labor information was obtained in three parts: 
(1) Operators working, (2) unpaid members of the operator's family 
working, and (3) hired persons working. Operators were consid- 
ered as working if they worked 1 or more hours; unpaid members 
of the operator's family, if they worked 15 or more hours; and 
hired persons, if they worked any time during the calendar week 
specified. Instructions contained no specifications regarding age 
of the persons working. 

Regular and seasonal workers. — Hired persons working on 
the farm during the specified week were classed as "regular" 
workers if the period of actual or expected employment was 150 
days or more during the year, and as "seasonal" workrrs if the 
period of actual or expected employment was less than 150 days. 
If the period of expected employment was not reported, the 
period of employment was estimated for the individual farm 
after taking into account such items as the basis of payment, 
wage rate, expenditures for labor in 1954, and the type and 
other characteristics of the farm. 

Specified farm expenditures. — The 1954 Census obtained data 
for selected farm expense items in addition to those for fertilizer 
and lime. The expenditures were to include the total specified 
expenditures for the place whether made by landlord, tenant, or 
both. 

Expenditures for machine hire were to include any labor in- 
cluded in the cost of such machine hire. Machine hire refers to 
custom machine work such as tractor hire, threshing, combining, 
solo filling, baling, ginning, plowing, and spraying. If part of the 
farm products was given as pay for machine hire, the value of the 
products traded for this service was to be included in the amount 
of expenditures reported. The cost of trucking, freight, and 
express was not to be included. 

Expenditures for hired labor were to include only cash pay- 
ments. Expenditures for housework, custom work, and contract 
construction work were not to be included. 

Expenditures for feed were to include the expenditures for 
pasture, salt, condiments, concentrates, and mineral supplements, 
as well as those for grain, haj', and mill feeds. Expenditures for 
grinding and mixing feeds were also to be included. Payments 
made by a tenant to his landlord for feed grown on the land rented 
by the tenant were not to be included. 

Expenditures for gasoline and other petroleum fuel and oil were 
to include only those used for the farm business. Petroleum 
products used for the farmer's automobile for pleasure or used 
exclusively in the farm home for heating, cooking, and lighting 
were not to be included. 

Crops harvested. — The information on crops harvested refers 
to the acreage and quantity harvested for the 1954 crop year. An 
exception was made for land in fruit orchards and planted nut 
trees. In this case, the acreage represents that in both bearing 
and nonbearing trees and vines as of October and November 1954. 

Hay. — The data for hay includes all kinds of hay except soy- 
bean, cowpea, sorghum, and peanut hay. 

Livestock and poultry. — The data on the number of livestock 
and poultry represent the number on hand on the day of enumera- 



tion (October-November 1954). The data relating to livestock 
products and the number of livestock sold relate to the sales made 
during the calendar year 1954. 

LABOR RESOURCES 

The data for labor resources available represent estimates based 
largely on Census data and developed for the purpose of making 
comparisons among farms of various size of operations. The 
labor resources available are stated in terms of man-equivalents. 

To obtain the man-equivalents the total number of farm opera- 
tors as reported by the 1954 Census were adjusted for estimated 
man-years of work off the farm and for the number of farm opera- 
tors 65 years old and over. The farm operator was taken to rep- 
resent a full man-equivalent of labor unless he was 65 years or 
older or unless he worked at an off-farm job in 1954. 

The man-equivalent estimated for farm operators reporting spec- 
ified amounts of off-farm work were as follows: 

Estimated 
Days worked off the farm in 1954 man-equivalent 

1-99 davs 0. 85 

100-199 days . 50 

200 days and over . 15 

The man-equivalent for farm operators 65 years of age and older 
was estimated at 0.5. 

Man-equivalents of members of the farm operator's family were 
based upon Census data obtained in response to the question 
"How many members of your family did 15 or more hours of farm 
work on this place the week of September 26-October 2 (or, in 
some areas, the week of October 24-30) without receiving cash 
wages?" Each family worker was considered as 0.5 man-equiva- 
lent. This estimate provides allowance for the somewhat higher 
incidence of women, children, and elderly persons in the unpaid 
family labor force. 

In addition, the number of unpaid family workers who were 
reported as working 15 or more hours in the week of September 
26-October 2 was adjusted to take account of seasonal changes in 
farm employment. Using published and unpublished findings of 
the U. S. Department of Agriculture and State Agricultural Col- 
leges, and depending largely upon knowledge and experience with 
the geographic areas and type of farming, each author deter- 
mined the adjustment factor needed to correct the number of 
family workers reported for the week of September 26-October 2 
to an annual average basis. 

Man-equivalents of hired workers are based entirely upon the 
expenditure for cash wages and the average wage of permanent 
hired laborers as reported in the 1954 Census of Agriculture. 

Value of or investment in livestock.- — Numbers of specified 
livestock and poultry in each subregion were multiphed by a 
weighted average value per head. The average values were com- 
puted from data compiled for each kind of livestock for the 1954 
Census of Agriculture. The total value does not include the value 
of goats. (For a description of the method of obtaining the value 
of livestock, see Chapter VI of Volume II of the reports for the 
1954 Census of Agriculture.) 

Value of investment in machinery and equipment. — The data 
on value of investment in machinery and equipment were developed 
for the purpose of making broad comparisons among types and 
economic classes of farms and by subregions. Numbers of specified 
machines on farms, as reported by the Census, were multiplied by 
estimated average value per machine. Then the total values ob- 
tained were adjusted upward to provide for the inclusion of items 
of equipment not included in the Census inventory of farm 
machinery. 



INTRODUCTION 



XI 



The estimates for average vahie of specified machines and the 
proportion of total vahie of all niacliinery represented by the 
value of these machines were based largely on published and un- 
published data from the "Farm Costs and Returns" surveys con- 
ducted currently by the Agricultural Research Service, U. S. 
Department of Agriculture.' Modifications were made as needed 
in the individual chapters on the basis of State and local studies. 
The total estimated value of all machinery for all types and 
economic classes of farms is approximately equal to the value of 
all machinery as estimated by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. 

Value of farm products sold, or gross sales. — Data ou the 
value of the various farm products sold were obtained for 1954 by 
two methods. First, the values of livestock and livestock prod- 
ucts sold, except wool and mohair; vegetables harvested for sale; 
nursery and greenhouse products; and forest products were 
obtained by asking each farm operator the value of sales. Second, 
the values of all other farm products sold were computed. For the 
most important crops, the quantity sold or to be sold was obtained 
for each farm. The entire quantity harvested for cotton and 
cottonseed, tobacco, sugar beets for sugar, hops, mint for oil, and 
sugarcane for sugar was considered sold. The quantity of minor 
crops sold was estimated. The value of sales for each crop was 
computed by multiplying the quantity sold by State average 
prices. In the case of wool and mohair, the value of sales was 
computed by multiplying the quantity shorn or clipped by the 
State average prices. 

Gross sales include the value of all kinds of farm products sold. 
The total does not include rental and benefit, soil conservation, 
price adjustment. Sugar Act, and similar payments. The total 



does include the value of the landlord's sliare of a crop removed 
from a farm operated by a share tenant. In most of the tables, 
detailed data are presented for only the more important sources 
of gross sales and the total for the individual farm products 
or sources will not efjual the total as the values for the less impor- 
tant sources or farm products have been omitted. (For a detailed 
statement regarding the reliability and method of obtaining the 
value of farm products sold, reference should be made to Chapter 
I X of Volume 11 of the reports for the 1954 Census of Agriculture.) 

Livestock and livestock products sold. — The value of sales for 
livestock and livestock products includes the value of live animals 
sold, dairy products sold, poultry and poultry products sold, and 
the calculated value of wool and mohair. The value of bees, 
honey, fur animals, goats, and goat milk is not included. 

The value of dairy products includes the value of whole milk and 
cream sold, but does not include the value of butter and cheese, 
made on the farm, and sold. The value of poultry and products 
includes the value of chickens, broilers, chicken eggs, turkeys, 
turkey eggs, ducks, geese, and other miscellaneous poultry and 
poultry products sold. The value does not include the value 
of baby chicks sold. 

Crops sold. — Vegetables sold includes the value of all vegetables 
harvested for sale, but does not include the value of Irish potatoes 
and sweetpotatoes. 

The value of all crops sold includes the value of all crops sold 
except forest products. The value of field crops sold includes the 
value of sales of all crops sold except vegetables, small fruits and 
berries, fruits, and nuts. 



1 Farm Costs and Returns, 1955 (with comparisons), Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 158, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agiicultuie, June 1956. 



CHAPTER VI 

WESTERN STOCK RANCHES AND LIVESTOCK FARMS 



XIII 



CONTENTS 



Western regions 1 

Natural regions 4 

The Great Plains region 5 

The Rocky Mountain region 5 

The Intermountain Plateau region 6 

The Pacific Coast region 6 

Institutional and economic factors 6 

Some differences by States 8 

Some differences bv economic subregions 11 

The Great Plains 11 

Economic subregion 98 11 

Economic subregion 100 11 

Economic subregion 101 12 

Economic subregion 103 12 

Economic subregion 104 13 

Economic subregion 105 13 

Economic subregion 106 13 

Economic subregion 107 14 

Desert region 14 

Economic subregion 108 14 

Economic subregion 114 15 

Economic subregion 115 15 

Rocky Mountain region 15 

Economic subregion 109 15 

The Intermountain region 16 

Economic subregion 110 16 

Economic subregion 111 16 

Economic subregion 112 16 



Some differences by economic subregions — Continued 

The Intermountain region — Continued Page 

Economic subregion 113 17 

Pacific Coast region 17 

Economic subregion 116 17 

Economic subregion 117 18 

Economic subregion 118 18 

Economic subregion 119 18 

Summary and problems 19 

Ranching in selected State economic areas in Western 

States 19 

North Dakota 19 

South Dakota 19 

Nebraska 19 

Kansas 20 

Oklahoma 20 

Texas 20 

New Mexico 20 

Colorado 21 

Wyoming 21 

Montana 21 

Idaho 22 

Utah 23 

Arizona 23 

Nevada 23 

California 23 

Oregon 24 

Washington 24 



MAPS 

Page 

Number of farms, 1954 1 

All land in farms, acreage, 1954 1 

Percent of total land area in farms, 1954 2 

Total pasture as a percent of all land in farms. Census of 1954 2 

Type-of-farming areas, based on type accounting for 50 percent or more of commercial farms, 1954 3 

Cattle, number, 1 954 3 

Cows, including heifers that have calved, number, 1954 4 

Sheep, number, 1 954 4 

Total cropland, acreage, 1954 4 

Economic subregions and State economic areas: 1950 10 

TABLES 

Pace 
Table — 1. — Number and average size of farms for all farms and for livestock farms other than dairy and poultry, 17 Western States: 

1954 8 

2. — Land area, land in farms, and pastureland, for all farms and for livestock farms other than dairy and poultry, 17 West- 
ern States: 1954 8 

3. — Average value per farm of land and buildings, for all farms and for livestock farms other than dairy and poultry, 17 

Western States : 1954 9 

4.— All cattle, 17 Western States: 1920 to 1954 9 

5.— Sheep and lambs, 17 Western States: 1920 to 1954 9 

6. — Livestock farms in subregion 98, by economic class of farm: 1954 11 

7. — Livestock farms in subregion 100, by economic class of farm: 1954 12 

8. — Livestock farms in subregion 101, by economic class of farm: 1954 12 

9. — Livestock farms in subregion 103, by economic class of farm: 1954 12 

10. — Livestock farms in subregion 104, by economic class of farm: 1954 13 

11. — Livestock farms in subregion 105, by economic class of farm: 1954 13 

12. — Livestock farms in subregion 106, by economic class of farm: 1954 14 

13. — Livestock farms in subregion 107, by economic class of farm: 1954 14 

14. — Livestock farms in subregion 108, by economic class of farm: 1954 14 

15. — Livestock farms in subregion 114, by economic class of farm: 1954 15 

16. — Livestock farms in subregion 115, by economic class of farm: 1954 15 

17. — Livestock farms in subregion 109, by economic class of farm: 1954 16 

18. — Livestock farms in subregion 110, by economic class of farm: 1954 16 

19. — Livestock farms in subregion 111, by economic class of farm: 1954 16 

20. — Livestock farms in subregion 112, by economic class of farm: 1954 17 

21. — Livestock farms in subregion 113, by economic class of farm: 1954 17 

22. — Livestock farms in subregion 116, by economic class of farm: 1954 17 

23. — Livestock farms in subregion 117, by economic class of farm: 1954 18 

24. — Livestock farms in subregion 118, by economic class of farm: 1954 18 

25. — Livestock farms in subregion 119, by economic class of farm: 1954 18 

XV 



WESTERN STOCK RANCHES AND LIVESTOCK FARMS 

Mont H. Saunderson 



WESTERN REGIONS 

stock ranching, that phase of Amoricau agriculture which still 
has its romantic connotations, is predominant in the land that lies 
west of a transitional zone which marks the change from successful 
farming that is not irrigated to the country where crops depend on 
irrigation or on other special techniques. This transition zone 
extends north and south through the central and western parts of 
North Dakota and South Dakota and Nebraska, then through the 
western part of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. 

Within this zone there are localized areas of stock ranching but, 
as a rule, most of the lands with suitable topography and soils 
have been plowed and the native rangeland is gone. Characteris- 
tically this zone has an average annual rainfall precipitation 
around 20 inches in the northern plains and 25 inches in the south- 
ern plains. 

West of this zone are many livestock operations that should 
be characterized as stock farms rather than stock ranches. These 
stock farms may have considerable acreages of native grazing 
lands, but they provide a limited part of the year-round livestock 
maintenance for such farms. A considerable part of the Great 
Plains is diversified with livestock and with dry-land agriculture, 
and a combination of cash-grain production and the production of 
cultivated livestock feed and forage crops. Then too, in many of 
the irrigated valleys of the West, a type of operating unit has 
developed that is characterized as a stock farm rather than as a 
stock ranch. 

Eastward of the transitional zone, which runs north and south 
through the Plains States, there are many agricultural areas with 
a predominance of farm tj'pes that would be classified as livestock 
farms, according to Census definitions. These may be farms with 
a sizable herd of beef cattle, a flock of sheep, a livestock feeding 
and fattening enterprise, or a hog-production enterprise. 

We see then that the livestock ranches differ from the livestock 
farms in that the stock ranches use extensive acreages of native 
grazing lands, whereas livestock farms have fewer stock and more 
cropland. In the arid and semiarid parts of the 17 Western States 
the stock ranch depends mainly on the forage production of 
natural grazing lands. The acreage of native rangeland required 
by a stock ranch usually varies between 12 and 100 acres of range- 
land per animal unit, defining the animal unit as 1 head of mature 
cattle or 5 ewes. It is not, as a rule, economic to use grazing 
lands of any lower capacity than 100 acres per animal unit. 

One may see this picture grapliically by referring to Figure 1, 
which shows by a dot map the location of farms in the United 
States. The number of farms becomes progressively fewer as 
one goes westward through the Plains States. This is indicative 
of the fact that the stock ranches operate very extensively over 
large acreages. One sees how irrigation projects have influenced 
the development of farming operations in the West. For example, 
the irrigation farming development is clearly indicated in central 
Utah, in the Central Valley of California, and in the Snake River 
VaUey as it extends across southern Idaho. 



NUMBER OF FARMS. 1954 




Figure 1. 



Extensive use of large acreages, both privately owned land 
and public lands, is a common characteristic of stock ranches (see 
Figure 2). In the Rocky Mountains and westward there are, in 
addition to the privately owned lands, large acreages that are not 
lield within the ranches and stock farms; this is especially true of 
the 11 Western States. These lands that are not in farms are 
principally in Federal public ownership. They are mainly lands 
reserved for the national forests, lands of the public domain now 
held chiefly in Federal grazing districts, lands held in wildlife 
refuges, lands withdrawn for reclamation development, and the 
other Federal public lands. In the 11 Western States some 155 
million acre* of mountainous uplands are in the national forest, 
and some 140 million acres of arid public domain lands are in the 
Federal grazing districts. 



ALL LAND IN FARMS 

ACREAGE. 1954 




Figure 2. 



423023—57- 



PERCENT OF TOTAL LAND AREA IN FARMS. 1954 

(COUNTY UNIT BASIS) 




*N0 FARMS 



US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 



MAP NO A54- 102 



BUREAU OF THE CENSUS 



Figure 3. 



TOTAL PASTURE* • AS A PERCENT OF ALL LAND IN FARMS 
CENSUS OF 1954 

(COUNTY UNIT BASIS) 




* NO FARMS 

US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 



* * CROPLAND USED ONLY FOR PASTURE, 

WOODLAND PASTURED AND OTHER PASTURE 



MAP NO A54 ■ 117 



BUREAU OF THE CENSUS 



Figure 4. 



WESTERN STOCK RANCHES AND LIVESTOCK FARMS 



TYPE-OF-FARMING AREAS.BASED ON TYPE ACCOUNTING FOR 50 PERCENT 
OR MORE OF COMMERCIAL FARMS. 1954 




LEGEND 

TYPE-OF-FARMlNG AREA 

Eifj CASH-GRaiN 

I I COTTON 

^23 OTHER FIELO-CROP ^B LIVESTOCK (OTHER THAN 

iH VEGETABLE ^_, '"'"^ "^ ''°^"'' 

!i 1 GENERAL (NO ONE TYPE 
FRUIT-AND-NUT jg p^^^^^ p„ ^^^^ 

*N0 FARMS 

U S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 



Figure 5. 



This picture of tlie importance of the public lands in the opera- 
tion of the ranches in the 1 1 Western States is further illustrated 
by Figure 3. There is a high proportion of land in farms in the 
States of the upper Mississippi Valley, and the percentage of land 
in farms becomes less to the west of the Plains States. The map 
shows that, in most of the 17 Western States, pastureland in 
farms dominates the land use picture. Most of this pastureland 
in farms is rangeland used by stock ranches. Evidently, west of 
what is described as the transition zone of the Plains States, the 
use of rangeland by the stock ranches is a major feature of land 
use throughout the stock-ranching areas. 

A further illustration of the land use areal importance of the 
stock ranch in the Western States is given in Figure 5. This 
map is somewhat influenced in its areal pattern by the areas of 
irrigation development in the Western States, but the stock 
ranch is the dominant factor, so far as acreage of land use is con- 
cerned, throughout all of the West from the transitional zone 
westward. There are areas of the Plains States where the devel- 
opment of nonirrigated cash-crop farming has been, and is, such 
that the number of these farms overshadow the number of stock 
ranches. This is especially true in northern Montana and western 
North Dakota. 

In its development over the last several decades, western stock 
ranching has become not only an important factor in the agri- 
culture of the West, but also in the agricultural economy of the 
United States. Though the parts of the 17 Western States that 
hold most of the stock ranches do not have a major part of the 
cattle numbers of the United States, the western st^ck-ranching 




Figure 6. 

States do have a considerable share of the total beef cattle num- 
bers. The density of cattle numbers shown in Figure 6 (for 
southern Minnesota, for northern Illinois, and for Wisconsin) is 
due mainly to the concentration of dairy cattle in these locations. 
In the western locations a concentration of dairy cattle is due to 
the development of irrigation. Examples are found in the Fort 
Collins and Greeley areas of Colorado, in the Salt River Valley 
of Arizona, in the Central Valley district of California, in the area 
around Boise, Idaho, in the Snake River Valley, and a few other 
places. 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



COWS INCLUDING HEIFERS THAT HAVE CALVED 

NUMBER 1954 



<<--fT\ 



1^' 







^J' 



UN TED STATES TOTAL \^ 

45 209 377 






Figure 7. 

Most of the beef cattle in the Western States are beef cattle 
on stock ranches and stock farms. In the beef-cattle population 
of the Western States, there is a somewhat higher proportion of 
beef breeding cows than is usual for the United States (compare 
Figures 6 and 7). The western stock ranches are beef breeding 
and raising operations which produce large numbers of 5'oung 
feeder animals that are marketed to the farms of the upper Mis- 
sissippi Valley for feed-lot fattening and finishing (see Figure 7). 
Consequently, the concentration of total cattle numbers in the 
upper Mississippi Valley States (see Figure 6) is partly due to 
the export of the feeder animals from the breeding herds of west- 
ern stock ranches. Thus, as a result of past economic develop- 
ments, the stock ranches of the Western States have become 
integrated with the economy of the stock farms in the upper 
Mississippi Valley. 




Figure 8. 

The stock ranches of the West are the dominant factor in the 
production of sheep in the United States (see Figure 8). The 
major part of the sheep population of the Western States is on 
stock ranches rather than on stock farms, although in recent 
years farm flocks have increased. There is a rather striking 
concentration of the number of range sheep in the Edwards Pla- 
teau district of Texas (see Figure 8). Sheep are widely distrib- 
uted among the ranches of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and 
New Mexico, and others of the Western States. 



The sheep ranches, like the cattle ranches, are considerably 
integrated with the livestock and feeding and fattening farms of 
the upper Mississippi Valley. Large numbers of feeder lambs 
from the range bands of the western stock ranches move into the 
farm feed lots of this part of the Mississippi Valley for fattening 
and finishing. Many of the feeder lambs from the western sheep 
ranches are fed for finishing in the irrigated districts of the West. 
This accounts for the concentration of sheep numbers in the 
California Central Valley district. 



TOTAL CROPLAND- 

ACREAGE 1954 




UNITED STATES TOTAL 
459.648.961 



Figure 9. 

To summarize this general characterization of the stock ranches 
of the West, it may be said that their economy is that of harvest- 
ing large acreages of native forage through the use of grazing 
animals, with the production and use of a minimum quantity of 
agricultural crop feeds. This fact is further illustrated by Figure 
9. A comparatively limited acreage is devoted to cropland in 
the 11 Western States. The stock ranches of the West use some 
agricultural crop feeds and in certain areas may use a consider- 
able quantity, but in the main they derive the major part of the 
livestock feed from grazing lands. They produce livestock which, 
generally, go to the farming areas that produce decidedly more crop 
feeds where they are fed and fattened for market. 

Natural Regions 

Preliminary to an analysis and discussion of the differences in 
stock ranching in the Western States, it is illuminating to describe 
the natural characteristics of the larger natural land areas in the 
AVest and their influence upon differences in the stock-ranching 
operations. A brief discussion of the natural characteristics of 
the principal physiographic regions of the West, and the influence 
of the natural factors by regions upon the ranches is valuable as 
background for understanding the differences in western stock 
ranching, for the stock ranch must adapt itself to nature and 
natural environment to a much greater extent than is true of crop 
agricultiire. 

There are four principal overall general regions of the West. 
They are (1) the Great Plains, {2) the Rocky Mountains, (3) the 
Intermountain Plateau region, and {i) the Pacific Coast region. 
Within these large general regions there are definitely recognized 
physiographic areas based upon such considerations as land forms, 
geologic and soil factors, and climate. 



WESTERN STOCK RANCHES AND LIVESTOCK FARMS 



The Great Plains region is recognized as consisting of three 
major physiographic areas: (/) The Northern Plains extend 
approximately from the North Platte River northward into 
Canada, and from the "Coteau du Missouri" escarjjnient, which 
is east of the Missouri River, westward to the northern Rocky 
Mountains. (2) The central or high plains extending southward 
from the North Platte River to the southern escarpment of the 
Ogallalla limestone cap rock, known as the "break of the plains" 
which occurs in the Texas Panhandle and in western Oklahoma 
and eastern New Mexico. The western limit of this area is the 
southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado and New Mexico. The 
eastern limit, though not too definite, is approximately the western 
third of Nebraska and Kansas. (3) The Southern Plains, extending 
southward from the break of the plains and including the "Staked 
Plains" of Texas, the Edwards Plateau and the Rio Grande Plain 
of Texas, and the trans-Pecos part of Texas, and southeastern 
New Mexico west to the .southern Rocky Mountains. 

The Rocky Mountain region also is made up of three main 
]>hysiographic areas. These are (1) the northern Rocky Mountains 
which include western Montana and northern Idaho; (2) the 
middle Rocky Mountains which extend from the Madison Plateau 
of the Yellowstone Park, southward to the approximate location 
of Provo, Utah; and (S) the southern Rocky Mountains which 
begin near Laramie, AVyc, and extend .southward through 
Colorado and end at the approximate location of Santa Fe, N. Mex. 

The Intermountain Plateau region is the large region com- 
prising four ])hysiographic areas: (1) The Colorado Plateau area, 
which includes the high plateaus of southern and eastern Utah, 
western Colorado, northern Arizona, and northwestern New Mex- 
ico; (2) the Great Basin area, which includes northern and western 
Utah, most of Nevada, a large part of southeastern Oregon, and a 
considerable part of northeastern California; (3) the Columbia 
Plateaus of Oregon and Washington and including the Snake 
River Plains of northern Idaho; (4) the southwestern desert, which 
includes all of Arizona south of the Mogollon rim and including a 
considerable part of southern and southeastern California. In 
addition, there is a small physiographic area in southeastern Arizona 
and southwestern New Mexico known as the Mexican Highlands. 
It consists of rolling hills and mountain country lying at consider- 
ably higher elevation than the desert lands of southern Arizona. 

The Pacific Coast region, in general, has for its main physio- 
graphic features the area west of the Cascade and Sierra Moun- 
tains. West of these mountain ranges is the Willamette Valley, 
the California Central Valley, and the coastal mountain ranges 
and coast range intermountain valleys of Washington, Oregon, 
and California. 

The natural factors of climate, soils, topography, and native 
forage types in these principal physiographic areas to a consider- 
able extent predetermine the nature and differences in stock-ranch 
operations. Because they use large acreages of native forage 
lands, stock ranches, much more than the farming operations, 
must adapt themselves to their natural environment. Within 
each of these principal physiographic areas there is a large degree 
of similarity in the organization and operating characteristics of 
stock ranches. 

The Great Plains region. — Stock ranches in the northern Great 
Plains have relatively productive natural grasslands. Because 
of the roughlands of much of the northern Great Plains, these 
ranches have good natural shelter. They usually have adequate 
surface supplies of stock water, except in the large Nebraska 
sand-hills area where surface waters are often not available. 
Livestock ranchers in the northern plains can "range" their 
livestock most of the year, because of the roughlands terrain and 



the snow-clearing action of the plains winds. As a rule, ranchers 
in this region use their supplies of hay and other winter feed mostly 
as reserves against winter storms. The rangeland is somewhat 
better adapted to cattle than to sheep, but in most locations it 
is and can be used for either cattle or sheep. That part of the 
northern Great Plains that lies north of the Missouri River in 
northern Montana and in northwestern North Dakota has a 
glaciated terrain and is, consequently, somewhat lacking in natural 
winter shelter. It also has been extensively developed for arable 
agriculture, principally dry-land wheat farming. The stock ranch- 
ing of the glaciated part of the northern Great Plains is limited 
mainly to the local roughlands areas and to the breaks along the 
principal streams. 

The stock ranching of the central plains has been greatly changed 
over the last several decades by the development of dry-land 
agriculture. The central plains include southwestern Nebraska, 
southeastern Wyoming, eastern Colorado, western Kansas, 
northea,stern New Mexico, and the Texas and Oklahoma Pan- 
handles. Here, too, the stock ranches are limited to those 
areas where topography or soils and climate preclude crop farming. 
Where there are areas of roughlands, of broken lands, of sandy 
lands, and of lands inferior as to soils and moisture, stock ranching 
is found. Lands that are regarded as inferior for agriculture 
because of soil and moisture deficiencies are not necessarily poor 
rangelands. In fact, there are some rather productive range- 
lands where soils are deficient for crop farming. 

In the central plains area, a major part of the beef cattle now 
are on the livestock farms rather than on the stock ranches. 
There are, for example, in the plains of eastern Colorado, areas 
in which dry-land crop farms are highly diversified with livestock, 
lirincipally beef cattle. These farms have some native pasture 
but in addition they grow some cash-grain and feed crops, such 
as grain sorghums, for maintenance of the farm herd and for the 
finishing of young animals. 

In the southern plains certain areas are now so much influenced 
by crop farming that the stock ranches are rather limited and 
localized. The Staked Plains area of Texas is an illustration. 
But other considerable areas are predominantly devoted to ranch- 
ing. The Edwards Plateau of Texas, the trans-Pecos country 
of Texas, and the Rio Grande Plain remain predominantly stock- 
ranching territory, so far as major land use is concerned. The 
Edwards Plateau, owing to the importance of browse in the range 
forage, is notable for its sheep ranching. Cattle ranching domi- 
nates the trans-Pecos part of Texas and the Rio Grande Plain 
part of Texas. 

The Rocky Mountain region. — In the northern part of the Rocky 
Mountain region both cattle ranching and sheep ranching are 
very imjjortant. These ranches are principally in the mountain 
valleys; most of their deeded land is irrigated cropland in the 
valley and bunch-grass rangelands in the foothills. Because of 
the usual winter snow covering, these ranches must provide 
cropland feeds adequate to maintain the livestock for 3 to 5 
months of the year. The ranches, generally, use several types 
of native rangeland and crop-feed and forage land that are highly 
seasonal in character. Such seasonal lands must be fitted to- 
gether in as good a relationship as possible to attain a year-round 
balanced ranching unit of spring range, summer range, fall range, 
and wintering crop feeds and pastures. The foothill grasslands, 
adjacent to the valleys, usually provide the spring and fall 
range, and sometimes the summer range too, though the summer 
grazing is often in the nearby national forests by permit. The 
valley lands, some of which are irrigated, usually provide the 
crop feeds and the pasturage for the winter months. 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



For the middle part of the Rocky Mountain region the most 
effective natural influence is the proximity of the mountain- 
valley ranches to considerable stretches of desert and semidesert 
ranch lands that can be reached by migration from the ranches. 
This is true in Utah and in western Wyoming and southeastern 
Idaho. This migration sometimes extends for moderately long 
distances from the home ranch or base property lands. Since 
migration over these distances is easier for sheep than for cattle, 
sheep ranching is predominant over cattle ranching in this area. 
Such migration to the winter ranges of the desert lands, public 
domain lands in grazing districts, takes the place of the production 
and use of crop feeds for wintering. 

In the southern part of the Rocky Mountain region much 
of the stock ranching is in the high mountain valleys. These 
valleys, such as the North Park and South Park areas of Colorado, 
are characterized by long winter-feeding periods, which require 
considerable hay production and feeding. Offsetting this, the 
ranchers have relatively high-producing mountain rangeland. 
These high mountain valleys are usually better suited for cattle 
ranching than for sheep. 

The Intermountain Plateau region. — In the rather large Inter- 
moiuitain Plateau region there is a type of sheep-ranching 
operation that may be characterized as migratory. It is based 
largely upon the use of seasonal rangelands. These operations, 
in contrast to the sheep ranches of the central Rocky Mountain 
areas, use very little crop feed. Sheep ranches of the central 
Rocky Mountains migrate to seasonal rangelands from a ranching 
property base, whereas the migratory sheep ranches of the inter- 
mountain region have a cycle of migration between the low desert 
lands for their winter range and the uplands and the national 
forest for their summer range. Often they have very Uttle in 
deeded or "base property" lands. Between the summer and 
winter range the ranchers may own some of the better of the lands 
of the intermediate elevations, the sagebrush zone, as their 
ranching base properties. The cattle ranches of the Great Basin 
usually are located around the mountain ranges; they are based 
upon the ownership of footliill grasslands below the mountains, 
and of the better of the sagebrush lands between the mountain 
foothills and the arid desert lands. 

The stock ranches of the Colorado Plateau part of the inter- 
mountain plateau country are about equally divided between 
cattle and sheep ranches. These ranches have the better grass- 
lands of the plateau country for their deeded lands. The summer 
grazing is both on the deeded lands and on the national forests. 
The winter grazing is on the lower and dryer lands, considerable 
extents of which are in Federal public-domain grazing districts. 

In the Columbia Plateau of the intermountain country an 
important natural influence is the fact that an exotic annual grass 
known as cheat grass now dominates the lower and dryer range- 
lands of the Columbia River drainage. This grass is highly seasonal 
and is usable principally during its green period in early spring. 
As a result, m\ich of the Columbia Plateau country can be used 
best by sheep for spring and fall range. To fit in with this seasonal 
use of the rangelands, many of the ranchers have developed a 
crop-feed and pasture operating base on irrigated lands. 

In the lower and more arid parts of the southwestern area, 
the cattle ranches are organized principally on the basis of an 
annual herd of the size which can be sustained on dependable 
forage production of perennial plants. Then, in those years 
when the winter and spring moisture is adequate to produce a 
good volume of the desert winter annuals, additional cattle are 



purchased and brought in for use of the nondependable desert 
forage. However, in the higher parts in the southwestern desert, 
there are locations of grassland hill country on which a good 
and well-balanced year-round cattle-ranching operation can be 
maintained on the perennial grasses and shrubs. In the country 
around Nogales, Ariz., for example, the annual rainfall is about 
16 inches and a rather good grassland resource supports pro- 
ductive and well-balanced year-round ranching. In contrast, 
the rangelands of the Salt River Valley, near Phoenix, have an 
average annual precipitation of about 6 inches, which means 
that the rangeland must be used mainly as seasonal range in those 
years when the desert winter annuals are relativelv abundant. 

The Pacific Coast region. — Cattle ranching in the Pacific North- 
west part of the Pacific Coast region is limited to certain rather 
minor areas where natural grasslands prevail and can be main- 
tained in the competition with natural forest production. 

Stock ranching in the California part of this region is found 
mainly along the Sierra foothills, and in the coastal mountain 
ranges. Because of intensive development of crop farming in the 
Central Valley of California there are not many stock ranches in 
the valley. But the stock ranches of the border lands make 
extensive use of the crop feeds and pastures that are available 
from the large irrigation developments of the valley. 

There are many local areas of stock ranching in the coastal 
ranges of California, but as winter rainfall type of climate prevails 
here, the rangelands are highly seasonal. Most of the production 
of forage on these lands is from the annual grasses which are green 
in the winter and become very dry in late May. As the summer 
is hot and almost rainless, it is necessary to supplement the herd 
of year-round ranching operations with hay or concentrate sup- 
plement during the summer, much as during the winter, in the 
ranches of the northern climates. 

The ranches bordering the southern part of the California 
Central Valley, and those of the southern California coastal 
ranges, are comparable with the ranches of the southwestern 
desert in that many of them maintain a basic herd that can be 
sustained through the summer on the limited feeds from the dry 
annuals, and then buy additional stocker animals in the fall for 
pasture on the green annuals during the winter and spring. In 
fact, the import of cattle into California for use of the lush growth 
of the annual grasses during these seasons dominates the California 
ranching economy. These additional stocker animals are marketed 
in the spring, principally as feeder livestock, to the farm and 
feed-lot feeders of the Central Valley of California. 

INSTITUTIONAL AND ECONOMIC FACTORS 

Besides these natural factors that bear upon the organization 
and operational characteristics of stock ranches, certain legislative 
and economic factors have had and do have decided influence 
upon the characteristics of western stock ranches. Some of these 
factors have more influence in some regions than others. 

One of the most important of the legislative inSuences upon the 
growth and present organization of stock ranches has been the 
laws relating to the acquiring of land from the Federal Govern- 
ment. The original Homestead Act limited the homestead acreage 
to 160 acres of land, and, except for some of the large Spanish 
land grants in the Southwest, the deeded lands had to go to private 
ownership through the homesteading of acreages that are very 
small in terms of the requirements of the ranch. 



WESTERN STOCK RANCHES AND LIVESTOCK FARMS 



This meant that the better and more productive lands could be, 
and eventually would be, brought into private ownership through 
homesteading; but it also meant that in the desert and semidesert 
areas only the more productive of the rangelands, and the lands 
with water, would come into private ownership. Practically all 
of the lands in the Great Plains, nearly all of the foothill lands of 
the Rocky Mountains, and all of the valley lands of the Rocky 
Mountains were homesteaded. EventuaUy thej' were organized 
into economic-sized ranching units. In the intermountain region 
only the mountain foothill lands and the better of the sagebrush 
lands were homesteaded for ranching ownership and use. 

As a result, there are now appro.ximately 178 million acres of 
remaining public domain land in the 1 1 Western States. The 
major concentrations of this land are in western Wyoming, western 
Colorado, southeastern Oregon, northeastern and southeastern 
California, and in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and New Me.xico. 
Most of this public domain is now organized into Federal grazing 
districts, as provided in the Taylor Act of 1934. This land is 
used for grazing and at a rather low fee. The base property for 
such use is the lands with water and the preferred rangelands. 

Besides the desert lands, approximately 155 million acres of 
mountain lands were withdrawn from the public domain and 
national forest reserves in the late 1890's and early 1900's. Some 
of tliis land eventually would have been brought into private 
ownership through homesteading, but for several natural and 
economic reasons most of it would have remained as public land. 
The national forests are principally the higher mountain locations 
throughout the 11 Western States. Approximately half of the 
national forest area is used for the grazing of domestic livestock. 
Primarily, this is highly seasonal grazing land usable principally 
during the summer. The charge for grazing on it is generally 
below the competitive rate for the leasing of comparable lands in 
private ownership. 

Therefore in the 11 Western States, particularly, there haS 
evolved an interdependence in the economy and use of the privately 
owned lands and of the public lands, so far as the ranches are 
concerned. This does not apply to the ranches of the Great 
Plains, for most of the land there is privately owned. But in the 
Rocky Mountains and westward there is an economic dependence 
of the lands owned by the stock ranchers on the various kinds of 
Federal public lands and, to some extent, on the lands owned by 
the States and that granted to the States by the Federal Govern- 
ment. 

