Skip to main content

Oklahoma Pasture Rental Rates: 2018-19

Rental agreements and rates are influenced by the landowner’s costs, the tenant’s expected earnings, previous rates charged, competition for the land, government programs, tax laws and the non-agricultural economy. The results of a statewide farmland leasing survey conducted in 2018 are reported here. Respondents were recipients of a survey mailing by the Oklahoma Agricultural Statistics Service. Approximately 410 surveys were returned with useable data. Figure 1 shows regions of the state used in reporting survey results: northwest, southwest, northcentral and east.


On average, rental agreements for native pasture had been in effect for 12 years, 10 years for Bermudagrass and 12 years for other pasture (Table 1). The statewide average lease size was 460 acres for native pasture, 300 acres for Bermudagrass and 515 acres for other pasture. Median values are provided as an additional measure of the central tendency of the survey response distribution. The median is the value at the midpoint of the survey responses. Survey results document some regional differences in years held and average sizes of tracts rented. Figures 1a and 1b show the distribution of statewide responses regarding acres and the years held for native and Bermudagrass pasture leases, respectively. Stocking rates and the length of the grazing season are also shown in Table 1 for cows with spring calves.


Most tenants and landlords in Oklahoma appear to be satisfied with their lease agreements. About 67 percent of the respondents classified their leasing agreements as good or excellent from the standpoint of fairness with an additional 20 percent classifying their agreements as adequate. These levels of satisfaction have remained steady over the past several years.

 

Oklahoma map showing regions used in reporting farmland leasing survey results.

 

Figure 1. Regions Used in Reporting Farmland Leasing Survey Results.

 

 

 

 

Table 1. Rental Statistics for Pasture, 2018-2019.

    Native Pasture
Northwest
Native Pasture
Southwest
Native Pasture
North Central
Native Pasture
East
Acres in Lease      
  Number of Observations 63 39 70 66
  Average 504 470 369 507
  Median1 320 - 200 170
Average Years Lease Held          
  Number of Observations 60 36 65 63
  Average 14 10 11 11
  Median1 10 6 7 8
Cows with Spring Calves          
  Stocking Rate (Acres/hd)        
  No. of Observations 16 6 16 -
  Average 13.3 8.1 8.1 -
  Median1 11 7 8 -
  Grazing Season (Months)        
  No. of Observations 23 9 19 7
  Average 8.7 8.3 6.9 10.3
  Median1 8 - 6 12
    Native Pasture
State
Bermuda
Southwest
Bermuda
North Central
Acres in Lease     
  Number of Observations 238 12 18
  Average 460 321 385
  Median1 200 165 235
Average Years Lease Held        
  Number of Observations 224 10 18
  Average 12 10 12
  Median1 7 9 10
Cows with Spring Calves        
  Stocking Rate (Acres/hd)      
  No. of Observations 40 - 5
  Average 9.9 - 6.2
  Median1 10 - 5
  Grazing Season (Months)      
  No. of Observations 58 4 6
  Average 8.3 8 8.6
  Median1 7.8 7.5 7.5

 

    Bermuda
East
Bermuda
State
Other Pasture
Northwest
Acres in Lease     
  Number of Observations 30 65 11
  Average 256 300 316
  Median1 169 - 160
Average Years Lease Held        
  Number of Observations 30 63 12
  Average 9 10 15
  Median1 9 - 6
Cows with Spring Calves        
  Stocking Rate (Acres/hd)      
  No. of Observations 6 14 -
  Average 4.7 5.6 -
  Median1 5 5 -
  Grazing Season (Months)      
  No. of Observations 8 20 -
  Average 8.6 8.5 -
  Median1 8 8 -
    Other Pasture
North Central
Other Pasture
East2
Other Pasture
State
Acres in Lease     
  Number of Observations 11 32 60
  Average 446 668 515
  Median1 - 236 200
Average Years Lease Held        
  Number of Observations 11 27 55
  Average 11 8 12
  Median1 10 5 7
Cows with Spring Calves        
  Stocking Rate (Acres/hd)      
  No. of Observations - - 7
  Average - - 4
  Median1 - - -
  Grazing Season (Months)      
  No. of Observations - - 12
  Average - - 7.2
  Median1 - - 8

 

- Insufficient observations.
1 Median values that represent single observations are omitted.
2 Predominantly Fescue.

 

Bar graph of relative frequency for rental statistics for native pasture, 2018-2019.

 

Figure 1a. Relative Frequency for Rental Statistics for Native Pasture, 2018-2019.

 

 

 

 

 

Bar graph of relative frequency for rental statistics for bermudagrass, 2018-2019.

 

Figure 1b. Relative Frequency for Rental Statistics for Bermudagrass, 2018-2019.

