Put your pasture lease agreement in writing
By Wayne Prewitt, University of Missouri Extension, Agriculture Business Specialist
High commodity prices have created an opportunity for landowners to increase their income by converting pasture land into crop production. That move has caused urgency among cattlemen to secure grazing land for their cattle and other grazing animals.
This pressure has allowed all kinds of agreements to develop. Cattlemen seem willing to pay more for the land, renting by the year, month or day; by the head and/or pair; or by the acre. It seems just about anything goes right now.
If you want to rent by the day, several agreements have been written for around 30 cents a day for each animal. Monthly rent seems to be in the $9 per animal area. Some annual rents are running in the $40 to $45 per acre range. There are some higher and some lower rents, but these reflect an average for the year.
Landowners need to make sure pasture rental agreements are in writing. The agreement needs to include the parties involved; location and general description of the property; and terms of the agreement, including stocking rates, price paid and duration of the agreement. Donít forget to describe the responsibility of each party in terms of repairs, improvements and right of entry.
Finally, the agreement needs to be signed and dated by each party, including all spouses. This way, everyone sees the terms that have been agreed to by all those involved. This simple step can prevent future disputes. Renting land can be beneficial to both parties; just make sure the deal is done in the right manner.
Pasture Lease Form NCR-109 is available online in "Pasture Rental Arrangements for Your Farm," (North Central Regional Extension Publication 149) at http://extension.missouri.edu/p/NCR149.
MU Extension guide, "Farm Lease Agreement" (G426), is available online at http://extension.missouri.edu/explore/agguides/agecon/g00426.htm.
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