Add pasture rental rates to the list of rising input costs for cattle producers.
A recently released statewide survey, conducted by the University of Missouri Extension agricultural economists in 2008, shows the average rent per acre per year for good pasture was almost $4 higher than 2006.
The greatest response came from landowners who rated their pasture as good which is less than four acres per 1,000 pound cow per year. The average value was $29.95 per acre per year. In 2006, it averaged $26. The range in reported 2008 values was from $10 to $65 per acre.
The fair/poor pasture average rate was $22.34, compared to $21.48 in 2006. The range was from $7.50 to $40 per acre per year. Only a few reported timber pasture rental, with an average rate of $7.03 per acre.
A few respondents did indicate they rent pasture on a per head per month basis. The average for that was $9.44 per cow-calf per month. The range varied from $4 to $27 and the average time on the pasture was 7.1 months. MU Extension received more than 200 survey responses.
A 2009 review of nine Great Plains states shows an average monthly charge per cow-calf was $16.80. The 11 states west of the Great Plains ran slightly higher at $17.40 per unit.
"Those prices indicate why Missouri continues to have a comparative advantage for running beef cows," says Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
Missouri did drop from second to third in the state ranking for beef cows as of Jan. 1, 2009. Oklahoma squeezed into second ahead of Missouri by about 40,000 cows.
"Part of Missouri's reduction in number likely can be attributed to favorable corn and soybean prices which resulted in land being taken out of pasture. Don't be surprised if Missouri doesn't move back into second behind Texas in a couple of years," Cole says.
Complete information about farmland rental rates can be found at the nearest MU Extension Center or online at agebb.missouri.edu/mgt/bull8b.htm.