 

 

 

 

 

Pasture Rental Rates

Common methods of renting pasture include:

  1. rate per acre,
  2. fixed rate per hundredweight per month,
  3. flat rate per pound of gain or
  4. share of gain or profit.

In addition to factors previously mentioned — the landowner’s costs, the livestock owner’s expected earnings and previous rates charged, etc. — the kind and quality of pasture, fences, location and water also influence the pasture rental rate. Negotiations determine the type of agreement and the relative weight given to different factors.


Rental rates for native, Bermudagrass and other pasture are listed in Table 2. With regards to native pasture, the state average rental rate of $15.33 per acre increased more than $1 per acre compared to the 2016 rate of $13.95. Native pasture rental rates were lowest in northwest Oklahoma at $11.61 per acre and highest in eastern Oklahoma at $17.97 per acre. Figure 2a shows the distribution of per acre rates reported for native pasture in Oklahoma.


The state average rental rate for Bermudagrass pasture was $23.15 per acre, up just marginally from $22.79 reported from the previous survey. Figure 2b shows the distribution of per acre rates reported for Bermudagrass pasture in Oklahoma. Unfortunately, pasture rental rates for stockers on small grain winter grazing are not available due to an insufficient number of reports.

 

Table 2. Cash Rental Rates for Pastures, 2018-2019.

 $/acre/year Native Pasture
Northwest
Native Pasture
Southwest
Native Pasture
North Central
Native Pasture
East
Number of Observations 48 23 46 43
Average 11.61 15.32 16.76 17.97
Median1 10 15 15 15
    

 

 $/acre/year Native Pasture
State
Bermuda
Southwest
Bermuda
North Central
Number of Observations 160 6 11
Average 15.33 21.15 25.22
Median1 13.31 22.19 20
    

 

 $/acre/year Bermuda
East
Bermuda
State
Other Pasture
Northwest
Number of Observations 25 46 10
Average 22.85 23.15 14.43
Median1 20 20 14
    

 

 $/acre/year Other Pasture
North Central
Other Pasture
East2
Other Pasture
State
       
Number of Observations 5 21 43
Average 20.4 26.82 22.27
Median1 20 25 20
    

 

- Insufficient observations.
1 Median values that represent single observations are omitted.
2 Predominantly Fescue.

 

Bar graph showing relative frequency of responses for native pasture rental rates.

 

Figure 2a. Relative Frequency of Responses for Native Pasture Rental Rates.

 

 

 

 

 

Bar graph showing relative frequency of responses for bermuda pasture rental rates.

 

Figure 2b. Relative Frequency of Responses for Bermuda Pasture Rental Rates.

 

 

 

 

 

Pasture lease agreements may assign responsibility for checking livestock, providing salt and minerals or supplemental feed or pasture and repairing fence to the tenant or landlord or both. Table 3 summarizes the distribution of survey responses by type of pasture: small grain winter grazing, small grain grazeout and other pasture (includes native, Bermudagrass and other improved pasture). Generally, the livestock owner was responsible for most of the terms of the pasture lease, although there are opportunities for sharing by both parties. With the winter grazing leases, more responsibilities were reported to be assumed by the livestock owner as compared to the 2016 survey.

 

Table 3. Responsibility of Parties in Pasture Lease Agreements, 2018-19 (percent of responses).*

3(A)  Small Grain Winter Grazing
  Pasture Producer  Livestock Owner
(percent)
 Both No. Obs.
Checking livestock 4 88 8 26
Salt and minerals 4 88 8 26
Fencing materials 31 65 4 26
Fencing labor 12 80 8 25
Fertilizer cost 28 60 12 25
Supplemental feeding 4 88 8 26
Supplemental pasture 4 87 9 23
Water 20 68 12 25
Death loss 8 85 8 26
   
3(B)  Both Winter Grazing and Grazeout
  Pasture Producer  Livestock Owner
(percent)
 Both No. Obs.
Checking livestock 26 63 11 46
Salt and minerals 20 69 11 45
Fencing materials 48 39 13 46
Fencing labor 36 48 16 44
Fertilizer cost 33 48 20 46
Supplemental feeding 20 67 13 46
Supplemental pasture 15 67 18 39
Water 37 46 17 46
Death loss 16 76 9 45
   

 

3(C)  Other Pasture
  Pasture Producer  Livestock Owner
(percent)
 Both No. Obs.
Checking livestock 14 80 6 315
Salt and minerals 14 82 5 310
Fencing materials 31 59 10 312
Fencing labor 22 67 11 312
Fertilizer cost 17 75 7 315
Supplemental feeding 12 83 5 310
Supplemental pasture 14 80 6 292
Water 27 64 9 308
Death loss 12 83 6 303
   

* Totals may not add to 100 due to rounding.

