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Field day offers tips to get the right pasture lease agreement

Good lease agreements are critical for many Nebraska ranches; more than 40% of the state’s ag land is rented, and ranch operations frequently include both owned and rented ground.

“What’s the going rate on grass?” is a common question. But there is more to grazing leases than just price.

“Developing the Right Pasture Lease Agreement” is the title of a field day scheduled for June 24 at the Gudmundsen Sandhills Lab (GSL) near Whitman. The hands-on field day will be supplemented by online webinars about pasture leasing.

Pre-registration is required by June 16 (or until full) for a meal count. Contact the Central Sandhills Extension Office at 645-2267 or 1-800-657-2113. This event is sponsored by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension and the World Wildlife Fund, which is striving to keep grasslands in grass.

Pat Reece, retired UNL range ecologist and currently a consultant for Prairie & Montane Enterprises, will cover the “grass’s side of the story,” including what overgrazing looks like and how much grass pastures can produce. Reece will also share 30 years of experience on drought plans and successful leases.

Jerry Volesky, UNL Extension range specialist, has outdoor sessions on destocking clauses and grazing meadows, and will share data from double-grazed research conducted at GSL. UNL Extension educators Troy Walz, Jay Jenkins and Bethany Johnston will discuss fair market value of forage, monitoring, and range health.

A panel of ranchers will take questions from the audience about leasing. The panel includes a widow who improved her upland bird habitat with rotational grazing and destocked during the drought; a rancher who leased ground that was later sold to him; and a beginning rancher who rents, leases, and bought rangeland from a neighbor.

The workshop is a chance to learn from top- notch speakers, discover range skills in outdoor sessions, and have access to online webinars to refresh your memory, as well as learn how to benefit the resources and benefit the relationship with the right pasture lease agreement.

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