To the Providers and Users of Pershing County Agricultural Statistics: 

This is the sixth year that University of Nevada, Reno Extension and Nevada Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) have produced a fact sheet summarizing agricultural data for Pershing County.  All of the information in this fact sheet came from the 2001-2002 Nevada Agricultural Statistics Service’s Annual Report and the latest Census of Agriculture report.  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 reached more than 7,000 in 2000 but has since declined to 6,873.  The main industries are mining and agriculture.  Pershing County is one of the foremost agricultural production regions in Nevada.  However, a severe drought curtailed many agricultural activities during the 2002 growing season.  The Census of Agriculture shows the county with 120 farms and ranches covering nearly 120,000 acres excluding public grazing allotment lands. Average farm size is 995 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 sheep and cattle feedlots.  While agricultural production for this past year is valued at approximately $40 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
Item Amount
Population 7460
Size 3,859,840 acres or 6,031 square miles
Number of Farms and Ranches 120
Land in farms 119,435
Average size 995 acres
Average Market Value of Products Sold / Farm $272,325
Average Production Expenses / Farm $229,492
Table 2. Agricultural Production
Item Amount Value
Alfalfa Hay 26,000 acres harvested $ 13,514,800
All Other Hay  8,000 acres harvested  $ 3,588,000 
Alfalfa Seed  2,600 acres harvested  $ 2,015,000
Spring Wheat  n/a  n/a
Winter Wheat  1,100 acres harvested  $ 335,500
Barley  n/a n/a
Cattle & Calves  26,000 head, January 1st inventory  $ 19,760,000
Sheep  9,000 head, January 1st inventory  $ 819,000
  TOTAL $ 40,031,500
n/a data omitted to avoid disclosing individual information.
Table 3. Average Price Received / Amount Produced
Item Amount ($) / UNIT Production / Unit
Alfalfa Hay 113.00 / ton  4.6 tons / acre 
All Other Hay  115.00 / ton  3.9 tons / acre 
Alfalfa Seed  1.25 / pound  620 pounds / acre 
Spring Wheat  n/a  n/a
Winter Wheat  3.05 / bushel  96 bushels / acre 
Barley  n/a n/a
Cattle & Calves  760.00 / head  n/a
Sheep  91.00 / head  n/a
n/a data omitted to avoid disclosing individual information.

Alfalfa hay continues to be the most important crop in terms of both acres harvested and value of production.  All other hay moved up to second place this year followed by alfalfa seed, and winter wheat..  Together, these crops were valued at $19,452,500 during 2002.  Livestock, including cattle and calves, as well as sheep, were valued at $20,579,000. 

The census of agriculture counts as a farm every place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products 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  5 Less than $2,500  20
10 to 49 acres  14 $2,500 to $4,999  9
50 to 179 acres  25 $5,000 to $9,999  12
180 to 499 acres  34 $10,000 to $24,999  16
500 to 999 acres  12 $25,000 to $49,999  14
1,000 acres or more  30 $50,000 to $99,999  20
Total Farms  120 $100,000 or more  30

 

Graph comparing the number of cattle & calves to the number of sheep from 1997-2002, with the number of cattle always above 25,000, and the number of sheep around 7,500, and only 5,000 in 1997.

Livestock Numbers in Pershing County

Graph of the acreage that each major crop in Pershing County used. Barley and Spring Wheat have close to no acreage, Winter Wheat followed by Alfalfa Seed having less than 5000, All Other Hay having in between 5000 and 10000, and Alfalfa Hay over 25,000.
Acres of Major Crops Grown in Pershing County

 

Table 5. Pershing County Comparison with other Counties
County Cash Receipts ($) Rank Number of Farms Rank/th> Average Farm Size (Acres) Rank Acres in Farm-Ranch Rank
Carson 198,000 16 18 16 401 13 7224 15
Churchill 38,058,000 4 511 1 253 15 129,058 9
Clark 18,962,000 7 209 6 338 14 70,741 12
Douglas 8,796,000 11 156 7 579 10 90,372 10
Elko 49,228,000 3 402 2 7,103 1 2,855,472 1
Esmeralda 4,016,000 14 20 15 1,373 7 27,454 14
Eureka 13,133,000 9 84 12 2,559 5 214,966 7
Humboldt 57,315,000 1 218 5 3,364 3 733,418 2
Lander 12,794,000 10 76 13 6,935 2 486,017 4
Lincoln 7,317,000 12 121 9 404 12 48,897 13
Lyon 53,959,000 2 305 3 572 11 174,448 8
Mineral 1,809,000 15 37 14 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Nye 27,792,000 6 144 8 594 9 85,534 11
Pershing 32,679,000 5 120 10 995 8 119,435 5
Storey N/A 17 8 17 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Washoe 13,247,000 8 285 4 2,709 4 772,115 3
White Pine 7,024,000 13 115 11 2,152 6 247,446 6

This table is based upon a sample of farms and is taken from the 1997 Census of Agriculture.  As can be seen, the cash value of receipts from the 1997 census is considerably less than the total value of production for 2002.  While changes to “cash receipts” will change slightly 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

Breazeale, D., Owens, M. 2007, Pershing County Agricultural Statistics (2001 - 2002), Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-03-07

Authors of this scholarly work are no longer available.

Please contact Extension's Communication Team for assistance.

 

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