In the general picture, the public lands are used at low cost by 
the ranches and this fact is reflected in higher values for the 
deeded lands of the ranches. This has resulted in higher tax rates 
for the deeded lands. As a consequence, there now prevails a rather 
definite economic impediment to the movement of the lower grade 
lands into private ownersiiip. In the present tax structure, and 
in the classification of lands for taxation purposes, the tendency 
in land classification for taxation is to adhere to an average, 
rather than to recognize extreme differences, as would be necessarj' 
for the movement of low-grade grazing lands in private ownership. 

Another legislative factor of influence in the economy of stock 
ranches is the policy, in the administration of the Taylor Act, to 
require a standard of ownership of land and/or water as an 
operating basis for the use of the public domain. This has reduced 
drastically the migratory sheep operations which once prevailed 
extensively in the Great Basin and, to some extent, in the Colorado 
Plateau region. 

Tariff legislation on wool has been an important influence in the 



economy of western sheep ranching. Until recently the sheep- 
ranching operations in the West developed significantly under the 
protection of wool tariffs. During recent years, however, there has 
been a drastic decline in sheep numbers throughout the ranching 
areas of the West. This has been brought about chiefly by certain 
worldwide developments in'textiles, by labor problems of the sheep 
ranchers, by the unsettled outlook concerning wool as a textile fiber, 
and by the fact that there is relatively more profit from cattle 
than from sheep. This is true despite the subsidization by the 
Federal Government of wool prices. 

Another recent economic trend in western stock ranching has 
been the purchase of considerable land once leased by ranch owners. 
Along with this there has been a rather sharp rise in ranehland 
prices and values so that now the capital required in real estate 
for ranching is approximately four times as much as it was in 
1940. In 1940, the value of real estate per animal unit averaged 
around $75 to $125. Data given later in this chapter show a 
present general average for this of about $450. 

In the overall picture the production costs or annual operating 
costs of western stock ranches now stand at approximately three 
times their prewar World War II level. Part of this is due to the 
general rise in prices; and part of it, to such changes in the organ- 
ization and operation of the ranches as the greater mechanization 
of the haying operations, of the hay-feeding operations, of the 
transportation, and of the fencing and maintenance of fences. 
Another influential cause of this rise in production costs has been 
the purchase of considerably larger quantities of protein concen- 
trate feeds to be used as range supplements. This economic 
development has brought a considerable rise in livestock output 
by western stock ranches, generally. 

In addition, stock ranchers have had a considerable part in the 
improvement of rangeland. This applies especially to ranches of 
a rangeland type, where there is competition between the brush 
plants and the grasses. Use of mechanical and chemical means 
of brush removal foUowed by rangeland reseeding is now in 
progress. This is found especially in parts of the Texas Rio 
Grande Plain and Gulf coast areas, in certain locations in the inter- 
mountain plateau country, in the Southwest, and in the brush 
zone of the foothills and coastal mountains around the California 
Central Valley. This also has increased ranching costs. This 
recent development has not as yet reached large proportions, in 
terms of acreage covered. 

Along with rising land values, taxes on land have approximately 
doubled since 1940. 

On western stock ranches certain noteworthy developments also 
have occurred in livestock markets and marketing methods. 
There has been a rather general shift in markets, especially for the 
11 Western States, toward the West Coast consuming centers and 
away from the livestock markets of the Missouri River and east- 
ward. Moreover, the West Coast markets appear to be demanding 
more of the better quality of meat. This in turn has stimulated 
the feeding and fattening on the ranches and farms in the Western 
States. One of the most significant changes in marketing methods 
has been the rise of the local auction market to which local 
producers bring their livestock, and to which buyers from con- 
siderable distances often come. As a result, the country buyer 
who buys on order or for his own speculative purposes has been 
largely displaced. Also, fewer of the feeder livestock move into 
central markets for purchase by feeders. The livestock feeders 
are now more likely to come to the local auction market for their 
purchases of feeder animals. 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



SOME DIFFERENCES BY STATES 

A summary of stock farms by States gives some general insight 
into the characteristics of western stock ranching, and reveals 
more of the differences in this important feature of the western 
rural economy. Certain of these data are given by States in 
Tables 1 through 5 (pp. 8 and 9). It should be noted that these 
data concern all of the farms that have the designation "stock 
farms." Included in this designation of stock farms there are, as 
has already been noted, not only the stock ranches of the Western 
States, but also a considerable number of operations that should 
be characterized as stock farms rather than as stock ranches. 
However, for the 17 Western States, and particularly for the 11 
Western States, these summary data by States are sufficiently 
applicable to stock ranches that they may be studied, compared, 
and analyzed with reference to cattle and sheep ranching. 

The materials in Table 1 afford an index of the relative impor- 
tance of stock ranching in the economy of these 17 Western 
States. They also give an indication of the relative differences for 
each State in the average size of ranches. A comparison between 
States shows that both in terms of acres and in size of enterprise 
the stock ranch is likely to be larger in the States that have the 
more arid lands. 

The comparisons in Table 2 show the relative importance, for 
the 17 Western States, of the acreage devoted to livestock ranch- 
ing. In the Plains States, which have a large acreage of dry-land 
agriculture, the land in the livestock farms is not predominant in 
the total land in farms. In certain of these States a considerable 
part of the total acreage is in the form of public land. Nevada is 
an outstanding e.xamplc, there the land in farms approximates 
about 12 percent of the total land of the State. 

In certain of the States, the land in Indian reservations has 
considerable influence upon data concerning the acreage in farms. 
That is, Indian reservation land, not being regarded as public 



Table 1. — Number and Average Size of Farm for All 
Farms and for Livestock Farms Other Than Dairy and 
Poultry, 17 Western States: 1954 



state 



Total, IT Western States 

.Arizona 

California 

Colorado 

Idaho 

Kansas 

Montana. 

Nebraska 

Nevada 

New Mexico 

North Dakota 

Oklahoma 

Oregon -,. 

South Dakota 

Texas 

Utah.. 

Washington 

Wyoming 



Total 
number 
of farms 



1,180,054 

9,28.=i 
123,002 
40, 672 
38, 810 
120, 291 

32, 956 

100, 733 

2,808 

20,977 

61,808 
119, 270 
54,442 
62, 350 

293, 152 
23,008 
65, 135 
11, 355 



Livestock farms 

other than dairy 

and poultry 



Number 



242, 018 

1,866 
10, 363 
12, 806 

4,883 
25,410 

10, 668 

42, 127 

1,212 

5,666 

7.740 
22, 341 

6,085 
28,081 

48, 048 
4,544 
4,289 
5,890 



Percent 
of total 



20.5 

20.1 
8.4 
31.5 
12.6 
21.1 

32.4 
41.8 
43.2 
27.0 

12.5 
18.7 
11.2 
45.0 

16.4 
19.7 
6.6 
61.9 



Average size of 
farm (acres) 



All 
farms 



20, 634 

4,492 
307 
946 

3m 

417 

1,865 

472 

2,929 

2,358 

681 
299 
387 
721 



637 

271 

3,086 



Live- 
stock 
farms 
other 
than 
dairy 
and 
poultry 



46,800 

9,706 
2,010 
2.061 
1,254 
618 

3,551 

708 

6,729 

6,677 

1,075 

636 

1,943 

1,022 

1,944 
1,824 
1,019 
6, 023 



land, may be included in the figures of land in all farms and yet 
not be included in the land acreage for the livestock farms in the 
Census. Arizona is an example. Table 2, showing the land in all 
farms and in the livestock farms, gives an indication as to the 
relative importance in use of land acreage for livestock farms and 
for the several other types of farms. 



Table 2. — Land Area, Land in Farms, and Pastureland, for All Farms and for Livestock Farms Other Than Dairy and 

Poultry, 17 Western States: 1954 



Total, 17 Western States 

Arizona 

California 

Colorado 

Idaho 

Kansas 

Montana 

Nebraska 

Nevada 

New Mexico 

North Dakota 

Oklahoma 

Oregon 

South Dakota 

Texas 

Utah 

Washington 

Wyoming 



Land are^i 

(thousand 

aci'es) 



1,161,537 

72,688 
100, 314 
66, 510 
52, 972 
52, 469 

93, 362 
49,064 
70,285 

77, 767 

44,836 
44,180 
61,642 
48,983 

168,648 
62, 701 
42, 743 
62,403 



Land in farms 



Total, all turnis 



Thousand Percent of 
acres land area 



704, 090 

41.705 
37, 784 
38, 469 
14, 276 
,50, 210 

61,463 

47.656 

8,226 

49, 465 

42,097 
35, 678 
21,066 
44,979 

146,083 
12,354 
17,648 
35, 042 



60.6 

57.4 
37.7 
.57.8 
27.0 
95.7 

05. 8 
96.9 
11.7 
63.6 

93.9 

80. 8 

:i4.2 

91.8 

86.6 
23.4 
41.3 

56.2 



Livestock farms other 
than dairy and poultry 



Thousand 
acres 



398, 321 

18,112 
20, 829 
26, 387 
6,125 
16.697 

37, 879 
29.827 
6,944 
37, 825 

8,319 
14,216 
11,820 
28, 706 

93, 393 
8,289 
4,369 

29,584 



Percent of 
total 



56.6 

43.4 
65.1 
68.6 
42.9 
31.3 

61.6 
62.7 
84.4 
76.5 

19.8 
39.8 
56.1 
63.8 

63.9 
67.1 
24.8 
84.4 



Pastureland 



Total, all [arms 



Thousand 
acres 



484, 283 

39, 198 
25, 027 
27,202 
8.375 
19. 757 

46, 675 

24, 211 

7,634 

46,543 

12, 520 
22, 031 
16, 209 
24,677 

113,606 
10, 031 
9,175 
32, 512 



Percent of 
land area 



41.7 

,53.9 
24.9 
40.9 
15.8 
37.7 

50. 
49.3 
10.9 

59. 8 

27.9 
49.9 
24.7 
.50.2 

67. 4 
19.0 
21.6 
62.1 



Livestock farms other 
than dairy and poultry 



Thousand 
acres 



344, 623 

17,657 
18,742 
22, 231 
5,301 
9,765 

34,633 
19, 229 
6,547 
36, 660 

4, 754 
11,526 
10, 614 
19, 377 

87, 940 
7,699 
3,816 

28,062 



Percent of 
land in 
farms 



48.9 

42.3 
49.6 
67.8 
37.1 
19.4 

56.3 
40.4 
79.6 
74.1 

11.3 
32.3 
60.4 
43.1 

60.2 
62.3 
21.6 
80.1 



WESTERN STOCK RANCHES AND LIVESTOCK FARMS 



The comparison given in Table 3 regarding the difference by 
States in the average investment per farm for all farms and for 
stock farms, shows rather clearly that stock ranching now has a 
higher investment requirement than do most other types of 
farming, in the Western States. These data also show that the 
arid and semidesert areas have larger operating units in terms of 
acres, and larger operating units in terms of scale of enterprise. 
Arizona and Nevada are outstanding examples. 



Table 3. — Average Value Per Farm of Land and Buildings, 
FOR All Farms and for Livestock Farms Other Than 
Dairy and Poultry, 17 Western States: 1954 





Average value of land 
and buildings per farm 


State 


Average value of land 
and buildings per farm 


state 


All farms 
(dollars) 


Livestock 

farms other 

than dairy 

and poultry! 

(dollars) 


All farms 
(dollars) 


Livestock 
farms other 

than dairy 

andpoultryi 

(dollars) 




S3, 630 
60,118 
36, 3S9 
31,662 
34,711 

43, 108 
34, 395 
61,066 
38, 774 


95, 766 
S)9.384 
64, 372 
41,856 
40, 473 

63. 649 
37,681 
95, 838 
76, 525 


North Dakota.... 

Oklahoma.. 

Oregon 

South Dakota.-.. 

Texas 


24, 505 
18, 913 
27.803 
28,683 

29, 265 
23,398 
29, 116 
45, 887 




California 

Colorado 

Idaho 


26, 665 
49. 431 
33 160 


Kansas 






66 666 


Montana. 


Utah 


36 855 


Nebraska 

Nevada 


Washington 

Wyoming 


35,885 
67 152 


New Mexico 





■ The arithmetic mean is about .$66,000, for the 17 Western States. 

In addition to its larger requirements for capital investment in 
land and buildings, the stock ranch has the investment require- 
ment for the li\estock. As a rule, this runs higher than the per- 
sonal-property investment requirements for most of the types of 
farms other than the stock ranch. That is to say, in terms of total 
enterjjrise the stock ranch has one of the highest, if not the highest, 
investment requirement for any type of agricultural enterprise. 

In Tables 4 and 5, a comparison is given by States concerning 
the trend of the last 35 years in the population of grazing animals 
for the 17 Western States. The pattern of this trend is fairly 
similar for all of the States, e.xcept for certain of the Plains States. 
Certain of the Plains States have not followed the trend in the 
reduction of sheep numbers from the 1930 peak to 1954. An 
analysis of this information in somewhat more detail indicates 
that this situation is due to an increase in farm-flock sheep opera- 
tions in the eastern parts of the Plains States. 

Sheep numbers in this area now stand near the very low point 
reached in 1920. A peak in sheep numbers was reached in 1930. 
There has been a considerable licjuidation in sheep numbers since 
World War II and this was accentuated somewhat by the Korean 
conflict of 1950. Something comparable to this took place in World 
War I resulting in reduced numbers of sheep for the year 1920. 
Over the last 50 years or more a rather definite interrelated cyclical 
shift has taken place between cattle numbers and sheep numbers 
on western stock ranches. Ranches tend to go out of sheep when 
cattle become relatively more profitable and to go back to sheep 
when the reverse situation develops. The trends of livestock 
population shown in Tables 4 and 5 should be interpreted with 
this Ln mind. 



Table 4. — All Cattle, 17 Western States: 1920 to 1954 

(Number in thousands] 



State 



Total, 17 Western 
States 

Arizona 

California 

Colorado 

Idaho 

Kansas 

Montana. 

Nebraska. 

Nevada. 

New Mexico 

North Dakota... 

Oklahoma 

Oregon 

South Dakota 

Texas 

Utah 

Washington 

Wyoming 



1920 



29, 076 

822 
2,008 
1,767 

715 
2,975 

1,269 

3,154 

356 

1,300 

1, 335 

2,074 

861 

2,348 

6, 157 
606 
573 
875 



1925 



27,907 

1. 069 
1,918 
1,436 
606 
3,068 

1,322 

3,283 

419 

1,267 

1,341 

1, 667 

784 

2,022 

5,846 
504 
582 
783 



28,726 

695 

2, 103 

1, 454 
622 

3,224 

1,2<)0 

3, 1.50 
308 

1,056 

1,454 

2, 098 
806 

1, 974 

6,603 
442 
626 
824 



30, 481 

771 
2,132 
1,690 

784 
3,386 

1,630 

3,232 

342 

1,071 

1,219 

2,632 

928 

1,632 

7,222 
411 
741 

868 



1940 



25,652 

638 
2,056 
1,144 

663 
2,508 

1,040 

2, 569 

339 

843 

1,178 

2. 195 

799 

1,496 

6.282 
374 



1945 



37, 682 

750 
2,831 
1,781 

949 
4,062 

1,817 

3,979 

479 

1,091 

1,878 
3, 101 
1, 101 
2,644 

8, 864 
562 
910 
983 



1950 



34, 747 

656 
2,757 
1,776 

949 
3,509 

1,768 

3,629 

424 

1,138 

1,588 
2,658 
1,099 
2,613 

7,825 
662 
878 

1,028 



1954 



43, 334 

950 
3,745 
2,098 
1, 357 
4,305 

2,600 

4,899 

665 

1,160 

2,104 
3,302 
1,490 
3,440 

8,240 

728 
1,126 
1.235 



Table 5. — Sheep and Lambs, 17 Western States: 1920 to 1954 

[Number in thousands] 



State 



Total, 17 Western 
States... 

Arizona 

California 

Colorado 

Idaho... 

Kansas 

Montana 

Nebraska 

Nevada 

New Mexico 

North Dakota 

Oklahoma 

Oregon 

South Dakota 

Texas 

Utah 

Washington 

Wyoming 



1920 1925 1930 1935 1940 1945 1960 1964 



22,988 

882 
2,400 
1,813 
2,356 

361 

2,083 
573 
881 

1,640 

299 

105 

2,002 

844 

2,573 

1,692 

624 

1,860 



25,583 

1,164 
3.045 
2,244 
1,746 
315 

2,188 

647 

1,184 

1,743 

311 

62 

1,776 

644 

3,137 

2, 355 

616 

2,507 



39, 872 

1,340 
4,084 
2,605 
3,302 
674 

4,027 

496 

1,202 

2,291 

857 

222 

3,319 

1,150 

7,021 
2,922 
1,143 
3,417 



34,466 

931 
2,724 
2,449 
2,209 

714 

3,823 
689 
834 

1,801 

740 

309 

2,210 

1,320 

7,027 

2,452 

748 

3,476 



29, 059 

624 
1,707 
1,681 
1,372 

547 

3,010 
510 
614 

1,654 

823 

313 

1,423 

1,370 

8,448 

1,597 

487 

3,079 



30, 922 

611 
2,396 
2,394 
1,336 

943 

2,906 
931 
634 

1,618 

810 

231 

1,032 

1,771 

8, 5,56 

1,672 

447 

2,804 



22, 763 

473 
2,057 
1,657 
1, .609 

611 

1,337 
314 
321 

1,197 

38« 
151 
913 



7.750 

1.101 

368 

1,829 



2,050 

1,914 

1,198 

555 

1,732 
692 
370 

1,011 



223 

861 

I 396 

5,734 

1,397 

262 

2,084 



Cattle numbers in the Western States are now at an all-time 
peak. It is much above anything previously shown by recorded 
statistics. It seems probable that this is, in some degree, a trend 
in itself, not too much associated with any economic interrelation- 
ship with the trend in sheep numbers. This rise in cattle popula- 
tion in the Western States was generated partly by the high prices 
and profits prevailing during the years 1950, 1951, and 1952; but 
it also is the result of the rising human population on the West 
Coast and of the consequent enlarged market for livestock in the 
West and in the United States as a whole. 

For later comments on this subject of difi'erences in stock ranch- 
ing by States for the Western States, reference is here made to the 
concept of principal economic suhregions and of the State eco- 
nomic areas as shown in Figure 10. A considerable summation of 
Census data has been made for such subregions. These subregions 
have been delineated on the basis of similarity in tlie characteristics 
of the land resources of the economic factors and of the types of 
farming. 



