Interested in establishing an equitable pasture lease rate?

This calculator estimates cost contributions from each party - the land owner and the livestock owner - and uses them to establish lease rates in per acre, per head (or per pair), or share of gain terms. This tool is an online version of a spreadsheet developed by Drs. Ray Massey and Matt Stockton as a part of the AgLease101 website. This version uses default values from a sample cow-calf operation in Montana.  Adjust the values in the input boxes on each tab to fit your operation.

The Landowner Cost Estimate and The Livestock Owner Cost Estimate tabs tally the contributions of the landowner livestock owner, respectively.   Each sheet is linked -- so values you enter in one sheet will be used in calculations in the others.  The Landowner's Contribution is the minimum rental rate that would cover the landowner's costs. The Livestock Owner Net Return on the Livestock Owner Cost Estimate tab shows the maximum the livestock owner would pay without losing money from the lease.  The Implied Rental Rates on the Share of Gain calculate rates based on the return from selling animals and the contributions of each party.  These calculated rates for the land owner and livestock owner can be used as starting points in the lease rate negotiation. For more information and guidance, see the AgLease101 guide on pasture lease agreements.


Landowner Cost Estimate

Land and Facility Investments Valuation Acres Useful Life (Years)
Land ValueInfo IconYou can find out more about land values on the Montana Cadastral. $      
Fences $      
Corrals $      
Other InvestmentsInfo IconOther land improvements, such as water line or well. $      
Landowner Costs Valuation Rate Annual Charge
Land Charges      
InterestInfo IconThis measures the opportunity cost of your land investment - what return could you make if you were to sell your land? The rate to use is often a point of negotiation between landlord and tenant. $    % $  
Land Taxes Info IconInformation about state-by-state land taxes.     $ 
Annual Land Development Costs     $ 
Facility Charges      
DepreciationInfo IconDepreciation is calculated as the value of fences, corrals, and other investments divided by useful years.     $  
InterestInfo IconInterest is calculated as the sum of the value for fences, corrals, and other investments multiplied by the interest rate. $    % $  
RepairsInfo IconRepairs are calculated as the sum of the values for fences, corrals, and other investments multiplied by the repair rate. $    % $  
TaxesInfo IconTaxes are calculated as the sum of values for fences, corrals, and other investments multiplied by the tax rate. $    % $  
InsuranceInfo IconInsurance premium cost is calculated as the sum of the values for fences, corrals, and other investments multiplied by the rate. $    % $  
Other Contributions      
Fertilizer     $ 
Labor and Management     $ 
Total Pasture Ownership ChargesInfo IconSum of Landowner Costs.     $  
Landowner's Contribution ($/Calf)Info IconTotal pasture ownership charges / # pairs. Note that the number of pairs is calculated as acres (on this tab) divided by the stocking rate (on the Livestock Owner tab).     $  
Landowner's Contribution ($/Acre)     $  

Livestock Owner Cost Estimate

Weight (Lbs/Animal) Value ($/Cwt) Value ($/Calf)
Final Value of CalfInfo IconMontana spot market prices: django.msu.montana.edu/econ/prices/cattle/; futures www.cmegroup.com/trading/agricultural/livestock/feeder-cattle.html.    $  $  
Initial Value of CalfInfo IconMontana spot market prices: django.msu.montana.edu/econ/prices/cattle/; futures www.cmegroup.com/trading/agricultural/livestock/feeder-cattle.html.    $  $  
Value of GainInfo IconIn a cow-calf operation, the value of gain is the value of the calf gain.     $  
Livestock Owner's Contribution Units Rate Cost ($/Pair)
Time on Pasture (Months/Year)       
Stocking Rate (Acres/Pair)Info IconContact your local NRCS or Extension office for help establishing an appropriate stocking rate.       
InterestInfo IconThis measures the interest or opportunity cost on the initial value of the animal (note the value is rounded to the nearest dollar).    % $  
Taxes, Vet, Insurance, Miscellaneous     $ 
Pasture/Fence Expenses     $ 
Marketing, Hauling     $ 
Death LossInfo IconThis measures the "average" death loss value per calf and is equal to the death loss rate multiplied by the initial value of the calf.    % $  
Supplemental Feed, Salt, and Mineral     $ 
LaborInfo IconUnits are hours and the rate is in dollars per hour.    $  $  
Management     $ 
Livestock Owner's Contribution ($/Calf)Info IconNote that number of calves (or pairs) is calculated as acres (on the Landowner tab) divided by the stocking rate (on this tab).     $  
Net Returns to Grazing ($/Calf)Info IconFinal Value of Animal - Initial Value of Animal - Livestock Owner's Contribution     $  
Livestock Owner Net Returns to Pasture ($/Acre)     $  

Share of Gain

Landowner Livestock Owner Total
Value of Gain ($/Calf)Info IconFrom 'Landowner Cost Estimate' tab.     $  
Estimated Contribution ($/Calf)Info IconFrom 'Landowner Cost Estimate' & 'Livestock Owner Cost Estimate' tabs. $   $   $  
Percent Contribution   %   %   %
Net Return Allocation ($/Calf)Info IconTotal Estimated Contribution * Percent Contribution $   $    
Implied Cash Rental Rate Paid to Landowner ($/Acre)Info IconThe implied cash rental rate paid to the landlord in this tab is calculated as the net return allocation per calf for the landlord, divided by the stocking rate. $