Leasing land for cattle can be a desirable proposition as long as you get the right set of circumstances. Many cattle producers have questions about cattle leases, and the good folks over at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Animal Sciences (UF/IFAS) have put together some answers. If you have wanted to look into cattle leases, you can read a summary of their article below.
FAQs on Cattle Leases
Q: Where I can find some land to lease for cattle?
A: “There is a lot of opportunity for cattle leases on federal and state land, such as Water Management Districts, Florida Forest Service, Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission, and County Governments. Contact your region’s or county’s field office to discuss lease availability. Also, contact real estate agents to alert them of your interest in this type of land because they are oftentimes contacted by large, land-developers interested in a tax break; such as the agricultural exemption that comes with grazing cattle. Your county property appraiser is also a great resource when looking for potential leases. Most county property appraiser webpages are very user friendly and will help you to identify land owners; such as the government entities listed above.”
Q: How much are leases going for?
A: “According to the USDA’s NASS, the 2015 average rent price for pasture in Florida was $13 per acre. This price is negotiated based on the quality of pasture, allowed stocking rate, amount of inputs required by the lease holder, hunting rights, etc.”
Q: What factors should I look at in considering whether to lease the land?
A: “Some leases require a lot of input; such as, fencing, wells, weed control, soil fertility maintenance, land clearing, etc. Leases requiring high inputs may not require a cash exchange for ‘rent’.”
Q: Can I get financial assistance?
A: “If weed control or cross-fencing is your responsibility on your lease, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Each county has an NRCS office, which was formerly referred to as the Soil & Water Office. Contact them to see what you may be eligible for on leased or privately owned land.”
Q: What should contracts for cattle leases include?
A: “As with any contract, pasture lease contracts need to be very detailed. A few things to keep in mind when developing a contract include:
- Duration of the lease (often 5 years or more)
- Determine which party is responsible for weed control and soil fertility
- Stipulate whether or not hunting, trapping, and/or egg harvesting is allowed on the property (including predator control)
- Identify the owner of fencing, pumps, working facilities, etc., should the contract expire
- Stocking rate
- Prescription burn rights
- Liability policy
- Hay, sod, or seed production rights
Each lease agreement will differ and may include much more detail, but this will be a great starting point for a new lease holder”
Q: Where can I get help or more information?
A: “Your UF/IFAS County Extension Agent will be happy to help you with this process; should you have any questions.”
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.