Monday, April 27, 2009

Statewide Survey of Land and Cattle Owners Reveals Pasture Rental Rates Statewide

A popular question asked of University of Missouri Extension specialists is, “what’s pasture renting for?”

In order to provide a good answer, every couple of years the University of Missouri Extension agricultural economics staff conducts a statewide survey of land and cattle owners to determine the range and averages of pasture rentals.

“As expected, most rates have increased since the last survey,” said Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The statewide survey was conducted in 2008 with over 200 responses involving pasture rates.

The greatest response came from persons who rated their pasture as good which is less than four acres per 1,000 pound cow per year. The average value was $29.95 per acre per year. The range in reported values was from $10 to $65 per acre.

The fair/poor pasture average rate, which requires more than four acres per cow per year was $22.34. The range was from $7.50 to $40 per acre per year. Only a few reported timber pasture with an average rate of $7.03 per acre.

A few respondents did indicate they rent pasture on a per head per month basis. The average for that was $9.44 per cow-calf per month. The range varied from $4 to $27 and the average time on the pasture was 7.1 months.

A 2009 review of nine Great Plains states shows their average monthly charge per cow-calf was $16.80. The 11 states west of the Great Plains ran slightly higher at $17.40 per unit.

“Those prices indicate why Missouri continues to have a comparative advantage for running beef cows,” said Cole.

Missouri did drop from number second to third in the state ranking for beef cows as of January 1, 2009. Oklahoma squeezed into second ahead of Missouri by about 40,000 cows.

“Part of Missouri’s reduction in number likely can be attributed to favorable corn and soybean prices which resulted in land being taken out of pasture. Don’t be surprised if Missouri doesn’t move back into second behind Texas in a couple of years,” said Cole.

Complete information about farm land rental rates can be found at the nearest MU Extension Center or online at

“The MU Extension guide should not be used as the sole basis for determining your rent, but it may provide a reference as you consider the factors unique to your situation. The acres of land available for rent (supply) and the number of tenants wanting to rent for cash (demand), as well as production costs and market prices, can affect the amount of rent negotiated,” said Cole.

For more information, contact any of these MU Extension agronomy or livestock specialists in southwest Missouri: Tim Schnakenberg in Stone County, (417) 357-6812; Jay Chism in Barton County, 417) 682-3579; John Hobbs in McDonald County, (417) 223-4775, Brie Menjoulet in Hickory County, (417) 745-6767, Eldon Cole in Lawrence County, (417) 466-3102; Gary Naylor in Dallas County, (417) 345-7551; or Dona Funk in Cedar County, (417) 276-3313.

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