Evaluating a Potential Pasture Lease, Part 2

After you have examined the business conditions that surround a potential pasture lease, it’s time to evaluate the grazing characteristics. You must consider both the present condition and the improvement potential of a property you’re considering buying, leasing or managing. If you’re entering the grazing business for the first time, ask a veteran farming friend or mentor to tour the land with you.  Harness his or her experience to help you pick the best property and broaden your knowledge. Your goals in evaluating a property are first to identify its strengths and weaknesses, then to determine how well those traits align with your plans. As you tour a prospective pasture, you’ll discover that it excels in some ways and falls short in others. This in itself does not make the land a good or bad choice. The relative importance of each characteristic to you is what makes or breaks the deal. For example, you may be willing to build a fence on a property that has none, but you aren’t willing to drive more than fifteen minutes from your home. First, get an aerial map of the property from your realtor or the landowner. If he or she is unable to provide one, you can locate the tract on Google Maps or the NRCS’s Web Soil Survey. Both websites a

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