10 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



o 
in 



to 

<: 



u 
o 

8 



CO 

§ 

s 

n 

D 
to 



I 







WESTERN STOCK RANCHES AND LIVESTOCK FARMS 



11 



SOME DIFFERENCES BY ECONOMIC SUBREGIONS 

The economic subregions are quite large in the Western States 
(see Figure 10). This is necessarily so because of the extensive 
nature of the ranching and farming there. As the ranching and 
farming units are large and there are fewer farms in terms of area, 
the statistical summaries must be on a basis of large subregions. 
As a result there may be considerable dissimilarities within some 
of the subregions. Where this situation prevails, an attempt will 
he made to point out some explanation of major differences. 

For each of the economic subregions, the Census materials have 
been summarized for all farms to give a classification of major 
farming types. In addition, within each of these types of farming 
a summarization has been made by economic size classes for each 
type. The concern here is with the summaries of the economic 
size classes for the major farm types known as livestock farms, 
which, in the Western States, contain most of the stock ranches. 
The economic size classes into which each major farm type is 
divided are (1) Class I farms, with an income from sales, in 19o-l, 
in excess of $25,000; (2) Class II farms, with an income of $10,000 
to $24,999; (3) Class III farms, with an income of $5,000 to $9,999; 
U) Class IV farms, with an income of $2,500 to $-1,999; (5) Class 
V farms, with an income of $1,200 to $2,490; (6) Class VI farms, 
with an income of $250 to $1,199. 

This part of the analysis of differences in western stock ranch- 
in,:;, consequently, concerns the differences in certain of the eco- 
nomic aspects of the several different economic size classes of stock 
ranches in the Western States, and this analysis is made by eco- 
nomic subregions. These data are analyzed in the following pages, 
with a summarizing table for each of the western subregions where 
livestock ranching is important. A. brief description is given con- 
cerning the resources, the geography, and the natural and economic 
factors for each subregion within the four general livestock regions 
of the West. 

The Great Plains 

The Great Plains area is divided into several economic sub- 
regions, each having within it physical and economic phenomena 
common to the livestock ranches in the area but somewhat different 
in combination or magnitude from those in other economic sub- 
regions. 

Economic subregion 98. — This subregion consists principally of 
the Rio Grande Plain of Texas (see Figure 10). It is essentially 
a livestock ranching subregion, but within it are local crop-spe- 
cialty farming areas and other types of farming. The Rio Grande 
Plain merges with the Gulf coastal prairies in this subregion, which 
is natural grassland territory that has a problem of brush control 
on rangeland. 

This subregion has a few very large livestock ranches. Only 
about one-eighth of the livestock farms were classified in Economic 
Classes I and II (see Table 6). Tlie average number of animal 
units per ranch for all ranches (an animal unit calculated as ' head 
of stock cattle or 5 ewes) is not so large as for many of the other 
western subregions, but the average size of the Class I ranches is 
by far the largest of all of the western subregions. The largest 
size class of the ranches accounts for approximately 5 percent of 
the ranches and 44 percent of the animal units of livestock for the 
subregion. The two smallest of the ranch size classes account 
for approximately 51 percent of the ranches and 13)2 percent of 
the animal units of livestock for the subregion. 

This subregion then has the greatest extreme in the contrast 
between large and small ranches. The small ranches, with less 
than 100 animal units of livestock, do not afford a full-time job 
for an operator; those with less than 60 animal units are definitely 
subeconomic in size unless there is some complementary enterprise. 



Table 6 shows that there is a great contrast between large and 
small ranch units in the number of animal units of livestock 
handled per worker (family and hired) and consequently in the 
efficiency in the use of labor. A comparison of Table 6 with the 
following tables reveals that a considerable proportion of subeco- 
nomic ranching units prevails in nearly all of the western sub- 
regions. 

This picture of the few animal units of livestock per worker on 
the small ranches is distorted somewhat by the fact that a con- 
siderable number of these small units do have some other agri- 
cultural enterprise. Essentially, however, most of these opera- 
tions in the small size classes are subeconomic stock ranches. 

Land values are high and there is a consequent high investment 
in land and buildings per animal unit of livestock. This averages 
approximately $497 per animal unit for all size classes, and only 
the largest size class averages much below the general average. 
Drought and the consequent decrease in livestock numbers prob- 
ably has accentuated this extreme. The general average for all 
western subregions of the investment per animal unit, in land and 
buildings, is approximately $450. 

Table 6. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 98, by Economic 
Class of Farm: 1954 



Item 



Number of farms 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm: 

Cattle 

Sheep 

Animal units 

Animal units, total 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm 

Animal uui^s per man-e<iuiv- 
alent 

Hired labor per farm 

dollars - - 
Hired labor per animal unit 

doll.irs - - 

Investment in land and 

buildings per animal unit 

dollars-. 

Value of land and buildings, 

per farm.. dollars-. 

Value of livestock per farm 
dollars.. 
Value of land and buildings 
and livestock per farm 

dollars.. 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars. - 

Livestock and livestick prod- 
ucts sales as a percent of 
value of all farm products 
sold 



4,364 
100.0 



177 
12 
180 



783.; 
100.0 

1.8 

99 

1.294 
7.20 

497 
89, 385 
12, 255 

101,640 

8,345 

93.7 



Economic class of farm 



215 
4.9 



1.588 

114 

1,611 



346, 331 
44.2 

9.5 

170 

12, 878 
7.99 

385 
620, 362 
107, 903 

728, 265 

91, 799 

95.4 



II III IV 



335 
7.7 



385 

29 

391 



131, 108 
16.7 

2.S 

141 

2,875 
7.35 

519 

203, 058 

26, 76! 

229, 819 

15, S77 

93.1 



650 
14.9 



104 

8 

166 

107,611 
13.7 

1.9 

80 

1,231 
7.43 

544 
90,343 
11, 476 

101, 819 

7, 300 



935 
21.4 



97 

8 

99 

92,364 
11 

1.4 

73 

585 
5.9: 

630 
52, 463 
6,900 

69,423 

3,6S; 

91.0 



1,284 
29.4 



75,388 
9.6 

1.1 

54 

357 
6.07 

639 

37, 707 

4,026 

41,733 

1,832 



VI 



945 
21.7 



33 

1 

33 



31. 091 
4.0 

1.1 

30 

117 
3.56 

614 
20,254 
2,304 

22,558 

831 



Economic subregion 100. — This southern plains subregion is the 
Edwards Plateau district of west-central Texas (see Figure 10). 
This is a subregion of combination cattle and sheep ranching. In 
its high investment in land and buildings per animal unit of live- 
stock, it exceeds that of subregion 98. Because of drought, a 
considerable reduction in livestock has taken place in this sub- 
region. 

The livestock require only a small quantity of winter supple- 
mental feedings, and ranching operations of adequate economic 
size consist of 125 to 150 animal units per man-year of work. 
Table 7 shows that only the Class I ranches meet this standard, 
as in Rio Grande Plains district more than half of the livestock 
farms are small units with gross income of under $5,000. 



12 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Table 7- — Livestock Farms in Subregion 100, by Economic 
Class of Farm : 1954 



Item 



Number of farms 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm: 

Cattle 

Sheep 

Animal miits 

Animal units, total 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm 

Animal units per man-equiv- 
alent 

Hired labor per farm 

dollars.. 
Hired labor per animal unit 

dollars.. 

Investment in land and 

buildings per animal unit 

dollars -- 

Value of land and buildings, 

per farm dollars. . 

Value of livestock per farm 
dollars-- 
Value of land and buildmgs 
and livestock per farm 

dollars. - 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars - - 

Livestock and livestock prod- 
ucts sales as a percent of 
value of all farm products 
sold 



Total 



8.325 
100.0 



fiO 
410 
142 

1, 183, 289 
100.0 

1.5 

92 



665 

94, 496 

8,409 

102, 905 

8,226 



Economic class of farm 



497 
6.0 



320 

2,568 

834 

414, 342 
35.0 

4.9 

172 

5,768 
6.92 



540 

450, 756 

48, 044 

498, 799 

50,885 



II III IV 



1,272 
15.3 



97 
870 
271 

344. 565 
29.1 

2.3 

120 



1,887 
6.96 

686 
185, 909 
15, 020 

201, 529 

15, 476 



20.4 



62 
326 
118 

199, 407 
16.9 

1.4 

83 

634 
5.39 



703 

82, 991 

7,056 

90, 047 

6,996 



2,031 

24.4 



34 

155 
65 

132,812 
11.2 

1.2 

64 

336 
5.13 



784 
SO, 985 
4,087 

55, 072 

3.625 

96.1 



1,957 
23.5 



23 
70 

3; 

71, 969 
6.1 

0.9 

40 

168 
4. .57 



776 

28, 698 

2,372 

31,070 

1,823 

94.6 



VI 



872 
10.5 



17 
30 
23 

20, 194 
1.7 

1.0 

24 

60 
2.57 



821 
18, 881 
1,546 

20, 427 

810 

93.8 



Economic subregion 101. — This subregion consists of tlie rolling 
plains country of the southern plains, just south of the break of 
the plains, in southwestern Oklahoma and north-central Texas 
(see Figure 10). It consists mostly of a good bunch-grass range- 
land which is more suited to cattle than to sheep. It is primarily 
a stock-ranching country although considerable crop agriculture 
is now in the region. 

The first three of the economic classes of ranches of this sub- 
region account for most of the units that are stock ranches (see 
Table 8). But more than two-thirds of the livestock farms are 
in Economic Classes IV through VI. The stock ranches do not 
need supplemental feed in winter and this fact is reflected in the 
large number of cattle handled per man for the ranches of Class I 
size. Investment in land and buildings is high for the stock 
ranches. 

Economic subregion 103. — This large subregion constitutes the 
eastern part of the central High Plains (see Figure 10). It extends 
well into the crop farming areas of Kansas and Oklahoma, and 
consequently includes the transition zone from crop farming to 
stock ranching. It has only localized areas devoted primarily to 
stock ranching. As a result, the figures given in Table 9 reflect 
comparatively small average size stock farms and stock ranches. 
Most of the stock-ranching operations are accounted for by the 
Economic Classes I, II, and III (see Table 9). Slightly more than 
half of the livestock farms fall in these classes. 

The stock ranches have a high investment in land and buildings 
per animal unit of livestock. These land value and investment 
figures per animal unit are inflated somewhat by the inclusion of 
relatively high value lands used for crop production. 



Table 8. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 101, by Economic 
Class of Farm: 1954 



Item 



Number of farms 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm; 

Cattle 

Sheep 

Animal units 

Animal units, total 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm ... 
Animal units per man-equiv- 
alent 

Hired labor per farm 

dollars -- 
Hired labor per animal unit 

dollars.. 

Investment in land and 

buildings per animal unit 

dollars.. 

Value of land and buildings, 

per farm dollars. . 

Value of livestock per farm 
doUars-- 
Value of land and buildings 
and livestock per farm 

dollars.. 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars.. 

Livestock and livestock prod- 
ucts sales as a percent of 
value of all farm products 
sold 



Total 



6.822 
100.0 



108 
70 
122 

829. 073 
100.0 

1.3 

93 

813 
6.69 



651 
67, 258 
8.038 

75, 296 

7,874 

86 4 



Economic class of farm 



336 

4. 



890 
344 

959 

322. 249 
38.9 

6.2 

186 

7,654 
7.98 

552 

529, 322 

63,265 

592, 587 

70, 279 

91.0 



II m IV V 



752 
11.0 



196 
149 
225 

168, 967 
20.4 

2.0 

115 

1,788 
7.96 



662 
126, 495 

14, 774 

141, 269 

15, 731 

82.2 



1,151 
16.9 



95 
109 
117 

134, 101 
16.2 

1.4 

86 



723 
6.20 

641 

62, 799 

7,666 

70, 465 

7,261 

81.4 



1,525 
22.4 



56 
56 
67 

102. 267 
12.3 

1.0 

65 

306 
4.56 



553 
37, 031 
4,418 

41,449 

3,653 

83.8 



1,944 
28.5 



35 
16 
38 

74, 799 
9.0 

8 

50 

109 
2.82 



525 
19, 963 
2,605 

22,568 

1,800 

83.8 



VI 



1,114 
16.3 



23 
6 
24 

26, 689 
3.2 

1.0 

25 

109 
4.55 



566 
13, 586 
1,654 

15,240 

758 

92.2 



Table 9. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 103, by Economic 
Class OF Farm: 1954 



Item 



Number of farms 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm: 

Cattle.- 

Sheep 

Animal units 

Animal units, total 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm 

Animal units per man- 
equivalent _ _. 

Hired labor per farm 

dollars.. 
Hired labor per animal imit 

dollars.. 

Investment in land and 

buildings per animal unit 

dollars.. 

Value of land and buildings, 

per farm dollars.. 

Value of livestock per farm 

dollars. - 
Value of land and buUdtngs 
and livestock per farm 

dollars, - 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars.. 

Livestock and livestock 
products sales as a per- 
cent of value of all farm 
products sold 



Total 



13. 673 

100.0 



126 
20 
130 

1, 776, 065 
100.0 



823 
6.34 

549 
71,400 
10, 781 

82, 181 



83.4 



Economic class of farm 



1,542 
11.3 



485 
92 
504 

776. 468 
43.7 

3.1 

162 

4,181 
8.30 

472 
237, 867 
41. 532 

279, 399 

69, 577 

86.3 



II m IV V VI 



2.626 
19.2 



161 

22 

166 

434, 945 
24.5 

1, 

100 

1,024 
6.18 



683 
96, 808 
13. 706 

110, 514 

15, 836 

77. 



2,803 
20.5 



91 
IS 
94 

264. 230 
14.9 

1.4 

70 

437 
4.64 



597 
56, 119 
7,814 

63, 933 

7,152 

78.4 



3,15: 
23.1 



57 

4 

58 

182, 662 
10.3 

1.1 

51 

183 
3.16 

615 

35,663 

4,878 

40,541 

3,709 

83.1 



2,523 
18.5 



37 

3 

3' 

94, 304 
5.3 

1.0 

37 

106 
2.83 

619 
22, 898 
3,190 

26,088 

1,939 



i6.3 



1,022 
7.6 



23 

1 

23 

23,456 
1.3 

1.0 

25 

47 
2.04 



804 
18,601 
1,974 

20,475 



WESTERN STOCK RANCHES AND LIVESTOCK FARMS 



13 



Table 10. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 104, by Economic 
Class of Farm: 1954 



Item 



Total 



Number of farms 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average niunbcr 
per farm: 

Cattle 

Slieep 

Animal units __ 

Animal units, total _ 

Percent distribution. . . . 

Man-equivalent per farm 

Animal units per man- 
equivalent 

Hired labor per farm 

dollars - 
Hired labor per animal imit 

dollars.. 

Investment in land and 

buildings per animal unit 

dollars . 

Value of land and buildinEs, 

per farm dollars 

Value of livestock per farm 

dollars.. 
Value of land and buildings 
and livestock per farm 

dollars . 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars . 

Livestock and livestock 
products sales as a per- 
cent of value of all farm 
products sold 



14. 132 
100.0 



180 
80 
195 

2, 761, 473 
100.0 

1.6 

124 



771 
3.95 

395 
77, 040 
18, 69: 

95, 743 

10.233 



Economic class of farm 



1.126 
8,0 



745 
398 
824 

928. 133 
33.0 

3.C 

220 

4.735 
5.74 



264 

217, 731 

76,830 

294. 561 

50,091 

96.5 



II III IV 



2,884 
20.4 



261 
128 
286 

825. 063 
29.9 

1 

150 

1.178 
4.12 



370 
105. 83S 
27, 239 

133,077 

14,895 

91.4 



3.830 
27.1 



133 

54 
144 

551. 906 
20.0 

1.6 

100 



440 
63,426 
14,064 

77,490 

7,163 

90.1 



3,41 

24.2 



85 
23 
90 

307, 99; 
11.2 

1.2 

75 



573 
61,542 
8.914 

60, 456 

3. 852 

90.5 



2,086 
14.8 



56 

8 
57 

119.641 
4 3 

1,1 

55 

82 
1.43 

423 
24,11 
5.743 

29, 860 

1.914 

93.9 



790 
5.6 



35 

5 

36 

28,673 
1.0 

1.0 

37 

65 
1.79 



422 
16. 199 
3,612 

18,811 

846 

95.2 



Table 11. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 105, by Economic 
Class OF Farm: 1954 



Xumber of farms 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm: 

Cattle 

Sheep 

Animal units 

Animal imits, total 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm 

Animal units per man- 
equivalent 

Hiied labor per farm 

dollars . 
Hired labor per animal unit 

dollars . 

Investment in land and 

buildings per animal unit 

dollars . 

Value of land and buildings, 

per farm dollars.. 

Value of livestock per farm 

dollars . . 
Value of land and buildings 
and livestock per farm 

dollars.. 

Value of all farm products 
soldperfarm doUars.. 

Livestock and livestock 
products sales as a per- 
cent of value of all farm 
products sold 



Total 



6.336 
100.0 



143 
105 
164 



1, 039. 72' 
100.0 



1.6 
101 



25' 
42,116 
16, 540 

68,656 

9,375 

8L1 



Economic class of farm 



803 
649 

277, 304 
26.7 

4.3 

15; 

6,371 
9.81 

230 
149, 668 
62, 766 

212, 324 

47, 984 

85.9 



II III IV 



1.176 
18.6 



228 
180 
264 

309. 945 
29.8 

1, 

138 

1.414 
5.37 



247 
66, 104 
26, 238 

91. 342 

15, 143 

79.7 



1.7 
27.9 



132 

44 
141 

249, 467 
24.0 

1.6 

94 

473 
3,36 



26' 
36. 306 
14. 560 

50. 866 

7.399 

76.9 



1.613 
25.5 



134. 584 
12.9 

1.3 

63 

187 
2.24 

290 
24, 069 
8,776 

32, 845 

3,850 

80. 



1.00 
15.9 



53 
15 
56 

55, 985 
5.4 

1.1 

52 

97 
1.75 



328 
18, 386 
5,860 

24. 246 

1,' 



VI 



344 
5.4 



36 

2 

36 



12,442 
1.2 

1.1 

33 

45 
1.24 

408 
14. 706 
3.852 

18,558 

920 

8.0 



Economic subregion 104. — This i.s a large subregion that includes 
the middle and eastern parts of the northern Great Plains region. 
It includes the Nebraska sand-hills country, that portion of western 
South Dakota that is west of the Missouri River, and a consider- 
able part of the Yellowstone Valley of Montana. Except for the 
localities of irrigated farming, it is essentially a livestock-ranching 
country. But there are significant differences in the character- 
istics of the livestock ranching within the subregion as the western 
part is mountain foothill ranching, and the eastern part is dis- 
tinct!}' Great Plains ranching. The size classes are influenced 
considerably by the very large ranching operations of the Nebraska 
sandhills. 

The ranching operations can be characterized as medium-to- 
large. The lower economic classes account for a considerable 
proportion of the operating units but most of the units of the first 
four economic classes are large enough to be economic units from 
the standpoint of operation. This is indicated by the rather high 
labor efficiency for these operations (see Table 10), and by com- 
parison with other data. The ranches in the top economic class 
handle the largest number of animal units of livestock per worker 
of any subregion in the West. This is due in part to the fact that 
generally the ranching operations do not have to grow very much 
hay and do very little winter feeding of the livestock. 

