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Pasture leasing rates

Jumpin Boots

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I am putting together an offer for our neighbors to lease one of their pastures for sheep turnout that is right across the road from us. Rest of their property is in beautiful condition, but this 3 or so acres is seperated off by a creek and they've let it go since selling their tractor. So I'm thinking about offering to clear and clean up the land, put in permanent fencing and then keep it in working order in exchange for a 'free lease' for a set amount of time. Any suggestions on what pasture for sheep turnout leases for, I've asked some people locally and haven't gotten any good answers, people seem to often calculate by crop rates, but bc this would go for several years I think, I'm having problems coming up with a good number.


Thoughts or suggestions?



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We pay about $20 per acre per year for the pasture and hay land that we rent for our cattle.


You can offer a reasonable rate for your area and then make arrangements that the cost of your permanent improvements (fencing and other items with a certain cost plus your labor for fencing and any other permanent improvements at an agreed-on cost) count against the rent. Where we rent pasture/hay land from our neighbor at an agreed-on rate, any costs we put into the fields (fencing materials are really the only permanent improvements we make) reduces the rent by an equivalent amount.


You would need to come to an agreement as to whose responsibility would be the cost of lime and/or fertilizer as needed. If you were to feed or supplement with hay on the land (hay that you purchased or produced elsewhere and fed there), it would be reasonable to factor in the "fertilizer" value of the manure, etc., that your sheep would produce and put on the land. Around here, with our cattle, the fertilizer value of hay fed on the land is actually worth about half the value of the hay when compared to purchasing and applying fertilizer.

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You might also consider saving yourself so expense and labor and using electronet for fencing. For only three acres, it might not be worth putting in permanent fence. Also consider you will be doing them a favor by cleaning up and monitoring their unused land. Many folks would pay to have someone clean up their land, you are offering it for free! As mentioned above, you will likely be improving it as well. Their win.


My neighbors BEG me to move sheep in for free clean up. Often the forage is past it's prime, so I'm really doing them a favor, not the other way around. Don't underestimate the value of a well tended pasture. You could well be increasing their property value, reducing fire danger, offering care taking ( neighborhood watch) and improving aesthetics on your dime and time.

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