To the Providers and Users of Pershing County Agricultural Statistics:

The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (NCE) and Nevada Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) have once gain collaborated to produce a fact sheet summarizing agricultural data for Pershing County. All of the information in this fact sheet came from the 2002-2003 Nevada Agricultural Statistics Service’s Annual Report and the 2002 USDA Census of Agriculture. It is hoped that this county-version will be helpful to those seeking agricultural data pertinent to Pershing County. Special thanks go to the Pershing County farmers and ranchers whose voluntary participation in the NASS surveys provided this information. Questions regarding any of these statistics or additional information are welcomed.

Located in northwestern Nevada, Pershing County’s population was listed at 6,937 in 2002. The main industries are mining and agriculture. A severe drought curtailed many agricultural activities, especially small grains, during the 2003 growing season. The county was declared a disaster area in 2003 and farmers and ranchers received federal assistance because of the drought. The Census of Agriculture shows the county with 115 farms and ranches covering more than 130,000 acres excluding public grazing allotment lands. Average farm size is 1,140 acres. Alfalfa hay, alfalfa seed, and small grains are the principle crops. Sheep and cattle commonly graze dormant fields during the winter months. The county is home to the state’s largest cattle feedlot but its sheep feedlot closed during 2003. While agricultural production for this past year was valued at approximately $28 million, if one considers the multiplier effect of this production, the total economic impact on the county is much greater.

Table 1. Pershing County Demographics
Category Amount
Population 6,937
Size 3,859,840 acres (6,031 square miles)
Number of Farms and Ranches 115
Land in Farms 131,103 acres
Average size 1,140 acres
Average Market Value of Products Sold / Farm $223,544
Average Production Expenses / Farm $201,242
Table 2. Agricultural Production
Item Amount Value ($)
Alfalfa Hay 20,900 acres harvested 8,188,500
All Other Hay 1,000 acres harvested 122,100
Alfalfa Seed 1,600 acres harvested 768,000
Spring Wheat n/a n/a
Winter Wheat n/a n/a
Barley n/a n/a
Cattle & Calves 25,000 head, January 1st inventory 18,750,000
Sheep 5,800 head, January 1st inventory 649,600
  Total $28,478,200
Table 3. Average Price Received / Amount Produced
Item Amount ($) / Unit Production / Unit
Alfalfa Hay 103.00 / ton 3.8 tons / acre
All Other Hay 111.00 / ton 1.1 tons / acre
Alfalfa Seed 1.20 / pound 400 pounds / acre
Spring Wheat n/a n/a
Winter Wheat n/a n/a
Barley n/a n/a
Cattle & Calves 750.00 / head n/a
Sheep 112.00 / head n/a

Alfalfa hay continues to be the most important crop in terms of both acres harvested and value of production. Alfalfa seed moved up to second place this year followed by all other hay. No small grains were harvested due to the drought. Together, these crops were valued at approximately $9 million during 2003. Livestock, including cattle and calves, as well as sheep, were valued at slightly more than $19 million.

were produced and sold or normally would have been sold during the census year. It is the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the nation. The latest census lists some interesting characteristics concerning farms in Pershing County. The following table shows the number of farms by size and sales.

Table 4. Characteristics of Farms by Size and Sales for Pershing County
Farms by Size Number of Farms Farms by Sales Number of Farms
1 to 9 acres 8 Less than $2,500 22
10 to 49 acres 12 $2,500 to $4,999 10
50 to 179 acres 22 $5,000 to $9,999 3
180 to 499 acres 25 $10,000 to $24,999 19
500 to 999 acres 14 $25,000 to $49,999 15
1,000 acres or more 34 $50,000 to $99,999 10
Total Farms 115 $100,000 or more 36

Livestock Numbers

Bar graph of livestock numbers each year to show that cattle and calves are the highest

Data From Livestock Numbers

Major Crops In Acres

Bar graph of major crops to show that Alfalfa Hay has the highest acres

Data From Major Crops In Acres

Table 5. Pershing County Comparison with other Counties
County Cash Receipts ($) Rank Number of Farms Rank Average Farm Size (Acres) Rank Acres in Farm-Ranch Rank
Carson 928,000 14 21 14 209 13 4,389 13
Churchill 50,615,000 3 498 1 300 11 149,400 9
Clark 17,003,000 9 253 5 272 12 68,816 12
Douglas 9,132,000 12 178 7 1,185 7 210,930 7
Elko 45,311,000 4 397 2 6,227 1 2,472,119 4
Esmeralda N/A N/A 18 15 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Eureka 12,659,000 10 73 13 3,650 3 284,700 5
Humboldt 54,949,000 2 233 6 3,267 4 761,211 2
Lander 20,615,000 7 116 10 5,347 2 620,252 3
Lincoln 11,451,000 11 109 12 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Lyon 74,471,000 1 330 4 686 9 226,380 6
Mineral 3,075,000 13 17 16 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Nye 22,420,000 6 172 8 567 10 97,524 11
Pershing 25,708,000 5 115 11 1,140 8 131,100 10
Storey N/A N/A 6 17 15 14 N/A N/A
Washoe 17,780,000 8 332 3 2,416 5 802,112 1
White Pine N/A N/A 121 9 1,679 6 203,159 8

This table is based upon a sample of farms and is taken from the 2002 Census of Agriculture. As can be seen, the cash value of receipts for 2002 is slightly less than the total value of production for 2003. While differences in “cash receipts” will occur from year to year, this table still provides an overview of the respective rankings of the state’s counties based upon agricultural production values. For any additional information or questions concerning the Pershing County data presented in this fact sheet please contact the authors at their respective addresses.

Livestock Numbers
Year Number of Animals
1998 around 30,000 Cattle and Calves and 10,000 sheep
1999 around 30,000 Cattle and Calves and 7,000 sheep
2000 around 27,000 Cattle and Calves and 8,000 sheep
2001 around 27,000 Cattle and Calves and 9,000 sheep
2002 around 25,000 Cattle and Calves and 7,000 sheep
2003 around 24,000 Cattle and Calves and 5,000 sheep
Major Crops In Acres
Crop Acres
Barley 0
Winter Wheat 0
Spring Wheat 0
Alfalfa Seed around 2,000
All Other Hay around 1,500
Alfalfa Hay around 20,000
Breazeale, D. and Owens, M. 2002, Pershing County Agricultural Statistics (2002-2003), Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-11-69

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Also of Interest:

Northwestern Nevada Alfalfa Hay Establishment, Production Costs and Returns
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Pershing County Agricultural Statistics (2001 - 2002)
This fact sheet contains agricultural statistics on the economic, demographic, and agricultural statistics of both the farming and ranching in Pershing County as of 2001-2002.
Breazeale, D., Owens, M. 2007, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-03-07
Economic Development 2002 White Pine County Agricultural Statistics
This fact sheet is the data collected on the economic development, and the agricultural sales White Pine County, Nevada, as of 2002.
Riggs, W., Owens, M. 2003, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-03-64
Enterprise Budget, Conventional Alfalfa Hay Pershing County, Nevada
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Foster, S. 2012, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension