Average Lease Rates Captured In Bluestem Pasture Report

June 28, 2019

The Kansas Department of Agriculture and Kansas State University Department of Agricultural Economics released the Bluestem Pasture Report. Last issued in 2017, the biennial report is a compilation of survey information collected from landowners, livestock owners and livestock care providers in the 14-county bluestem area.            

Results of the survey showed 67% of bluestem lease arrangements are yearly, with 11% in place more than 10 years. About 52% of bluestem pasture leases are written, while 48% are oral agreements. By lease type, 21% were short summer season, 18.9% were full year, and 44% were full summer season.            

The average bluestem pasture lease rate reported for a 600 lb. steer or heifer for the full summer season was $139.60 per head when care is provided and $116.56 per head without care. Survey results showed the average lease rate for a 600 lb. steer or heifer in a short summer lease was $91.58 per head when care is provided and $75.22 without care. The rate for a three-quarter summer lease averaged $108.75 per head with care and $95 without.

For a full summer season, the average price per head for a 1,250 lb. cow and her calf was $257.44 with care and $177.28 without care. If care was provided, the average lease price for a 1,250 lb. cow-calf pair in a full year contract was $367.84. Without care, the full year average price was $134.67 per pair.            

The rate reported in the bluestem region for building a five-wire, all-steel post fence, including materials, averaged $12,706 per mile. Excluding materials, the average was $9,800 per mile. Additional charges averaged $123.32 for gates and $200 for corners. The additional charge for building in rough or rocky terrain was $70 per hour.            

About 83% of survey respondents reported burning pastures this year. Water sources used for livestock on bluestem pasture are 43.4% ponds, 26.5% streams or spring-fed or spring development, 7.8% rural water, 7.3% wells, 6.4% solar powered, 5.5% windmill, 2.3% electric-powered wells and .9% hauling.            

To view the complete report, click here.