Friday, February 15, 2013
arkansas_cattle

Nebraska: Adjusting Pasture Leases for Drought

AgFax.Com - Your Online Ag News Source


Start Landlord-Tenant Communications Early to Avoid Problems

One of the harder phone calls to deal with in early September 2012 was from a land owner who was concerned that the tenant had left cattle on a pasture too long given the drought and the pasture was turned into a “road.” The landlord was willing to take less rent and get the cattle off. The tenant, who had a lease valid until October 15, was unwilling to take the cattle off early, as this meant that the tenant would need to start feeding the cattle with expensive hay. For the tenant, the pasture rent was already paid for and that was cheaper than other alternatives.

Cattle grazing drought-damaged pasture

It is easy to see how this is difficult for both parties. Everyone understands that leaving the cattle on the pasture too long reduces the long-term health of the pasture. The pasture will basically take a lot longer to recover if it has been severely overgrazed.

Lease Clauses to Consider

The easier way to handle this situation in the future is to include a clause in your written pasture lease for dry conditions. When it is too dry to continue using a pasture, the tenant should be required to take the animals out. In addition, the rent owed should be decreased accordingly.

Other important clauses should be considered. What if there is severe hail? What if the pasture burns in a fire? The clause for drought should probably be expanded to include these two disaster situations too.

The landlord and tenant should be visiting now about when grazing will start. If there’s adequate rain and grass starts normally, this is a moot point; however, if it doesn’t rain, or if the grass is slow starting due to overgrazing in 2012, delaying the start of grazing would be a reasoned approach. The rent owed should also be adjusted accordingly.

If re-growth is slow this year, stocking rates also should be adjusted to fit the moisture available and the growing conditions. Pricing leases on an Animal Unit Charge (AUM), and not by the acre, may be a reasoned approach to handle this change in stocking rates. In most situations, water for livestock is not an issue, but a clause should be added to include provisions for livestock water in case the water source goes dry.

Another concern is that drought-damaged pastures that do receive moisture this spring could become overrun with weeds. This would never be a problem when the pasture is grazed appropriately; however, when that thatch canopy is opened, seeds which have been in the ground for years can start to grow. A landlord-tenant discussion on weed control expenses would be appropriate.

Typically, pasture weed control is a landlord expense, but in this case, the tenant overgrazed the pasture, causing the weed flush when moisture occurred.  Tenants didn’t mean to overgraze in 2012, but the record-setting drought was severe. Managing the weed control in the next couple of years will be something that clearly needs to be discussed to reach an equitable agreement.

As you can tell, there aren’t many concrete suggestions to solve these situations. The key point of providing this information is intended to encourage the tenant and landlord to start discussions early and plan ahead for 2013 in case the drought continues.

I have always maintained that with any lease, communication is the key.  Discuss how the pasture is to be managed and what both parties expect. The tenant should keep the landlord informed about pasture conditions and the landlord should communicate expectations for the pasture. The bottom line is: “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.”

Tags: , ,


Leave a Reply

Name and Email Address are required fields. Your email will not be published or shared with third parties.

Sunbelt Ag News

    Death Tax Repeal: Former Farm Kid, Now a Congressman, Tells Her Death Plus Taxes Story – Video3-26

    Grain TV: Strong Soybean Exports, Corn Sales Disappointing3-26

    Environmental Group Questions USDA’s Science Integrity – DTN3-26

    Making Money With Manure, Advantages of Composting and Additives – DTN3-26

    DTN Livestock Close: Futures Pruned by Profit Taking3-26

    Chumrau on Wheat: Where More Rain is Needed to Make the HRW Crop3-26

    Texas Wheat: Concho, McCulloch Counties Wheat Tour, Millersview, April 303-26

    Sorghum: Why It’s South China’s Hottest Import Grain – DTN3-26

    ELS Cotton Competitive Payment Rate Is Zero3-26

    DTN Cotton Close: U.S. Premium Widens3-26

    Moving Grain: Ohio River Barge Traffic Improves3-26

    Video: Summary of U.S. Drought Monitor in One Minute3-26

    Drought Monitor: Warm, Dry Weather Further Depletes Snowpacks3-26

    Wheat Yields: What to Expect? A Historical Perspective – farmdoc3-26

    DTN Grain Close: New Market Year Low3-26

    DTN Livestock Midday: Lack of Additional Buyer Support3-26

    DTN Grain Midday: South American Harvest Moving Toward Completion3-26

    Oklahoma: Ag Pesticide Disposal, Purcell, April 223-26

    Residential Propane, Heating Oil: Prices Decrease3-26

    Diesel: Prices Decrease3-26

    Gasoline: Prices Up Slightly3-26

    DTN Cotton Open: Cash Grower Sales Slumped3-26

    U.S. Energy: Gasoline Specifications Change and So Does the Price3-26

    The Survey Says, Farmers Plan to Increase Soybean Acres – DTN3-26

    New Swine Census Expected to be Full of “Oopsies” – DTN3-26

    DTN Livestock Open: Support by Cash Premiums3-26

    DTN Grains Open: Overnight Rally Sparked by Conflict Overseas3-26

    Grain TV: Increased Ethanol Production3-25

    AgFax Grain Review: Manage for Higher Soy Yields; Less Corn to Switch to Soybeans3-25