 

 

Other Lease Terms

Many lease agreements specify terms and conditions beyond the rental rate, which affect the value of the lease and the “real” rental rate. Tenants may or may not be allowed to hunt, harvest pecans, cut timber, use buildings or other improvements and lease out hunting privileges. Lime application costs or similar costs for improvements in which the benefits are returned over a number of years may be shared by the landlord and tenant, or if the tenant pays for them initially, repaid by the landlord at a fixed rate per year.


Tenants may be required to maintain fences, spray or clip weeds annually, provide liability insurance, share oil field damages, maintain terraces and leave strips of grain in the field for game. Landlords may provide a well and water, fencing material, or land for a mobile home. Tenants may ask for several months notice if the landlord wishes to terminate the lease agreement. In some cases, leases contain an option to buy with rental payments applied to the purchase price.

 

Historical and Regional Perspective

Table 4 provides historical data on pasture rental rates for Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Texas for 2009-2018 as reported by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). County level pasture rental rate data is available at: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Oklahoma/ Publications/County_Estimates/index.asp. The next bi-annual USDA Cash Rent Survey will be available with the 2019 release in September 2019.

 

Table 4. Average Gross Cash Rent (Dollars per Acre) for Dryland Pasture, Selected States, 2009-2018.

  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
$/acre
Oklahoma 10.5 11 11.5 11.5 12
Kansas 15.5 15.5 16 16.5 17.5
Missouri 25 24 25.5 28 29
Texas 6.2 6.1 7.5 6.5 6.5
   

 

  2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Oklahoma 12 12 13.5 13 13.5
Kansas 17.5 20 19 19 19.5
Missouri 29 34 32 31 33
Texas 6.5 7.5 6.8 6.6 6.7
    

 

Source: USDA/NASS, Quick Stats, https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov.

 

Concluding Comments

“Fair” rents must be negotiated between tenant and landlord. Regional or state average rental rates may be used as a beginning point for discussion and negotiation of rental rates. However, differences in land quality and improvements, and restrictions on land use can greatly impact the value of potential leases. Likewise, differences in family living expenses and hired labor costs can be substantial for different operations, affecting the maximum rental bids.


New legal restrictions and liability factors may call for changes in future farm lease agreements. Some farm management firms include language requiring that the tenant will be responsible for following label restrictions in the use of pesticides, for remaining in compliance with the farm’s conservation plan, and for disposing of wastes in a manner approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, etc. Some leases already stipulate precisely what fertilizers, pesticides and seed may be used on the property. Both landlords and tenants must be aware of changing environmental laws and regulations to avoid potentially costly liabilities.

 

To help educate landlords and tenants with equitable lease agreements and current best management practices, visit the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Ag Land Lease website at http://www.aglandlease.info or http://www.aglease. info. A joint effort between OSU’s Plant and Soil Sciences and Agricultural Economics Departments, the website contains a wide assortment of farm management spreadsheet tools, lease information and forms, rental rate and land value resources, legal and tax considerations, livestock and hunting lease publications plus the latest production practices in Oklahoma.


The AgLease101.org website hosts several North Central Farm Management Extension Committee (NCFMEC) publications on leasing including these titles:

  • Crop Share Rental Arrangements For Your Farm, NCFMEC-2
  • Fixed and Flexible Cash Rental Arrangements For Your Farm, NCFMEC-1
  • Pasture Rental Arrangements, NCFMEC-3

In addition to publications, worksheets and free downloadable samples, lease forms are available on the site.


Recent Oklahoma school land lease auction information also is available through the Real Estate Management Division of Commissioners of the Land Office at http://oklaosf.state. ok.us/~clo/.

 

Roger Sahs
Extension Assistant Specialist

Was this information helpful?
YESNO
Fact Sheet
The Need for Board Diversity in Agricultural Cooperatives

The board of directors drives the success of a cooperative, learn about the importance of having more diversity in the composition of the board.

Business Strategy & MarketingCooperative Ag Management
Fact Sheet
Cooperative Equity Management Systems

The process and benefits of using equity management to keep members investments proportional to their use of the cooperative.

Business Strategy & MarketingCooperative Ag Management
Fact Sheet
Understanding Cooperative Equity

An explanation about investments member-patrons make in a cooperative and information about what holders should expect in return.

Business Strategy & MarketingMarketing Strategy & Tactics
Fact Sheet
Aligning the Cooperative Board

The framework and best practices for improving cooperative board performance.

Business Strategy & MarketingCooperative Ag Management
VIEW ALL
Back To Top