Table 10 shows that the investments in land and buildings per 
animal unit of livestock average much lower than for any of the 
subregions iJreviously discussed. This is chiefly because most of 
the stock ranches were fully stocked in 1954, in contrast to the 
relatively small number of livestock in 1954 in the southern plains 
because of drought. 

Economic subregion 105. — This subregion comprises the north- 
ern part of the northern Great Plains. It is important stock- 
ranching territory and includes a considerable part of the dry-land 
wheat farming of Montana. As a general rule, there is not much 
economic association or interrelationship between the stock 
ranches and the wheat farms. A limited number of combination 
stock-ranch and wheat-farm operations are found in the Montana 
portion but generally these are large operating units. 

The higher labor requirement shown for the livestock operations 
in this region, in comparison with subregion 104, is due primarily 
to the higher winter-feeding requirements for the livestock (see 
Tables 10 and 11). As a rule, the stock ranches must produce 
enough hay and other feed crops for 2 to 3 months of winter feeding. 

An analysis of land and buildings values for stock ranches 
in this subregion shows that stock ranches have a compara- 
tively low investment per animal unit. Though this is partly 
due to the generally fully stocked condition of these stock ranches 
in 1954, it also reflects the historically lower land and buildings 
values in the "North Country." 

Economic subregion 106. — Subregions 104, 105, and 106 con- 
stitute the northern Great Plains. Subregion 106 is rather diverse. 
It includes the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming and surrounding 
mountains, the plains of eastern Wyoming, northeastern Colorado, 
and southwestern Nebraska. Except for small localized irrigation 
farming, this subregion is distinctly one of stock ranching. Nearly 
60 percent of the livestock farms are in Economic Classes I through 
III. 

Labor requirements for the stock ranches are similar to those 
in subregion 105 (see Tables 11 and 12). Winter-feeding require- 
ments for livestock are similar and the size of the ranches is 
comparable. 

Land and buildings investment per anini.al unit averages 
somewhat higher in subregion 106 than in subregions 104 and 105. 



14 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Table 12. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 106, by Economic 
Class of Farm: 1954 



Item 



Number of farms-.. 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm: 

Cattle 

Sheep 

Animal units 

Animal units, total 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm 

Animal units per man-equiv- 
alent 

Hired labor per farm 

dollars. - 
Hired labor per animal unit 

dollars.. 

Investment in land and 

buildings per animal unit 

dollars.. 

Value of land and buildings, 

per farm. dollars. . 

Value of livestock per farm 

dollars. . 
Value of land and buildings 
and livestock per farm 

dollars. . 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars. . 

Livestock and livestock 
products sales as a percent 
of value of all farm prod- 
ucts sold... 



10, 283 
100.0 



152 
162 
184 

1. 897. 173 
100.0 

1 

108 

1.380 

7.48 



316 
58, 237 
1", 

75, 323 



Economic class of farm 



11 III IV 



1.794 2,120 
17.4 20.6 



416 
603 
536 

961, 798 
60.7 

3.5 

152 



5,234 
9.76 

308 
165, 602 
48, 83' 

214,439 

80, 698 

91.0 



175 
161 
207 

438. 735 
23.1 



2,178 
21.2 



111 
65 
124 

270,811 
14.3 



1.8 
113 

1,379 
6.66 

326 
67, 420 
19, 201 

86. 621 

15, 777 

84.3 



537 
4,32 

348 
43, 154 
11,754 

54,908 

7,405 

88.0 



2,035 
19 



61 
36 
68 

138, 769 
7.3 

1.1 

60 

238 
3.48 



403 
27, 387 
6,555 

33, 942 

3,744 

89.0 



43 
16 
46 

68, 265 
3.6 

1.0 

51 

123 
2.6: 



478 

21, 975 

4,429 

26, 404 

1,929 



VI 



668 
6.5 



27 
I'l 

28 

18, 805 
1.0 

1.0 

29 

62 
2.19 

579 
16, 219 
2,762 

18, 981 



93.4 



Table 13. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 107, by Economic 
Class of Farm : 1954 



Item 



Niunber of farms 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm: 

Cattle... 

Sheep 

Animal units 

Animal units, total 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm — 
Animal units per man- 
equivalent 

Hired labor per farm 

dollars.. 
Hired labor per animal imit 

dollars.. 

Investment in land and 

buildings per animal imit 

dollars. - 

Value of land and buildings. 

per farm dollars.. 

Value of livestock per farm 

dollars.. 
Value of land and buildings 
and livestock per f:irm 

dollars. 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars . 

Livestock and livestock 
products sales as a percent 
of value of all farm prod- 
ucts sold 



Total 



5.024 
100.0 



165 
73 
169 

850. 893 
100.0 

1.6 

112 



873 
5.16 

386 
65, 288 
13, 774 

79, 062 

512 

95.0 



Economic class of farm 



420 

8.4 



700 
449 
795 

334, 0511 
39.3 

4.0 

198 

5,702 
7.1 



350 
278, 332 
63,986 

342, 317 

2,863 

95.9 



II 



710 
14.1 



259 
133 

286 

203, 002 
23.9 

2.0 

146 



1,510 
6.28 

336 
96, 202 
23, 106 

119,308 

1, 

92.9 



",I 



829 
16.5 



150 
44 
158 

131, 287 
16.4 

1.5 

107 

586 
' 3.69 

391 
61,764 
12,915 

74, 679 

357 

93.6 



IV 



1,117 
22.2 



94. 030 
11.1 

1.2 

73 

23: 
2.82 

486 
40, S 
6,970 

47,819 

188 

94.5 



1,161 
23.1 



52 
16 
55 

64, 182 

7.5 

1.0 

58 



VI 



787 
1,5.7 



30 
6 
31 

24, 341 
2.9 

l.I 

28 



123 36 

2.23 1.16 



458 
25, 172 
4,620 

29,792 

71 

95. 



573 
17, 749 
2.624 

20, 373 

15 

97.4 



high number of animal units of livestock per man-year of work 
for the ranches reflects the fact that stock ranches in this sub- 
region have a low winter-feeding requirement. In most of the 
years the cattle and sheep can be "ranged" through the winter. 
InAestment in land and buildings per animal unit in the ranches 
is moderate and more comparable to the ranches in the northern 
plains than to those of the southern plains (see Table 1.3). 

Desert Region 

Economic subregion 108. — The western part of the southern 
Great Plains lies in this subregion. The rangeland resources 
are the southern plains semidesert grasslands. This definitely 
is a livestock-ranching subregion, though as in most subregions 
in the West it contains some other kinds of agriculture. In sub- 
region 108 most of the farms other than stock ranches are located 
in the irrigation districts along the Rio Grande. The livestock 
ranches have a large average size (see Table 14). In fact, the 
average size of the stock ranch is the largest among the western 
subregions. Sixteen percent of the livestock farms in this area 
were clas.sified as Class I farms. The values of land, buildings, 
and livestock on these farms average over one-half million dollars. 

The labor requirements on these livestock ranches are low 
because of their favorable size and because very little winter 
feeding is required. The general efficiency on the Class I ranches, 
however, is not as high as might be expected. One possible 
explanation is the general use of untrained workers. 

The investment per animal unit in land and buildings is about 
the same as in other subregions. Ranches in this subregion have 
a lower land and buildings investment per animal unit than that 
of most subregions in the southern plains. Probably this is due 
to the use of considerable acreages of public land by the stock 
ranches in the New Mexico part. 



Table 14. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 108, by Economic 
Class of Farm: 1954 



Economic subregion 107. — This subregion constitutes the west- 
ern part of the central Great Plains (see Figure 10). The rather 



Number of farms 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm : 

Cattle 

Sheep 

Animal units 

Animal units, total 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm. . . 
Animal units per man- 
equivalent 

Hired labor per farm 

dollars - 
Hired labor per animal unit 
dollars- 
Investment in land and 
buildings per animal unit 
dollars - 
Value of land and buildings, 

per farm dollars - 

Value of livestock per farm 
dollars - 
Value of land and buildings 
and livestock per farm 

dollars 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars - 

Livestock and livestock 
products sales as a percent 
of value of all farm prod- 
ucts sold 



Total 



2.003 
100.0 



244 
464 
33.1 

670, 962 
100.0 

2.2 

152 

2,429 
7.25 



46: 
156, 504 
23,374 

179. 878 

17, 5.88 

94,3 



E Economic class nf farm 



322 
16.1 



702 
1,691 
1,041 

336. 046 
49.9 

6.6 

186 

9,203 
8.84 



487 

507, 418 

71,280 

578, 698 

69. 340 

92.1 



II HI IV 



448 
22.4 



281 
686 
398 

178, 486 
26.6 

2.1 

186 

2,198 
5.52 



452 
179, 786 
27, 613 

207, 399 

17, 895 



383 
19.1 



176 
193 
215 

82, 298 
12.3 

1.6 

138 

1,080 
5.03 



489 
105, 142 
15, 444 

120, 586 

7,417 



337 
16.8 



115 
42 
123 

41,510 
0.2 

1.4 

87 

902 
7.32 



506 

62, 106 

9,120 

71, 225 

3,830 

96. 



356 
17.8 



69 
34 
76 

27, 048 
4.0 

1.1 

70 

410 
5.40 



644 
41,322 
5,636 

46, 958 

1,819 



VI 



167 
7.8 



40 
9 
42 

6.576 
1.0 

1.3 

32 

341 

8.15 



623 
26, 185 
3,183 

29,368 

674 

99.7 



WESTERN STOCK RANCHES AND LIVESTOCK FARMS 



15 



Economic subregion 114. — The southern third of Arizona makes 
up this subregion. It is desert land with the exception of the high 
rolhng hill country of southeastern Arizona. It has a high propor- 
tion of public lands, and large livestock ranching operations. For 
this reason it is comparable with economic subregion 113 in the 
size and characteristics of the ranches. 

The labor efficiency for the ranches is not as high as may be 
expected for desert ranching where comparatively little winter 
feeding of the livestock is required. This is especially true with 
respect to Class I ranches (see Table 15). There is considerable 
use of untrained employees on the ranches and this may explain 
part of the low labor efficiency. 

The investment in land and buildings per animal unit is below 
the average of western subregions but it is rather high considering 
the extent of public land use and desert ranching here. The ex- 
tensive buying of ranches for winter recreation and for "dude" 
ranching probably explains in part the high value of land and 
buildings per animal unit. 

The subregion has a relatively higher percent of very large 
ranches. Nearly a fifth of the livestock farms had sales of over 
$25,000 in 1954. 



Table 15. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 114, by Economic 
Class of Farm: 1954 



Item 



Number of farms... 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm; 

Cattle 

Sheep 

Animal units 

Animal units, total.. 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm 

Animal units per man- 
equivalent 

H ired labor per farm . dollars . . 

Hired labor per animal unit 

dollars.. 

Investment in land and 

buildings per animal unit 

dollars.. 

Value of land and buildings, 

per farm dollars.. 

Value of livestock per farm 

dollars.. 

Value of land and buildings 

and livestock per farm 

dollars. 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars.. 

Livestock and livestock 
products sales as a percent 
of value of all farm prod- 
ucts sold 



Total 



1,111 
100.0 



311 

79 
326 

362, 658 
100.0 

2.4 

137 

4,172 

12 78 



326 
100, 143 
30, 186 

136, 329 

41,693 

87.7 



Economic class of farm 



209 
18.8 



1,010 

380 

1,086 

226, 989 
62.6 

7.1 

152 

17,609 

16.12 



285 

309. 382 

98, 984 

408, 366 

193, 613 

86.6 



II III IV 



191 
17.2 



362 

27 

367 

70,150 
19.3 

2.0 

187 
2,797 
7.62 



284 
104. 300 
34, 617 

138, 817 

16, 346 

93,6 



209 
18.8 



167 
3 

167 

34,998 
9.7 

1.3 

127 
1,111 
6.64 



477 
79, 671 
16,816 

95, 487 

7,425 



195 
17.6 



17, 076 
4.7 

1.1 

83 
690 

7,88 

456 
40,145 
8.426 

48, 570 

3,773 

98 



200 
18.0 



48 
10 
50 

10,067 
2.8 

1.0 

63 

306 

6,08 



628 
31,390 

4.848 

36,238 
1,891 

98.1 



VI 



107 
9.6 



31 

1 

32 

3,379 
0.9 

1.0 

33 

128 

4.06 



690 
22, 095 
3,161 

25, 266 

635 



Economic subregion 115. — The southern part of California 
makes up this subregion. Most of the stock ranching here is on 
the desert lands east of the coastal mountain ranges of southern 
California (see Figure 10). 

Large stock ranches predominate. About 23 percent of the 
operators have 83.9 percent of the animal units (see Table 16). 



Considering the fact that only limited supplemental feeding is 
necessary here the labor efficiency in the handling of livestock is 
low. On the ranches with low gross income this is due to the 
small size of the ranches. The large amount of hired labor on the 
small ranches suggests that many are part-time operations probably 
owned by people with other income who have what they call a 
stock ranch as an avocation. This characteristic is indicated also 
by the very high land and building investment per animal unit for 
all except the Class I ranches. 

Table 16. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 115, by Economic 
Class of Farm : 1954 



Item 



Number of farms 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm: 

Cattle 

Sheep .- 

Animal units 

Animal units, total-.. 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm 

Animal units per man- 
equivalent 

Hired labor per farm, dollars.. 

Hired labor per animal unit 

dollars.. 

Investment in land and 

buildings per animal unit 

dollars.. 

Value of land and buildings, 

per farm ..dollars.. 

Value of livestock per farm 

dollars.. 

Value of land and buildings 

and livestock per farm 

dollars.. 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars.. 

Livestock and livestock 
products sales as a percent 
of value of all farm prod- 
ucts sold 



Total 



1.715 
100.0 



242 
149 
271 

465. 522 
100.0 

2.2 

122 

4,720 

17.39 



493 
133, 666 
33, 638 

167, 203 

53,651 

91.2 



Economic class of farm 



396 
23.0 



876 

565 



390, 378 
83.9 

5.9 

168 

16, 732 

16.93 

256 
262, 478 
122, 297 

374, 775 

214, 540 

9L2 



251 
14.6 



109 
117 
132 

33, 169 
7.1 

1.7 

77 

2,1 

21.83 



1,450 
191, 430 
15, 051 

207. 381 

14, 482 

89.0 



III IV 



266 
14.9 



60 
2 

6; 

17,044 
3.7 

1.3 

61 
1.381 
20,74 



1, 629 

109, 166 

8,777 

117,932 

7,459 

92.7 



252 
14.7 



40 

5 

41 

10, 429 
2.2 

1.0 

41 

800 

19.33 

1.449 
59, 397 
5,116 

64,612 

3,495 

93.1 



428 
25.0 



27 

28 

11, 809 
2.5 

0.7 

38 

396 

14.32 

2,488 
69, 656 
3.526 

73, 181 

1,750 

93.3 



133 

7.8 



19 

7 
20 

2,703 
0.6 

1.1 

19 

283 

13.93 



1,902 

38, 031 

2,604 

40,636 

712 



Rocky Mountain Region 

Economic subregion 109. — This is one of the largest subregions. 
It includes most of the Rocky Mountains, from the Canadian 
border to the southern end of the Rocky Mountain system. It is 
essentially a country of livestock ranching, though it contains 
important irrigated areas in the mountain valleys. For the most 
part, the stock ranches are of an economically sized operating unit. 
Though there are many large ranching operations, an appreciable 
proportion of the stock ranches fall in Economic Classes II to IV. 

Labor requirements average rather high (see Table 17) not- 
withstanding favorable size of units. This results from the ranch- 
ing operations having rather high winter-feeding requirements. 
As a rule, hay and other feed crops sufficient for 3 to 5 months of 
winter maintenance must be grown. 

The investment in land and buildings per animal unit is 
moderate in subregion 109 and considerably below the average for 
western subregions. Use of considerable acreages of public land, 
e.specially by the larger ranches, probably accounts for this low 
investment. 



16 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Table 17. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 109, by Economic 
Class of Farm: 1954 



Item 



Number of farms 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm; 

Cattle 

Sheep 

Animal units 

Animal units, total 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm.... 
Animal units per man- 
equivalent 

Hired labor per farm. dollars- 
Hired labor per animal unit 
dollars.. 

Investment in land and 

buildings per animal unit 

dollars.. 

Value of land and buildings, 

per farm.- .dollars. 

Value of livestoclc per farm 

dollars.. 

Value of land and buildings 

and livestoclv per farm 

dollars.. 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars. 

Livestock and livestock 
products sales as a percent 
of value of all farm prod- 
ucts sold 



Total 



12,549 
100.0 



145 
221 

189 

2, 373. 904 
100.0 

2.0 

95 

1, 087 

8.92 



279 
52, 704 
17. 571 

70,275 

10, 967 

93.7 



Economic class of farm 



1,171 
9.3 



632 

1,666 

866 

1, 013, 675 
42.7 

6.9 

125 

11,139 

12.87 



232 
201, 273 
77, 850 

279,123 

61, 201 

95.7 



2,003 
16.0 



256 
198 
296 

592, 197 
24.9 

2.4 

124 

2,213 

7.48 

2; 

82.516 
27, 073 

110, 189 

15,321 

92.4 



III IV 



2,741 
21.8 



127 
74 
142 

389, 8.30 
16.4 



762 
5.36 

305 
43, 347 
13, 541 

56, 888 

7,133 



2,754 
21.9 



73 
47 
83 

227, 849 



1. 
65 
345 
4.17 

336 

27,909 

7,994 

35,903 

3,718 

91.7 



2,400 
19.1 



41 
26 
46 

110, 666 
4.7 

LO 

45 

193 

4.22 



433 
19,924 
4,511 

24,435 

1,818 

92.' 



1,480 
11.8 



23 

18 
27 

39, 686 
1.7 

1.2 

23 

123 

4.58 



461 
12, 460 
2,673 

15, 133 

758 

90.7 



The Intermountain Region 

Economic subregion 110. — This economic subregion consists of 
the plateaus of the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon, 
the Palouse Hills of eastern Washington, and the Panhandle of 
Idaho. Within this subregion are important wheat-farming area 
and irrigation developments. Livestock ranching is relatively 
less important here than in most subregions in the West. 

Table 18.— Livestock Farms in Subregion 110, by Economic 
Class of Farm: 1954 



Item 



Total 



Number of farms 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm: 

Cattle 

Sheep,- 

Animal units 

Animal units, total 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm 

Animal units per man- 
equivalent 

Hired labor per farm 

dollars.. 
Hired labor per animal 
unit dollars.. 

Investment in land and 
buildtQgs per animal 
unit- dollars. - 

Value nf land and buildings, 
per farm dollars . 

Value of livestock per 
farm dollars.. 

