The average rental rates per month for cow-calf pairs are about 20 to 25 percent higher in 2014 compared to 2013 in Nebraska.
By: Jim Jansen, UNL Extension Educator and Roger Wilson, UNL Budget Analyst Farm Management
The recently published Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Highlights 2013-2014 report indicates pasture rental rates for cow-calf pairs and stockers have set record highs for the grazing season in Nebraska. The average rental rates per month for cow-calf pairs reported in Table 1 are about 20 to 25 percent higher in 2014 compared to 2013. The stocker (500-600 lb.) rental rates also follow similar trends in districts across the state. A complete listing of the counties located in each Agricultural Statistics District of Nebraska can be found in the full report.
Cattle producers across Nebraska have shown their willingness to bid up rental rates as their profit margins are tied to anticipated high cattle prices for the fall. Survey panel members listed current livestock prices as the most positive effect for the value of land in Nebraska. Also, high corn and soybean prices in the recent years has placed pressure on producers to convert grazing land to irrigated and dry cropland across Nebraska. This decrease in the amount of grazing land available across the state along with increased demand due to high calf prices may explain the increase in grazing fee rates.
Grazing rates for cow-calf pairs fluctuate across Nebraska depending upon the district. These rates vary from a low of just over $32 per pair per month in the Northwest and South Districts to nearly $60 in the Central District. Local market forces along with inherent attributes of the ground influence the rental rates negotiated by cattle producers across Nebraska.
Survey results shown and discussed in this article are an excerpt from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln 2014 Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey. Land values and rental rates presented in the annual publication are averages of survey panel members’ responses by district. Actual land values and rental rates may vary depending upon the quality of the parcel and local market for an area. Complete results from the survey are available electronically via the Nebraska Farm Real Estate website: agecon.unl.edu/realestate