Profit Tips: Management - Pricing cornstalk leases

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How much should cattle producers pay for grazing crop residue this winter, and how should they negotiate a fair price with landowners? University of Nebraska Extension economist Matt Stockton says factors such as fencing and animal care can affect price, along with distance and number of animals. To help answer those questions, University of Nebraska specialists have developed the “Cornstalk Grazing Cow-Q-Lator,” a tool that can help both the corn and cattle producers determine a reasonable rate. “The tool is designed for cattle producers to evaluate costs of cornstalk grazing,” Stockton says. “However, it could be used by a corn producer to calculate how much a prospective lessee can pay.” The Cow-Q-Lator takes many of these effects into account to determine the price of renting acres. This Microsoft Excel spreadsheet includes entries for number and size of animals and transportation costs as well as for care and supervision. “Corn producers will find that the farther they are from the cattle’s home, the less their stalks are worth,” Stockton says. “However, they may be able to provide animal care and supervision and reduce the owner’s costs.” Visit

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