Value of land and buildmgs 
and livestock per farm 

dollars.. 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars. 

Livestock and livestock 
products sales as a percent 
of value of all farm prod- 
ucts sold 



1.489 
100.0 



107 
109 
129 

192, 361 
100.0 



1.431 
11.07 

360 
46, 395 
12, 654 

59, 049 

11,273 

86.0 



Economic class of farm 



128 
8.6 



1.141 
714 

91, 440 
47.5 

5.0 

143 

10,525 
14.73 

342 

244, 508 
66, 101 

310, 609 

78, 365 

86.0 



III IV 



174 
11.7 



191 
17 
194 

33, 812 
17.6 

1.9 

102 

1,97 
10.18 



329 
63, 783 
19, 639 

83, 422 

16, 249 

83.4 



231 
1.5.5 



124 
15 
127 

29, 303 
15.2 

1.5 

87 

1. 166 
9.19 



303 
46, 143 
13, 244 

59, 387 

7, 634 

86.6 



347 
23.3 



55 
21 
59 

20, 632 
10.7 

1.0 

57 

266 
4.47 



487 

28, 759 

6,126 

34, 885 

3,763 



340 
22.8 



11, 202 
6.8 



171 
5.19 

427 
14, 098 
3,363 

17, 461 

1,903 

87.6 



VI 



269 
18.1 



22 

1 

22 

5,973 
3.1 

1.0 

23 

71 
3,19 



741 
16,310 
2,364 

18, 674 

783 



The average size stock ranch here is rather small and there is a 
high concentration of livestock numbers on Classes I and II ranches 
(see Table 18). This probably is due to the fact that there is a 
considerable number of large sheep-ranching operations. These 
large ranches have a relatively high labor efficiency, and the 
amount of labor used on the smaller units is unusually high. 

The investment in land and buildings per animal unit is below 
the average of western subregions and is generally comparable 
with that in the northern plains subregions and in the Rocky 
Mountain subregions. 

Economic subregion 111, — This subregion consists of the central 
part of the State of Washington (see Figure 10). It is, principally, 
the di-ainage areas of the Okanogan and Yakima Rivers. Though 
this is not primarily a stook-rancliing territory, the Okanogan 
Country does have a considerable number of stock ranches. 

This subregion has essentially the same characteristics as the 
stock ranches in other subregions, Man-labor per unit of live- 
stock averages relatively high for the stock ranches. Land and 
buildings investment per animal unit averages somewhat below 
the general average for the West (see Table 19). 

Table 19. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 111, by Economic 
Class of Farm: 1954 



Item 



Number of farms 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm: 

Cattle. - 

Sheep.- 

Animal units 

Animal units, total.. 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm — 
.Animal units per man- 
equivalent — 

Hired labor per farm 

dollars.. 
Hired labor per animal unit 

dollars.. 

Investment in land and 

buildings per animal unit 

dollars. 

Value of land and buildings, 

per farm dollars.. 

Value of livestock per farm 

dollars.. 

Value of land and buddings 

and livestock per farm 

dollars.. 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars . . 

Livestock and livestock 
products sales as a percent 
of value of all farm prod- 
ucts sold 



Total 



1,401 
100.0 



118 
65 
131 

191, 722 
100.0 

1.5 

89 



1,377 
10. .50 

327 
42,777 
13, 067 

65, 844 

13, 390 

90.3 



Economic class of farm 



168 
11.5 



389 
400 
469 

78, 857 
41.1 

3.5 

133 

6,685 
14.24 



279 
130, 666 
45, 666 

176, 331 

74,502 

91,9 



II III IV 



197 
13.6 



216 

51 

226 

44, 577 
23.2 

1.8 

124 

1,912 
8.45 



268 
58, 344 
22, 394 

80, 738 

14, 716 

87.9 



291 
19.9 



99 
33 

105 

30, 662 
16.0 

1.3 

79 

900 
8.54 



321 
33,685 
10, 822 

44,507 

7,061 

84.3 



345 
23.6 



51 
17 
54 

18, 647 
9.7 

1.1 

50 

312 

5.77 



442 

23, 892 

5,532 

29, 424 

3,924 

87.0 



393 
26.9 



0.9 
46 

349 
8.06 

489 
21, 040 
4,423 

25, 463 

1,742 

96.3 



VI 



67 
4.6 



29 

4 

29 

1,973 
1.0 

1.0 

29 

92 
3.12 



746 
21,611 
3,152 

24, 763 

814 

74.8 



Economic subregion 112. — This includes the Snake River Valley 
and the Snake River plains of Idaho, and northern and central 
Utah. Some very important irrigation developments occur within 
it but except for these, the main type of agriculture is stock 
ranching. In the upper parts of the Snake River Valley stock 
ranching is associated closely with irrigated farming. In the 
other parts there is not much association between stock ranching 
and irrigated farming. 

The number of animal units of livestock handled per man-year 
averages rather low even on Classes I and II stock ranches. This 
situation probably is explained by (1) the larger number of family 
workers per ranch, (;J) winter feeding, and (S) the movement of 
livestock in many instances from the farm to the feeding area or 
from feeding area to feeding area. Investment in land and 
buildings is below the average for the stock ranches in the West 
(see Table 20). 



WESTERN STOCK RANCHES AND LIVESTOCK FARMS 



17 



Table 20. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 112, by Economic 
Class OF Farm: 1954 



Item 



Number of farms — , 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm: 

Cattle 

Sheep 

Animal units 

Animal units, total 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm — 
Animal units per man- 
equivalent — 

niied labor per farm 

dollars. 
Hired labor per animal unit 

dollars. 

Investment in land and 

buildings per animal unit 

dollars. 

Value of land and buildings, 

per farm dollars. 

Value of livestock per farm 

dollars - 

Value of land and buildings 

and livestock per farm 

dollars- 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars . 

Livestock and livestock 
products sales as a percent 
of value of all farm prod- 
ucts sold 



Total 



5,485 
100.0 



100 
282 
156 

855, 401 
100.0 



1,774 
11.37 

289 
45, 117 
14, 842 

59, 959 

15, 310 

86.9 



Economic class of farm 



S02 
14.0 



258 

1,407 

539 

432. 284 
50.5 

4.5 

120 

8,208 
15. 23 



319 
171,919 
49, 617 

221, 536 

64,613 

87.8 



1,136 
20.7 



130 
236 
177 

201,394 
23.5 

1,9 

90 

1,730 
9.76 



285 
50,460 
17, 095 

67, 555 

15, 751 



III IV 



1.163 
21.2 



81 
81 
97 

112.860 
13.2 

1.3 

74 

630 
6.49 



356 

34,514 

9,652 

44, 166 

7,091 

86.1 



1, 136 

20.7 



50 
34 
56 

64,029 
7,5 

1.0 

59 

261 
4.63 



376 

21, 050 

5,088 

26. 738 

3,659 

87.2 



954 
17.4 



34 
16 
37 

35, 326 
4.1 

1.0 

49 

128 
3. 4e 



521 
19, 293 
3,726 

23,019 

1,837 

92,0 



VI 



294 
5,4 



31 

6 

32 

9,609 
1,1 

1,0 

36 



3,02 

568 
IS, 187 
3,248 

21, 435 

741 

93,0 



Table 21. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 113, by Economic 
Class of Farm: 1954 









Economic class of farm 


Item 


Total 














I 


II 


III 


IV 


V 


VI 




8.902 


1,067 


1,622 


1.839 


1.973 


1,759 


642 


Percent distribution 


100.0 


12 


18.2 


20.7 


22 2 


19.8 


7,2 


Livestock, average number 
















per farm: 
















Cattle -- -- 


231 
149 
261 

2 324 983 


930 

891 

1,109 

1, 182. 817 


307 
138 
334 

542. 040 


157 
39 
165 

303, 670 


88 
23 
93 

182, 661 


47 
18 
60 

88, 342 


38 


Sheep 


/ 




40 




25,464 


Percent distribution 


100.0 


50.9 


23.3 


13.1 


7.9 


3.8 


1.1 


Man-equivalent per farm 


1.8 


5.4 


2.1 


1.5 


1.2 


0.9 


1.0 


Animal units per man-equiv- 


















142 


204 


162 


112 


78 


57 


42 


Hired labor per farm 




dollars. . 


1,849 


9.947 


2,057 


788 


364 


169 


103 


Hired labor per animal 
















unit --- dollars. - 


7.08 


8.97 


6.16 


4.77 


3.94 


3.17 


2 69 


Investment in land and 
















buildings per animal unit 
















dollars. - 


251 


210 


246 


286 


370 


468 


505 


Value of land and buildings. 
















per farm dollars. . 


65, 474 


232. 612 


82, 016 


47, 130 


34, 442 


23. 409 


20, 184 


Value of livestock per farm 
















dollars.. 


25. 121 


105, 225 


32, 267 


16. 093 


9,113 


6.058 


3,964 


Value of land and buildings 
















and livestock per farm 
















dollars. . 


90, 596 


337, 837 


114, 283 


63,223 


43, 655 


28,467 


24, 148 


Value of all farm products 
















sold per farm dollars. . 


13, 027 


61.326 


16. 046 


7,282 


3.720 


1,853 


796 


Livestock and livestock 
















products sales as a percent 
















of value of all farm prod- 


















93.9 


96.4 


92.2 


90.9 


91.7 


94.3 


96.9 







Economic subregion 113. — This is the largest subregion in the 
country and it contains most of what has been characterized as 
the intennountain region. It has a high proportion of public land. 



and except for local irrigation developments, is devoted almost 
entirely to stock ranching that may be characterized as desert 
and .semidesert ranching. 

Livestock ranching operations have a relatively high average 
size but have considerable range in size. They are generally ade- 
quate for reasonably high efficiency of operation. The average 
size for the Class I ranches is extremely large; 12 percent of the 
ranching units have approxunately .51 percent of the livestock 
(see Table 21). The earliest of the ranchers here were able to 
obtain control and use of large acreages of public lands through 
selection of land located near water supplies — a very important 
factor in ranch operations and particularly in this subregion. 

Because year-long grazing is possible in most of this subregion, 
labor requirements are low. The number of animal units per 
man-year is high, especially for the Class I ranches. 

Because the ranchers use much public land, their investment in 
land and buildings per animal unit is low. Also contributing to 
this is the low feed crop requirement. 

Pacific Coast Region 

Economic subregion 116. — The Central Valley of California 
makes up this economic subregion. It includes the lower foothills 
of the Sierras and some of the coastal mountain ranges. Stock 
ranches comprise a minor part of the agriculture here. 

Class I stock ranches have a large average size and a very high 
efficiency in the use of labor (see Table 22). Probably operations 
of many of the small livestock units are affected by outside work 
by the operators. This probably explains the employment of 
considerably more hired labor on the smaller ranches than on the 
small ranches in most of the other subregions. 

For all except Class I ranches the investment in land and build- 
ings per animal unit of livestock is much above the average of 
that of the western subregion. 

Table 22. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 116, by Economic 
Class of Farm: 1954 



Item 



Number of farms 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm: 

Cattle 

Sheep 

Animal units 

Animal units, total 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm — 
Animal units per man-equiv- 
alent 

Hired labor per farm 

dollars.. 
Hired labor per animal unit 

dollars- . 

Investment in land and 

buildings per animal unit 

dollars. . 

Value of land and buildings 

per farm .dollars.. 

Value of livestock per farm 
dollars- 
Value of land and buildings 
and livestock per farm 

dollars.. 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars. 

Livestock and livestock 
products sales as a percent 
of value of all farm prod- 
ucts sold -- — 



Total 



3,612 
100.0 



192 
184 
229 

827. 281 
100.0 

1.7 

133 

2.723 
11.89 



40: 
93. 296 
26,722 

119,018 

33,638 

92.1 



Economic class of farm 



590 
16 3 



818 

916 

1,001 

690, 328 

71.4 

5.2 
192 



13, 472 
13.46 

333 
333, 209 
110,374 

443,583 

174, 966 

92.6 



II III IV V 



589 
16.3 



168 
127 
194 

114, 063 
13.8 

1.6 

125 

1,850 
9.65 



607 
117,801 
22,069 

139, 870 

16.112 

86.6 



600 
16,6 



81 
45 
90 

64. 171 
6,5 

1,1 

79 

665 

7.25 



623 
56, 112 
10, 769 

66, 871 

6,864 

90.6 



61 
13 
63 

35, 530 
4.3 



400 
7.53 

73: 

39, 073 
6,486 

45,658 

3,674 

92, 



913 

25, 3 



14 
31 

28.448 
3,4 

0,8 

40 

128 
4,10 

737 
22,854 
3,776 

26,629 

i,8o: 

92,6 



VI 



252 
7,0 



18 
4 
19 

4,741 
0,6 



84 
4,48 

661 
12,555 
2,203 

14,758 



79,6 



18 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Economic subregion 117. — This subregion covers tlie middle 
coastal parts of California. There are many other kinds of farm- 
ing other than stock ranching here but there is a sizable number 
of livestock ranches in this subregion (see Table 23). These 
ranches are principally cattle ranches in the hill country of the 
coastal mountain ranges. 

Glass I and II ranches comprise most of the stock ranches of 
this subregion and have about average labor efficiency. All except 
Class I units have a high investment per animal unit in the land 
and buildings. Many of the smaller units have cash-crop enter- 
prises in addition to the livestock enterprise. The value of the 
croplands is included in the average value of land and buildings. 

Table 23. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 117, by Economic 
Class of Farm: 1954 



Item 



Number of farms 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm: 

Cattle 

Sheep 

Auimal units 

Animal units, total 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm._- 
Animal units per man equiv- 
alent 

Hired labor per farm 

dollars 

Hired labor per animal unit 
dollars.. 

Investment in land and 

buildings per animal unit 

dollars.. 

Value of land and buildings, 

per farm.. dollars.. 

Value of livestock per farm 
dollars 
Value of land and buildings 
and livestock per farm 

dollars- 
Value of :il! farm products 
sold per farm .... dollars. 
Livestock and livestock 
products sales as a percent 
of value of all farm prod- 
ucts sold 



Total 



2,201 
101). 



147 
132 
174 

381. 99' 
100.0 

15 

11.'; 

I,: 
10.79 



056 
114, 196 
20, 066 

134, 262 

18, 896 

91.6 



Economic class of farm 



312 
14.2 



595 
454 



214,081 
66.0 

3.8 

179 

8.311 
12. 11 

652 

378, 671 

79. 463 

458, 034 

97, 261 

92.3 



II III IV 



344 

16.6 



176 
201 
216 

74, 064 
19.4 

1.6 

131 

1.842 
8.56 



69' 
149,81' 
24, 392 

174, 209 

16,812 



439 
19 9 



94 
98 
114 

50, 036 
13.1 

1.3 

87 

1,244 
10.91 



83' 
96, 362 
13. 103 

108, 466 

7.174 

80.2 



426 
19,4 



47 
55 
68 

24, 573 
0.4 

1.0 

60 

379 
6. ,66 



933 

54,127 
6,853 

60, 980 

3,662 

91.7 



602 
22.8 



27 
20 
31 

15, 391 
4.0 

OS 

39 



VI 



178 

8. I 



19 
12 
22 

3, 862 
1.0 

1.0 

22 



288 234 
9. 38 10. 80 



1,476 

45, 739 

3,687 

49, 426 

1,934 

87.2 



I, 615 
33, 320 

2,576 

35, S96 
740 

96.9 



Economic subregion 118. — This subregion consists of the north- 
ern parts of the Pacific coast coastal ranges, from northern Cali- 
fornia to the Washington-Canadian line. The average size of 
livestock-ranch operations here is small, and the distribution of 
livestock ranches among the economic classes does not follow the 
pattern in other subregions. Most of the ranching units and 
numbers of livestock are ranches in Classes III and IV. Only 12 
percent of the ranches are in Economic Classes I and II (see 
Table 24). 

Except for the Class I ranches, the number of animal units of 
livestock handled per man-year is rather lo'w. The investment 
in land and buildings per animal unit for Class I ranches is near 
the average, but for other classes is considerably higher than 
the average for corresponding classes in -n-estern subregions. 

Economic subregion 119. — This subregion consists of the Willam- 
ette Valley in Oregon and the Puget Sound drainage in Wash- 
ington, with a considerable part of the adjacent mountain country 
included. The average size of stock ranches is small and the size 
characteristics of the ranches is about the same as in subregion 118 
(see Tables 24 and 25). Extremes of size are not found and do 
not have the same pattern of the stock-ranch size characteristics 
as the other subregions in the west. Most of the stock ranches 
in this subregion are located within the smaller vallevs of the 



Cascades and have decidedly limited opportunities for combina- 
tion with other enterprises or for other means of expansion. It 
also appears probable that the stock ranchers of both subregions 
118 and 119 may have considerable opportunity for outside work 
in forestry work, in recreational developments in adjacent areas, 
and in nearby towns. 

T.'^BLE 24. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 118, by Economic 
Class of Farm: 1954 









Economic cla 


ss of farm 


Item 


Total 














I 


II 


III 


IV 


V 


VI 


Number of farms 


2,778 


82 


261 


402 


640 


945 


448 


Percent distribution 


100.0 


3.0 


9.4 


14,5 


23.0 


34.0 


16.1 


Livestock, average number 
















per farm: 
















Cattle 


52 


294 


113 


76 


43 


26 


18 


Sheep 


109 


746 


334 


137 


86 


44 


12 




74 


443 


180 


102 


59 


35 


20 


Animal units, total 


204,911 


36, 361 


46, 976 


41, 193 


38. 071 


33, .309 


9,002 


Peri'ent distribution 


100.0 


17.7 


22.9 


20.1 


18 6 


16.3 


4.4 


Man-equivalent per farm 


1.2 


3.6 


2.1 


1.4 


1.0 


0.8 


0.9 


Animal units per man-equiv- 


















64 


122 


87 


76 


69 


42 


22 


Hired labor per f.irm 




dollars.. 


709 


6. 226 


2,346 


927 


412 


186 


76 


Hired labor per animal unit 
















dollars. . 


9.61 


14.04 


13.04 


9.04 


6.92 


6.29 


3.79 


Investment in land and 
















buildings per animal imit 
















dollars.. 


580 


441 


481 


6611 


610 


840 


953 


Value of land and buildings, 
















per farm dollars.. 


42, 893 


195, 453 


86, 509 


57, 101 


35, 985 


29, 404 


19, 065 


Value of livestock per farm 
















dollars.. 


7,452 


43, 391 


18, 168 


10, 365 


5.964 


3,698 


2,074 


Value of land and buildings 
















and livestock per farm 
















dollars. 


50, 345 


238,844 


104, 667 


67, 450 


41. 949 


33, 102 


21, 139 


Value of all farm products 
















sold per farm dollars. . 


