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Serving: MO
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WHAT TO PAY: Farmers are entering land and pasture rental negotiations. It is important to have a base rate to open the conversation. Always get the rental rate in writing.

What should you pay to rent cropland?

MU cash rental rate survey offers a starting point for negotiations.

The results for the 2018 cash rental rates for Missouri showed little change from last year.

According to the University of Missouri Extension cash rent survey, cropland remained relatively unchanged while pasture ground ticked slightly higher.

Rent for row-crop land averaged $146.81 per acre with a low of $50 and a high of $305. Irrigated row-crop land rented for about $50 per acre more than dry cropland — an average of $196.43. Good pastureland netted $40.74 per acre, with rents ranging from $12 to $100 per acre. Rent for timber pasture was the lowest, averaging $28.13 per acre.

MU conducts the survey every three years. This was the first year that MU administered the survey electronically.

Survey results were for 48,000 acres of cropland, a small portion of Missouri's 9.8 million acres of rented agricultural land, according to MU Extension economist Ray Massey. USDA reports that 35% of Missouri farmland is rented.

However, he cautions farmers not to use it as the sole source for rent negotiations with landlords. He says the number and variability of responses prevents hard conclusions about rental rates.

"The MU guide is simply that," he adds. "It's a guide. Both sides in negotiations can see the rate for which farmers are renting land. It's a starting point and should not be the sole basis for determining your rent."

The survey helps landowners and farmers find trends in rental rates for cropland, pastureland, grain bins, farm buildings and fee hunting. The survey covered criteria such as location of land, yield potential of land, storage facilities, fencing and types of roads leading to land.

Massey says the rent survey is "one piece of information that landowners and farmers can use to determine fair rates." Other factors include supply of and demand for land in a locale, productivity of land, and market prices.

For complete survey results, download "2018 Cash Rental Rates in Missouri" at For information on other types of rental arrangements and lease forms, contact the agricultural business specialist at your local MU Extension center.

Additional information and forms are also available at, a website of the North Central Farm Management Extension Committee, which is an organization of extension educators in the region.

Source: MU Extension

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