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Pasture Rental Rates: Doing the Math Part 1

By   /  February 9, 2015  /  4 Comments

Math is hard but important. So we’re going to try to work through this without hoping for a miracle to occur.

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There are a variety of bases for figuring a pasture lease price and each of them involves its own ma
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About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.


  1. Gene Schriefer says:

    We can our management of the forage and animals, but what we cannot change greatly, or in a short period of time is the soil in the pasture.

    We cannot take marginal soil and necessarily achieve the ISU forage yields estimates. For a starting point, I’d consider data from the web soil survey and potential forage production based upon soil type within a pasture. On our farm my worst soils are around 1- 1.5 tons/acre with cool season forages, but better soils will yield over 5 tons.

    Interesting because of the low yield I only graze these paddocks 1 or 2x each year. I’ve notice indiangrass volunteering and increasing each season. I’ve not yield measured yield on this yet, but it “looks” like there may be 2-3 x more forage biomass/acre.

    Tables are nice, but your results may be dramatically different, there is more useful data available in figuring out potential forage production and setting a pasture value

    • Kathy Voth says:

      Good point Gene. Adding to information about soil quality is the NRCS’s Soil Survey online which shows you what your base soils are. It’s a great resource which is why I keep promoting it. 🙂

  2. Neil says:

    Here’s another reference on leasing arrangements. Although range- and Idaho-specific, it may give some food for thought on forage differences and services provided with the lease.


  3. Zinn says:

    Check out this website for calculating pasture rental rates. Keep up the good work!


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