5,290 


46, 149 


14,011 


7.332 


3,817 


1,653 


674 


Livestock and livestock 
















products sales as a percent 
















of value of all farm prod- 


















86.4 


85.8 


86.0 


91.8 


81.2 


89.6 


90 







Table 25. — Livestock Farms in Subregion 119, by Economic 
Class of Farm : 1954 



Number of farms 

Percent distribution 

Livestock, average number 
per farm: 

Cattle 

Sheep 

Animal units 

Animal units, total.. 

Percent distribution 

Man-equivalent per farm. . 
Animal units per man-equiv- 
alent 

Hired labor per farm 

dollars.. 
Hired labor per animal unit 

dollars. . 

Investment in land and 
buildings per animal unit 
dollars.. 
Value of land and buildings, 

per farm dollars.. 

Value of livestock per farm 

diUarS-. 
Value of land and buildings 
and livestock per farm 

dollars. 

Value of all farm products 
sold per farm dollars 

Livestock and livestock 
products sales as a percent 
of value of all farm prod- 
ucts sold 



Total 



2.401 
100.0 



33 
32 
39 

94.688 

loao 

1.0 
38 

533 
13.61 



784 

30, 573 

4,439 

35, 012 

4,542 

89 2 



Economic class of farm 



63 
2.6 



176 
34 
182 

11.448 
12.1 

4.3 

42 

7,776 
42.79 



802 
145, 883 
31,712 

177, 695 

56, 0.35 

94.2 



II III IV 



122 
6.1 



102 
131 
128 

15,651 
16.6 

1.9 

66 

1,857 
14.48 



653 
70, 802 
13, 029 

83, 831 

14, 789 

87.6 



243 
10.1 



53 

68 
6' 

16, 176 
17. 1 

13 

60 

6' 
10 17 



641 
42, 937 

6,988 

49, 925 
7,271 

84.7 



529 
22.0 



32 
35 
39 

20,561 
21.7 

1.0 

40 

363 
9.35 



766 
29,873 
4. 045 

33.918 

3, 600 

86.7 



906 
37. S 



20 
19 
24 

21, 496 
22.7 



32 

192 
8.07 

981 

23,544 

2,609 

26, 053 

1,74 

84.6 



VI 



638 
22.4 



15 
11 
17 

9,367 



0.8 
19 

60 
3.43 



16,653 
1,781 

18, 434 



90.4 



WESTERN STOCK RANCHES AND LIVESTOCK FARMS 



19 



SUMMARY AND PROBLEMS 

Throughout most of the major stock-ranching regions of the 
West, livestoclc operations are in the process of economic tran- 
sition. The transition is continuing largely because the control 
and private ownership of nearly all of the deeded land now in 
ranches was secured through homestead settlement. Except in 
the desert and semidesert subregions there remain many small 
units that are trying to make the transition from cash-grain or 
other dry-land farming over to stock farming or stock ranching. 
This change is in process especially in those parts of the Great 
Plains where the nonirrigated farming has not been successful. 
In time, many of these small livestock operations may be acquired 
by the adjacent larger-sized operations or may be gradually con- 
solidated into efficiently-sized units comprising several small and 
subeconomic units. 

In the desert and semidesert country, development toward more 
efficient economic units and fewer subeconomic units will appar- 
ently have to take a somewhat different course. There it appears 
probable that in time more of the smaller units may attain eco- 
nomic status through governmental and administrative policies 
designed to effect a wider distribution among the stock ranches 
and stock farms of public-land grazing privileges. 

Because of certain inherent characteristics, western stock 
ranches have not changed as much in recent years as have farms 
in most parts of the United States. Successful stock ranching 
requires good biological adaptation to the local natural environ- 
ment. Owing to the genetic and biological character of stock 
ranching the operating program must be a long-range program. 

Many of the national [programs for the benefit of American 
agriculture have had little direct or indirect effect on stock-ranch 
operations. Programs designed to assist crop farmers, dairy 
farmers, or livestock feeders have not influenced greatly the 
physical or economic operations of livestock ranchers. Tn fact, 
the trend has been to higher wage rates and higher prices of 
roughages and feed grains. Prices of livestock also have been 
higher but droughts in recent years have forced early Uquidation 
of sheep and cattle numbers and have forced ranchers to buy feed 
to maintain their livestock operations. 

Probably the greatest possibilities in an agricultural program for 
livestock ranches lie in the realm of land-re.souree conservation. 
Over great areas of the West there has been a shift from the soil- 
conserving perennial grasses to the annuals and to the brush 
plants with adverse effects both upon animal production and 
upon soil conservation. Much better understanding and remedies, 
both educational and in administrative programs, are essential for 
continued growth and improved economic welfare of the ranching 
industry. 

RANCHING IN SELECTED STATE ECONOMIC AREAS 
IN WESTERN STATES 

In this section a somewhat more detailed analysis of livestock 
ranching by States and by State economic areas is presented. It 
should be emphasized that a fairly definite transition zone extends 
from north to south through the Plains States and that only limited 
areas of the kind of stock farming described as stock ranching may 
be found to the east of this transition zone. 

North Dakota. — From an analysis of the data given in Tables 1 
through 5, one must conclude that North Dakota is primarily a 
farming State. Stock ranching is secondary and less important 



than stock farming. Most of the stock ranching of North Dakota 
is now found in what is designated as State economic area 1 (see 
Figure 10). 

This is the stock ranching part of the State. It is the part of 
North Dakota that lies west of the Missouri River and is known 
locally as the "West River Country." It was not influenced by 
the last Pleistocene glaciation. Consequently, it has considerable 
roughlands country, and is not topographically as well suited to 
crop agriculture as are the northern and eastern parts of the 
State. There are some localized stock-ranching lands along the 
"stream breaks" in northern and central North Dakota, but most 
of that country in North Dakota is now devoted to crop agriculture 
rather than to stock ranching. 

Stock ranching in economic area 1 of North Dakota is based 
almost entirely upon native rangeland use. This is especially 
true for the Badlands country along the Little Missouri River. 
Eastward of tlie.se rough and broken Badlands there is a gradual 
change from stock ranching toward stock farming with a consider- 
able combination of dry-land crop jiroduction and farm beef cattle 
and farm flocks of sheep. 

South Dakota. — South Dakota stock ranching, like that of North 
Dakota, lies mostly west of the Missouri River, which flows from 
north to south through the central part of the State. This part 
of South Dakota is shown as area 1 on Figure 10. A notable fea- 
ture is its stock ranching in the Black Hills country and in the 
surrounding roughlands country. Stock ranching in and around 
the Black Hills is a rather unique combination of the Great Plains 
type of ranching and the mountain-valley and foothill type of 
ranching in the intermouutain region. In general, around the 
Black Hills area is very good ranch land. 

Eastward from the Black Hills toward the Missouri River there 
occurs a gradual change from stock ranching to a combination of 
ranching and stock farming. In this transition the operating units 
are smaller and produce more in cultivated crop feeds. Dry-land 
corn is important in the crojj-feed production of these stock farms. 
They also combine a considerable amount of dry-land cash-grain 
grain production, especially wheat, with farm herds of beef cattle 
and farm flocks of sheep. 

Nebraska. — Nebraska reaches well into the Corn Belt and is not 
generally thought of as a ranching State. It has, however, a very 
large and important stock-ranching area. It is known as the 
Nebraska sand-hills country and is approximately outlined by 
State economic area 1 (Figure 10). It includes somewhat more 
than the sandhills, but roughly defines them. The general area 
of the sandhills proper lies between the Niobrara and Platte 
Rivers, and westward almost to the town of Alliance, Nebr. 

This large and very productive ranching area consisting of some 
18 million acres has not and cannot be used for farming because of 
the characteristics of the soil. INIost of the soil consists of wind- 
formed sandy soils with a topograiihic as])ect similar to that of 
sand dunes. When plowed or otherwise exposed to the wind it is 
readily subjected to wind erosion. Stock ranching here is limited 
almost entirely to cattle mainly because the type of native grasses 
produced by the sand-dune soils are too coarse for sheep and are 
otherwise not well suited for sheep grazing. The ranches tend to 
be rather large and are operated on a year-round grazing basis, or 
nearly so. Some of the ranches produce considerable native hay 
from the natural meadows in the lower and more level lands along 
the streams. Where the sand-hills country fringes out into the 
"hard" lands there is found a rather quick transition to stock 
farming, with much smaller operating units. 



20 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Kansas. — With the exception of the Flint Hills of Kansas little 
remains in the way of native land resources in that State. Most 
of the State is now devoted to general farming with a predominance 
of crop farming. The Flint Hills area (Figure 10, area 5) has wide 
native bluestem pastures which are used largely for a rather 
specialized type of livestock grazing. The stocl^ farms as a rule 
have rather limited numbers of breeding livestock and use pastures 
principally for the grazing of stocker animals, either on a lease 
basis or through purchase by the operators of farms and ranches. 
Many cattle come from the western ranches for summer and fall 
pasturage and for later shipment to markets for slaughter or to 
feedlots for further feeding and finishing. The ranching in this 
economic area thus functions mainly as an intermediary between 
the economy of the western stock ranches and the Corn Belt live- 
stock fattening operations. 

Oklahoma. — Oklahoma has two State economic areas in which 
stock ranching is economically important. These are areas 1 and 
3 (see Figure 10). Area 1 consists of the Oklahoma "Panhandle" 
and area 3 consists of what is known as the Osage Hills district. 
The stock ranching in area 1 is principally found along the breaks 
of the North Canadian River. These ranches tend to be medium 
to-small cattle-ranch units with some diversified crop farming. 
The stock ranching in the Osage Hills country bears considerable 
similarity to that in the Kansas Flint Hills country, except that 
breeding-herd ranching operations are more numerous in the 
Oisage Hills. In both the Osage Hills and the Flint Hill country 
the ranching resources consist of highly productive native bluestem 
pastures. 

Texas. — Texas stock ranching occurs mainly in the southern 
plains. This is southward of the "Break of the plains" which 
marks the southern limit of the Ogalalla limestone caprock of the 
central high plains. This transition is marked roughly by the 
line between economic area 4 and areas 5 and 6 to the south. For 
the southern plains ranching in Texas the east- west transition 
zone from farming to stock ranching is indicated by subregion 96 
which is the subregion consisting of the "Cross Timbers" and the 
Grand Prairie districts of central Texas. 

In the southern plains ranching of Texas the area designated 6a 
is known as the Rolling Plains section of Texas. Although there is 
a considerable mixture of crop farming in some places here it con- 
sists mainly of rather good grassland and rangeland resource, 
with cattle predominating over sheep ranching. The ranches are 
likely to be of medium size. West of area 6a lies area 5 which 
consists principally of the Staked Plains district of Texas. Area 5 
is now devoted principally to crop farming; only a small amount of 
stock ranching remains. 

Southward lies the Edwards Plateau district of Texas, desig- 
nated as State economic areas lb and 2 (see Figure 10). This 
large and important ranching area is devoted mainly to sheep, 
but there is a considerable combination of sheep and cattle enter- 
prises and sometimes mohair goat enterprises on the same ranch. 
Rangeland resources consist of a mixture of brush, grass, and 
weeds. This characteristic of grazing lands favors a ranch com- 
bination of cattle and sheep. The ranches in these areas tend to 
be medium to small and, though livestock is ranged the year 
round, ranchers grow a considerable quantity of feed crops, such as 
grain sorghums, for use as a supplement to the range forage in 
the winter. 

Southward from the Edwards Plateau country of Texas lies a 
wide and important ranching area known as the Rio Grande 
Plain, economic areas 3 and 11 (see Figure 10). These two State 



economic areas coincide approximately with economic subregion 
98. In it are some very large ranches such as the King Ranch. 
The grassland is relatively productive but there the control of the 
brush growth presents a problem especially the mesquite brush 
which reproduces and grows vigorously in this part of Texas. 
Where it is possible to control the mesquite adequately and 
economically the grazing capacity of the rangelands is relatively 
high as tlie rainfall here is around 25 inches annuallj*. 

West of the Edwards Plateau of Texas lies area la. This is the 
part of Texas west of the Pecos River known as the trans-Pecos 
country. This area is part of the southern plains desert grass- 
lands which extend also across a considerable part of southern 
New Mexico. The rangeland in area la is better suited to cattle 
than to sheep. The rangeland resource varies from some ex- 
tremely arid and low-capacity lands, as in the southern or Big 
Bend part, to some very good grasslands as in the Davis Mountain 
section of the western part of the area. The ranches tend to be 
medium to large in size. Ranch operators graze the livestock 
year round, with only a minimum quantity of supplemental 
feeding. 

New Mexico. — The influence of the Spanish-American settlers 
is readily noted in the ranching operations in most of New Mexico. 
The rather small average acreage per farm, for all farms, reflects 
the large number of small farms on the irrigation developments 
along the Rio Grande River. However, the average size of stock 
ranch in New Mexico is rather large, and considerably above the 
average for the Western States (see Table 1). Stock rancliing is 
predominant in the State as indicated by data in Tables 1 and 2. 

Mucli of the difference between the average acreage of livestock 
farms and that for all farms is accounted for by the dry-land farm- 
ing development in the high plains of eastern and northeastern 
New Mexico. Table 3 shows that the average size of stock- 
ranching enterprise in New Mexico is rather large and considerably 
above the average for the Western States. 

There are four State economic areas in New Mexico. Area la 
coincides approximately with the Colorado Plateau country of the 
northwestern part of the State. Much of this is in the Navajo 
Indian Reservation, but to the east of the reservation and within 
area la there is a type of stock ranching that is characteristic of 
ranching in the Colorado Plateau. Most of these ranch opera- 
tions are large with year-round grazing on rangelands that are 
typically fenced into large range pastures. Area lb of New 
^Mexico comprises the upper Rio Grande Valley and includes the 
southern parts of the southern Rocky Mountain region. The 
ranches are typically mountain-valley operating units with a com- 
bination of valley land and foothill and mountainous upland 
grazing lands. With the prevalence of the Spanish-American 
settlements here the average size of the stock ranch is rather small. 

State economic area 2 coincides roughly with the high central 
plains part of northeastern New Mexico. It has been locally 
developed into dry-land farms but in it are several localities that 
have always remained in stock -ranch units. Most of these ranches 
are medium-to-large size. Economic area 3 comprises the desert 
grassland plains of New Mexico and the rangeland and ranching 
operations are substantially the same as those in the trans-Pecos 
part of western Texas. The ranches in area 3 are medium to 
large, and as they are subject to considerable climatic risk from 
drought, they have to operate on a rather speculative basis of 
buying and selling considerable numbers of cattle, as dictated 
bv the trends of climate and weather. 



WESTERN STOCK RANCHES AND LIVESTOCK FARMS 



21 



Colorado. — Tables 1 and 2 indicate tliat stock ranching is 
rclativel}' important in the agricultural economy and land use of 
Colorado. In terms of acreage per ranch, stock ranches in Colo- 
rado compare favorably with the average for the West. 

Economic area 1 of Colorado includes the mountain valley 
country of northwestern Colorado and some of the ])lateaii 
country of southwestern Colorado. It also includes the stock 
ranching in the high country along the Yampa River drainage 
in northwestern Colorado. This is principally an area of high- 
mountain-valley stock ranching as typified by that of the North 
Park, Middle Park, and South Park ranching country along the 
eastern part of this area. Operators in these high mountain 
valleys have long winter-feeding periods and high operating costs 
which they must offset by high production from their usually good 
and productive foothill and upland summer rangelands. Both 
cattle and sheep ranches prevail but cattle ranches predominate 
in the high mountain valleys. 

Area 2a in southwestern Colorado is a part of the Colorado 
Plateau natural region. In it is a combination of high plateaus 
and lower semidesert lands interspersed along the plateaus. 
The stock ranching combines the use of the lower semidesert 
country for winter grazing and the plateaus for summer grazing. 

Economic area 2b comprises the upper Rio Grande drainage 
including what is locally known as the San Louis Valley district 
of Colorado. This is mountain-valley ranching but has valley 
lands at somewhat lower elevations than those of area 1 and with 
somewhat less requirements in winter feeding for most of the 
ranches. There is considerable development of irrigated farming 
in some parts of this valley. The stock ranches tend to be rather 
large. 

Economic area 3 in Colorado is a part of the central plains 
natural region. Some acreage is devoted to dry-land crop farming. 
The livestock enterprises here are likely to be stock farms rather 
than stock ranches. They are rather small and raise considerable 
amounts of cultivated feed crops such as grain sorghums. They 
sometimes combine some cash-crop production, especially dry- 
land wheat with the livestock operations. They have only a 
limited extent of native grassland pastures. 

Economic area 4 extends eastward from the Rocky Mountain 
front to the Colorado-Kansas State line. Livestock ranching 
operations are limited and are confined mainly to the locality 
of the sand hills and to the rough and broken lands along the 
stream drainages. The livestock enterprises are generally small 
and are stock farms rather than stock ranches. 

Economic area 5 coincides a])i>roximatel_v with the part of 
southeastern Colorado that lies within the high plains part of 
the central plains region. This is approximately the drainage 
area of the Arkansas River extending eastward across south- 
eastern Colorado from the Rocky Mountain front range. Here 
again stock ranching is confined principally to those localities 
where the land is not arable because of the characteristics of 
the topographv, soils, and climate. An example is found in the 
stock-ranching locations along the Purgatoire River of south- 
eastern Colorado. 

Wyoming. — Wyoming has predominantly a ranching economy 
(see Tables 1 and 2). Wyoming has a large number of stock 
ranches and they average rather large, both as to acreage and 
size of enterprise. Data in Table 2 show that stock ranches pre- 
dominate in the State's total farming acreage. 



The part of Wyoming designated as State economic area 1 is 
relatively large; in it there are noteworthy natural and economic 
differences. The .stock ranching can best be described with 
reference to operators in certain parts and localities of the area. 

The eastern third of this area is in the drainage of the North 
Platte River which flows northward out of Colorado and turns 
eastward approximately at the location of Casper. This is pro- 
ductive stock-ranching country in which the livestock ranches 
are likely to be a combination of Great Plains and of mountain- 
valley ranching. This is because the northern parts of the southern 
Rocky Mountains and the western parts of the northern Great 
Plains merge in this area. 'Westward from the Platte River 
drainage area is the relatively arid "Red Desert" part of Wyoming. 
The "Red Desert" includes several million acres in southwestern 
Wyoming. The lands in this area are used primarily for winter 
grazing of sheep. Range bands of sheep are trailed into the area 
from ranching locations around the margin of the "Red Desert." 
The part of area 1 extending northward toward Yellowstone Park 
includes much of the middle Rocky Mountains physiographic 
province. Stock ranching here is quite typical of the mountain- 
valley ranching in the northern Rocky Mountains. The stock- 
ranching operations are usually rather large. 