    Michigan: 31 Counties Designated Natural Disaster Areas3-25

    Oklahoma: Payne County Designated Natural Disaster Area3-25

    Marketing: Are You Really Getting the Best Price for Your Crop? – farmdoc3-25

    Licking Your Finger Won’t Cut It, Don’t Let the Wind Get You in Trouble While Spraying – DTN3-25

    Irrigation – Moisture Sensors Pay Dividends, Says This Consultant (Podcast)3-25

    Illinois Soybean Farmers Asked to Complete Online Survey3-25

    Grain TV: Improved Crop Conditions in Southern Plains3-24

    Illinois Soybeans: Maturity Rating, Does Planting Early Even Matter?3-24

    AFB Grain-Soybean Close: Dollar Support Gives Way3-24

    AFB Cotton Close: Dec. Holds Above 643-24

    AFB Rice Close: Unable to Hold Daily Highs3-24

    Welch on Wheat: Crop Conditions Continue to Improve3-24

    California Tree Crops: 12 Quick Things To Know This Week (Video)3-24

    Welch on Grain: Fewer Corn Acres, More Soybeans Expected in USDA Reports3-24

    Peanuts: Southern Growers Conference Set For July 23-253-24

    Farm Bill: USDA Seeks to Limit Payments to Non-Farmers3-24

    Planting: 11 Maintenance Steps for Your Planter3-24

    Crop Production Forecast: Needing a Clearer Crystal Ball – USDA Blog3-24

    USDA: Weekly National Peanut Prices3-24

    Non-Family Farm Managers: Proof Required for Program Payments, 2016 – DTN3-24

    DTN Fertilizer Trends: Price Stability Could Be an Illusion3-24

    Avian Flu Prevention is the Best Form of Poultry Protection – DTN3-24

    Farm Programs: Expected Payment Estimates for Last Minute Decisions – farmdoc3-24

    Rice: Nitrogen-Efficient Varieties Demonstrate Significant Yield Increases3-24

    Farmers Gained New Markets In The ’20s, Thanks To Clarence3-24

    Cotton: Aerial Imaging Pinpoints Root Rot, Could Help Save Money3-24

    Corn: AQUAmax Hybrids Show Advantage In Drought-Tolerance Study3-24

    China Wants Its Own Version of Monsanto, Really. – Keith Good3-24

    Farmers Anticipate Hard Times; Weather, Water Issues in the West – Keith Good3-24

    Farmer Confidence Index Lowest in Decade; Southwest Most Optimistic – DTN Survey3-24

    Glyphosate Harmful to Humans? Time for a Throw Down. – AgFax3-23

    California: 7 Quick Things to Know this Week about Field Crops (Video)3-23

    White House Pushes Rural Broadband as Economy Driver – DTN3-23

    Midwest States Consider Tighter Regulations on Manure – DTN3-23

    Good on Grain: Will Soybean Stocks Be Overshadowed by Planting Intentions?3-23

    Peanuts: USDA Announced Special Loan Repayment Rates3-23

    Louisiana Crawfish: 3 Problems Causing Early Deaths3-23

    Precision Agriculture: Topcon Positioning Group Acquires Digi-Star3-23

    Louisiana: 3 Soil Health Workshops Scheduled April 7-93-23

    DTN Cotton Open: Chinese Imports Fall3-23

    Corn: Starter Fertilization Can Sometimes Boost Yield3-23

    Flint on Crops: Weather Lottery – Do You Feel Lucky?3-23

    Cash Rent Slide; Subsidy Questions; Catfish Regs Not All Good – Keith Good3-22

    Sunbelt Ag Events

     

    About Us

    AgFax.Com covers agricultural trends and production topics, with an emphasis on news about cotton, rice, peanuts, corn, soybeans, wheat and tree crops, including almonds, pecans, walnuts and pistachios.

      

    This site also serves as the on-line presence of electronic crop and pest reports published by AgFax Media LLC (formerly Looking South Communications).

        

    Click here to subscribe to our free reports.

      

    We provide early warnings and confirmations about pests, diseases and other factors that influence yield. Our goal is to quickly provide farmers and crop advisors with information needed to make better and more profitable decisions.

         

    Our free weekly crop and pest advisories include:

    • AgFax Midsouth Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Missouri.

    • AgFax Southeast Cotton, covering cotton production and news in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southwest Cotton (new for 2013!), covering cotton production and news in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico.

    • AgFax West (formerly MiteFax: SJV Cotton), covering California cotton, alfalfa, tomatoes and other non-permanent crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgFax Rice covering rice production and news in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

    • AgFax Peanuts, covering peanut production in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

    • AgFax Southern Grain: covering soybeans, corn, milo and small grains in Southern states.

    • AgFax Almonds, covering almonds, pistachios, walnuts and other tree crops in California's Central Valley.

    • AgCom 101, providing guidance to ag professionals involved in social media.

    Our newsletters are sponsored by the following companies: FMC Corporation Chemtura Dow AgroSciences.

          

    Mission statement:

    Make it as easy as possible for our community of readers to find and/or receive needed information.

              

    Contact Information:

    AgFax Media. LLC

    142 Westlake Drive Brandon, MS 39047

    601-992-9488 Office

    Owen Taylor Debra L. Ferguson Laurie Courtney

          

    Circulation Questions?

    Contact Laurie Courtney +