Ball Ranch


The Ball Ranch is located southwest of Miles City, Montana along the banks of the Tongue River in both Custer and Rosebud County. The ranch is accessed from Miles City by traveling south on highway 59 for approximately 12 miles, then turning right on Road 332 for an additional 40 miles. Miles City is the county seat of Custer County with a population of 8410 people in 2010. It has commercial air service and many of the conveniences of a large city. The small community of Ashland is located 15 miles south of the ranch and has a grocery store, post office, gas station, bar, and several other businesses.

General Operation:

With thousands of acres of excellent range and irrigated feed base, the Ball Ranch is one of Eastern Montana’s most diversified and
well- balanced ranch’s. The ranch historically has been run as a cow-calf operation running about 600 cows; in recent years with the addition of a well designed feedlot and expansion of the irrigated feed base, it has allowed the ranch to background its calves and custom feed calves for area producers. Many other options are available to a new owner. If operating a feedlot wasn’t of interest, one could sell hay to neighboring ranches and put some of the irrigated land into corn or small grain production.

22,340 +- Total Acres
19,619 +- Deeded Acres
1,280 +- Acres State Lease
1,441 +- Acres BLM

Water Resources:

The ranch has over eight miles of frontage on the Tongue River and a search of the Montana Water Query Systems shows the ranch having 62 filed water rights for irrigation, stock water and domestic use. The ranch also owns 2200 shares of Tongue River Water Users Shares, which is stored water and released from the Tongue River Dam at the time of use. The Ball Ranch has historically had more than sufficient water for its present irrigation needs and enough water rights and water shares to add more irrigation.
The current owner has drilled several new wells and installed approximately 33 miles of pipelines with numerous tanks to the various pastures around the ranch so cattle are normally less than one mile from a water source. The abundance of irrigation and stock water could dramatically increase in value over time; this is an extremely well watered ranch.


There is approximately 700 acres of irrigated land on The Ball Ranch, some of which is in hay production and some of which is planted to corn for silage production to be utilized at the feedlot. There are six Valley Center Pivot sprinklers and fifty acres of machine leveled flood irrigated ground, all irrigated from water pumped out of the Tongue River. The alfalfa in this area, if managed properly can readily produce five to six tons per acre and corn has potential to produce over thirty tons of silage per acre.


The Ball Ranch covers a distance of eleven miles from north to south, and is three to five miles wide. Five drainages along the many miles of Tongue River frontage collect water during spring runoff and periods of heavy rain and flow to the river. The river is lined with mature cottonwood trees, shrubs and irrigated fields making for ideal wildlife habitat. The river bottom, at an elevation of 2750 feet, gives way to miles of open prairie that rise to hills and ridges dotted with pine trees; the highest elevation on the ranch is 3200 feet. Trembling Butte, a local landmark is located near the center of the ranch.

Property Taxes: $15,855

Ranch Files:
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