Area 2a includes the intermountain basin lying between the 
Big Horn Mountain Range on the east and the Shoshone Mo\mtain 
Range on the west. It includes these mountain ranges, the Big 
Horn Basin lands, the lands of the Shoshone Indian Reservation, 
and certain semidesert lands extending southward from the Sho- 
shone Reservation. There is within the Big Horn Basin a large 
acreage of extremely arid land which is almost entirely public 
domain. This vast public domain and the national forest border- 
ing the Big Horn Basin cause the use of public lands to be extremely 
important and almost dominant in the make-up and organization 
of the stock ranching for the entire area. Typically, the stock 
rancher owns some irrigated meadowland along the stream bot- 
toms and may also ow-n some adjacent foothill grassland. The 
combination of owned land and pubhc grazing land provides 
winter grazing on the low and arid country of the pubhc domain 
lands and summer grazing permits on the rangeland parts of the 
national forest. Ranching in this area is about equally divided 
between cattle and sheep. The ranches are medium to large in 
size. 

Area 2b in Wyoming constitutes tne northern plains country of 
eastern Wyoming. It consists primarily of rolling roughlands, 
plains, and grasslands with relatively high-producing rangeland and 
has a topography that gives natural shelter to livestock. It has 
a favorable combination of productive land resources and low- 
cost ranching operations. Cattle ranching is dominant and only 
a limited quantity of winter feed is required. 

Montana. — Approximately one-third of aU Montana farms are 
classed as stock farms (see Table 1). The majority of these oper- 
ations are really stock ranches. The average size of all Montana 
farms in terms of acreage is large relative to most of the Western 
States. This is because stock ranches and wheat farms which are 
of some importance in Montana both average large. The impor- 
tance of stock farms in the total agricultural land use of the State 
is reflected in Table 2. Approximately 24 mUUon acres or nearly 
two-fifths of all land in farms in Montana are used for types of 
farms other than the livestock farms. 



22 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



Land in Montana designated as area la is part of the northern 
Rocky Mountain region. The ranching here is definitely of the 
mountain-valley type of stock ranching. The mountain \iplands 
are heavily forested v.hich limits the use of the uplands for live- 
stock grazing. Typically, the stock ranchers operate largely 
upon their own deeded lands consisting of lands in the valley and 
on adjacent foothills. 

Area lb, which includes all of southwestern Montana from the 
Rocky Mountain front range westward to the Continental Divide, 
is an area of mountain-valley ranching, with some rather extensive 
areas of foothill grasslands suitable for livestock ranching. Thus, 
this area has some localities of the mountain-valley ranching 
typical of the northern Rocky Mountains, and some localities of 
what may be termed lower-mountain and foothill ranching. 
Ranches in this area differ from the mountain-valley ranches in 
that they are in lower elevations and have a shorter period of 
winter snow covering. These ranchers have to raise considerable 
hay for winter feeding and therefore have rather high-cost opera- 
tions. As a rule the ranches are productive with a high stability 
of range production and of the crop-feed production. The 
ranchers tend to operate with straight breeding herds and to sell 
young livestock as feeder animals. 

Montana area 2a may be described as consisting of low- 
mountain and foothill ranching. It extends from the Rocky 
Mountain front eastward toward the northern plains — -the eastern 
border of this area. It has a considerable develoDment of both 
dry-land and irrigation farming. The stock ranchmg is fo\ind 
principally along the streams that run eastward toward the 
Missouri River and around the lesser mountain ranges at some 
distance eastward and detached from the Rocky Mountain 
system. More specifically the ranches are located along the Marias 
and Teton Rivers and along the Sun River west of Great Falls, 
Mont. They also are located around the local mountainous 
roughlands as the Judith Mountains, the Little Belt Mountains, 
and the Highwood Mountains. This is an area of very pro- 
ductive stock ranching, with the ranches fairly well balanced in 
their seasonal capacities. The ranches are generally medium to 
large in size. 

Area 2b includes the northern Great Plains parts of northern 
and eastern Montana. It has been extensively developed for 
dry-land agriculture. The stock ranches are confined mail ly to 
the roughlands and to the lands of inferior soils and broken 
topography along the streams. The characteristics and size of 
ranching operations vary considerably between locahties. Some 
localities of low mountainous lands such as the Bear Paw Moun- 
tains are entirely in fairly large stock-ranching operations. There 
also are roughlands along the break of the Missouri River with 
rather large acreages of public domain. The stock-ranching 
operations along the break of the Missouri River generally average 
medium to large in size. The wheat-farming parts of area 2b 
are interspersed with many rather small stock-ranchmg and 
stock-farming operations. 

Area 3a is a northward extension into Montana of the Big 
Horn Basin country of Wyoming. It has, like the Wyoming Big 
Horn Basin, a combination of arid and semidesert valley lands 
and high and rugged mountainous lands. In between the higher 
uplands and the low and arid valley lands there are locally some 
very productive foothill lands. This area contains the rather 
large Crow Indian Reservation which has large acreages of 
excellent grazing lands used for the grazing of the livestock of both 
Indians and others. The latter are permitted to graze their 
herds under lease. Tj'pically the livestock ranches are medium 
to large in size. 



Area 3b in Montana coincides approximately with the middle 
and lower valley of the Yellowstone River. It has dissimilarities 
in ranching resources and type-of-ranching operations. The 
western part consists mainlj' of foothill rancliing with very stable 
and productive ranching. The central part consists of some quite 
arid and very broken rangelands that are relativelj' low in pro- 
ductivity. The ranching in this part of the area tends to be specu- 
lative in character and the rancliing units usually are rather 
large. The eastern part, which includes the drainages of the 
Powder River, the Tongue River, and the Little Missouri River, 
has ranching that is typical of the northern Great Plains. Medium- 
to-large ranches that operate year-round on large fenced pastures 
of plains grasslands are common. Crop agriculture has not been 
developed because of the generally rough topography. However, 
there are numbers of rather small livestock farms and ranches in 
this part of the area, located along the bottomlands of the Yellow- 
stone River and the Powder River. 

Idaho. — Stock ranch numbers are relatively few in Idaho's total 
number of farms (Table 1) . Because of the predominance of irri- 
gated farms in Idaho, the average size of all farms is small. These 
irrigated farms are in the extensive irrigated districts of the Snake 
River Plains of eastern Idaho, and extending across southern 
Idaho. 

The average size of livestock farms (see Table 1) indicates that 
stock farms in Idaho are rather small in terms of acreage. 
This figure, however, is rather misleading because a comparatively 
small part of the total land acreage in Idaho is in farms. Large 
acreages are in national forest and public domain lands in Idaho. 
Probably a majority of the stock ranches in this State have grazing 
permits and leases on some one of the several kinds of public lands. 
These public lands used by the stock farms are not counted as land 
in farms. Table 3 shows that the average size of stock-ranching 
enterprise in Idaho is somewhat below average for the Western 
States as a group. 

Economic area 1 in Idaho covers nearly all of the northern 
Rocky Mountains part of the State. Within it the stock ranches 
are of the mountain-valley type and have for their land resources 
the valley bottomlands, the foothill grasslands, and grazing per- 
mits on the national forests for the summer. The cattle ranches 
tend to be medium to small. However, there are a considerable 
number of rather large sheep-ranching operations. The sheep 
ranchers graze their sheep on the public domain lands of the 
Snake River Plains during the spring and fall months and as a 
rule buy hay from the irrigated farms for wintering their range 
sheep. 

Economic area 2 in Idaho is rather small and lies along the 
western side of the Panhandle of the State. It is an eastward 
extension into Idaho of the Palouse prairies of southeastern Wash- 
ington. It is a high producing wheat and wheat-pea farming area. 

Area 3a comprises the southwestern part of the Snake River 
Valley and it includes the Owyhee hills district and the lower parts 
of the Snake River Plains. The stock ranchers here use a large 
acreage of public lands, most of which is public domain. The 
ranches are mostly medium to small in size. 

The area designated as 3b consists of the middle plains of the 
Snake River. Irrigation developments are very important. The 
livestock enterprises may be characterized as stock farms rather 
than stock ranches. This is chiefly because farmers on the irri- 
gated land make extensive use of adjacent grazing lands for their 
beef cattle and farm flocks of sheep. 

Area 4, covering southeastern and eastern Idaho consists of the 
upper Snake River Plains and of its mountainous and foothill 



WESTERN STOCK RANCHES AND LIVESTOCK FARMS 



23 



lands along the eastern border of the State. These mountainous 
lands are part of the middle Rocky Mountain system. Except 
for the extensive irrigated farms along the Snake River and the 
adjacent "bench" and foothill wheat farms this is essentially a 
stock-ranching area. The stock ranching is characteristically 
mountain-valley ranching, as the upper Snake River Valley is at a 
rather high elevation, and a good dealof winter feeding of livestock is 
required. The lower Snake River Plains, are principally range- 
lands because they are too arid for nonirrigated agriculture. Much 
of the Snake River Plains country of southern Idaho lies within 
the 8- to 10-inch isohyetal of average annual precipitation. 

Utah. — Although stock farms are important in Utah's total 
agriculture, they form a rather small percentage of the total num- 
ber of farms. Stock farms account for approximately two-thirds 
of all of the land in farms (see Table 2). In addition, the stock 
ranches in the State use large acreages of public land for grazing. 
This public land is not counted in the Census as land in farms. 
In terms of size of enterprise Utah stock farms are considerably 
below the average of the Western States (see Table 3). 

Area I in Utah consists of the northern, northeastern, and 
central parts of the State. This area is generally mountainous. 
The northern part contains the Wasatch Mountain Range and 
other associated mountain ranges that form the southern part of 
the middle Rocky Mountains. Most of the mountain-valley 
stock ranging in Utah is found in this area. The stock ranches in 
the southern part make good use of the adjacent desert land, mostly 
public-domain grazing lands, that lie both to the west and to the 
east of the principal mountain ranges that extend north and south 
through central Utah. The stock ranches in the northern part of 
this area are typical of the mountain-valley ranching in that they 
make rather extensive use of irrigated hay meadows for the produc- 
tion of winter feed. 

Economic area 2 is principally the intensively developed irri- 
gated farming country which lies just west of the Wasatch Moun- 
tain Range. There is comparatively little stock ranching here. 

The large area designated as economic area 3 consists mainly 
of the desert lands lying to the east and to the west of the moun- 
tainous "spine" that runs from north to south through central 
Utah. Within this area there is a considerable amount of the 
desert and semidesert tj'pe of sheep and cattle ranching. Locally 
this area is known to the ranch people as consisting of the "west 
desert" and the "east desert." This differentiation is rather signifi- 
cant as the lands in the west desert country have very little in 
ranch settlement and are used largely as sheep winter ranges 
through migration of range bands of sheeji from area 1. These 
west desert lands are principally public domain. The Utah lands 
known as the east desert have within them many small settlements 
along the valleys. The livestock from these valleys are ranged on 
the public domain lands of the east desert country. 

Arizona. — Arizona has a limited number of stock farms with a 
rather large average size (see Table 1). Next to the States of 
California and Nevada, the stock ranches in this State have the 
largest size of enterprise of any of the Western States (see Table 
3). Arizona has comparatively little dry-land agriculture and 
Census data indicate that less than half of the total land in all 
farms is in livestock farms. This apparent discrepancy probably is 
accounted for by the fact that part or all of the extensive acreage 
of lands in the Indian reservations of Arizona have been included 
in the Census count for land in farms. 

Approximately the northern half of Arizona has been designated 
as State economic area 1. It approximates the part of the State 



that lies above the Mogollon Rim, the escarpment of the Colorado 
plateau province, whicli runs from east to west across Arizona 
through the central liart of the State. Above this rim to the north 
the lands of the Colorado Plateaus have a type of ranching that is 
comparable with that of area la in northwestern New Mexico. 
This plateau country is fairly high in elevation, with ranches 
mainly at an elevation of 5,500 to 7,000 feet. At this elevation the 
precipitation averages about 12 to 14 inches annually and supports 
a fairly good range forage-plant cover. The ranching operations 
in this area average rather large in size and in addition in some 
places the ranches use considerable public land for grazing either 
on the national forests for summer range or on the public domain 
of the lower country for winter grazing. The northeastern part 
of this area includes the rather large Navajo Indian Reservation 
which also extends into northwestern New Mexico. 

Economic area 2a and the intermediate area designated with 
the large letter A (see Figure 10) consists principally of low desert 
country most of which is very arid. Stock ranchers have made a 
careful selection of the better ranch lands and there operate their 
year-round herds. From these more favorable locations they make 
use of the desert lands seasonally, as growth of the winter annuals 
permit. Economic area 2b consists of the high rolling hill country 
of southern and southeastern Arizona and eastward into south- 
western New Mexico. In this area of good semidesert grassland 
is some of the most stable and most productive of the Arizona 
ranching. Most of the operations are medium-to-large cattle 
ranches operating principally on the basis of a breeding herd, and 
selling feeder calves in the fall of the year. 

Nevada. — Nevada has relatively few farms and, consequently, 
comprises only 1 economic area (see Figure 10). Stock ranches, 
however, are very important in the State's economy (see Tables 1 
and 2). Land in livestock farms constitutes the preponderance 
of all land in farms. The stock ranches tend to be large (see 
Table 3) and almost without exception their operators make 
extensive use of large acreages of the public lands, both in the 
national forests and on the public domain. Next to California, 
this State has the second largest average size of stock-ranching 
enterprises of all of the 17 W'estern States. 

Stock ranches in the Humboldt River Valley of northern Nevada 
are essentially mountain-valley operations and are comparable 
with those in western Utah. Both have access to large acreages 
of adjacent public domain and of the national forests. The 
ranches in the Humboldt River Valley are rather stable and pro- 
ductive and are rather large on the average. The lands south- 
ward from the Humboldt River Valley into central and southern 
parts of Nevada become more and more arid; ranching becomes 
marginal and encounters high risks from fluctuations in climate. 
In central Nevada, however, there are certain semidesert mountain 
locations that have fairly stable and fairly productive ranches. 
There are local areas along the western border of the State that 
adequately support livestock ranching. The ranches are chiefly 
in the river valley trending eastward from the Sierra Mountain 
Range of California into Nevada. The valleys of the Truckee 
River, the Walker River, and the Carson River are some of the 
more important localities. The rivers flow eastward into the 
desert sinks and the interior lakes of the Great Basin. 

California. — Stock ranching in California is overshadowed by 
the immense farming developments in the irrigated sections of 
Central Valley (see Table 1). Stock farms, however, are decidedly 
important in terms of the proportion of total land in farms, and 



24 



FARMERS AND FARM PRODUCTION 



the stock farms in California are among the largest in the West 
(see Tables 2 and 3). 

Economic areas 1, 2, and 3 of California consist essentially of 
the coastal mountain ranges of the western side of that State (see 
Figure 10). Within these mountain ranges are numerous small 
valleys, some of which support many stock farms and ranches. 
The land consists of low mountain and foothill grasslands and the 
ranches in these local areas as a rule average medium to small. 
As this part of the State has a winter-rainfall type of climate with 
warm and almost rainless summers the green-feed season for these 
ranches is through the winter months, November to June. 
Ranchers in these localities consequently buy considerable num- 
bers of stocker animals to use the lush growth of the grasses through 
the winter. They then sell all livestock except the breeding herd 
which is maintained on the dry-range feed through the summer 
with supplemental feeding. 

Economic areas 4, 5, and 6 are in the large Central Valley of 
California. Central Valley is very extensive, running nearly 400 
miles from north to south. It is bounded on the east by the 
Sierra Mountains and on the west by the coastal mountain ranges. 
Livestock ranching is limited in Central Valley but around the 
fringes there is a type of stock ranching that is comparable with 
that found on the coastal mountain ranges. 

Economic areas 7 and 8 have only limited stock ranching and 
are not discussed in detail here. The area designated "H" and 
consisting of San Bernardino County, has considerable stock 
ranching, mostly of the desert type and comprising mainly a few 
rather large ranching operations. 

Economic area 9 is comprised of a large and noteworthy stock- 
ranching area east of the Sierra Mountains in northern California. 
The ranching in this area is fairly comparable with that m the 
northern part of Nevada. The bases of the operations are on 
deeded lands along the valley streams from which extensive 
acreages of public lands are grazed. Stock ranches in area 9, like 
those in northern Nevada, are relatively large. 

Oregon. — In the Willamette Valley along the coastal reaches of 
Oregon there are intensive developments of small farms. As a 
result, stock ranching in Oregon assumes a secondary role. But 
there are important ranching areas in the State (Table 2). Live- 
stock farms account for slightly more than half of the total acres 
in all farms. The average size of the stock farms in the State is 
somewhat below that for the Western States as a group (see 
Table 3). 

Most of the stock ranches in Oregon are in area 4 (see Figure 10) . 
The northeastern part of this area is comprised of the Blue 



Mountain section in Oregon and is an important and productive 
livestock ranching area. Stock ranching is comparable in many 
respects to the type and organization of that in the northern 
Rocky Mountain region. The major part of economic area 4 
includes central and southeastern Oregon, an area of semidesert 
ranching. This is not low and extremely arid desert country, 
but is comprised of high desert lands. Within this area are 
several sizable mountain ranges. Cattle ranches predominate 
here located along the streams and on the foothills around the 
mountains. Between the mountains are plateaus of sagebrush 
grasslands mostly in public domain. 

State economic area 3 lies in the drainages of the Deschutes, 
John Day, and Umadlla Rivers. It has a combination of moun- 
tain-valley ranching with adjacent locaUties of desert and semi- 
desert sagebrush lands. It is essentially a stock-ranching area and 
contains some very good ranching resources. The ranching is 
comparable with that of the northern Rocky Mountains. 

Washington. — Washington does not have very many livestock 
farms, and their average size of ranch is relatively small (see 
Table 1). The livestock farms are not as important in total land 
use as is generally the case with the others of the Western States 
(see Table 2). Livestock enterprises in Washington generally 
average considerably smaller than is typical of those in the other 
Western States (see Table 3). 

Most of the stock ranches in Washington are in areas 5a, 5b, 
and 7a. Area 5a is known as the Okanogan Highlands area; 
area 6 is the Yakima River drainage area; and area 7a is known as 
the Big Bend area. Except for these three areas, most of the State 
is in either forest land or valley land where crop farming has been 
developed. Area 5a and area 6 have a type of stock ranching 
rather similar to that in the mountain-valley areas in the northern 
Rocky Mountain region. 

The stock ranching in area 7a has been developed mostly on 
the sagebrush grasslands of the Columbia Plateau, and is com- 
parable in type with that in southeastern Oregon and northern 
Nevada. There are some sheep ranching operations in this area 
that, because of the lack of mountain summer rangelands, ship 
their range bands by rail as far as northwestern Montana for 
summer grazing, and then in the fall market the lambs and ship 
the breeding stock back to the base lands in area 7a. 

Area 5a in Washington consists largely of forest land and, 
therefore, has a limited amount of stock ranching. Area 7b is 
comprised principally of the Palouse Prairie. This is productive 
wheat and wheat-pea farming country, but it once had many 
relatively profitable ranches. 



U. S GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE; 1957