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Business Clinic: How much should I charge for in-store livestock summer grazing?

Whether it’s a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, weekly farmersThe experts at can help you. Tom Hind, Senior Rural Surveyor, Carter Jonas outlines considerations when renting or taking pasture and housing.

Q: I leave 10 acres of average quality grass for 10 oxen from April to September. The land is fenced, has water and the cattle owner will check the cattle.

What is the going rate for this type of care please? I would also be interested to know how much more to charge if stock checking was my responsibility, what I might charge for wintering/housing and how that compares to sheep grazing.

A: Seasonal grazing is basically a right to access land and harvest grass there for an agreed period through the grazing of livestock. The breeder does not benefit from any other professional rights.

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The actual value of the weed is inherently difficult to determine, as it is the value of the weed consumed during the season, which is almost impossible to predict at the start when the license is usually granted. Seasons like 2022 clearly demonstrate this difficulty.

Nationally, seasonal grazing can range from free to £150/acre (for the season, typically April 1 to September 30), with prime rates exceeding this figure when supported by high demand.

Occasionally, when constraints or onerous requirements exist on the land – such as sites of special scientific interest or complicated stewardship agreements that require the land to be grazed – the rancher may actually receive payment modest landowner.

Livestock Grazing Values

On average, the value of pasture for cattle will be higher than that agreed for sheep, loosely reflecting higher suitability standards (grass quality, slope, fencing, ease of handling, etc.). But there is seldom a differentiation made between types of livestock.

In your question, you mention that you have 10 acres of average quality grassland. Depending on the location, six months of summer keeping can be expected to be rented for between £65/acre and £90/acre (of which £10-15/acre is attributable to trough water supply).

On a weekly head basis this works out to £1.50-2.50 per head for feeders, £2-3 per head for Stirks and £3-4 per head for breeders. Cattle overwintering rates are usually agreed by discounting the projected summer grazing load by up to 20%.

When applying these ranges to the terrain in question, I recommend that you consider the following factors:

  • grass quality
  • Fence quality
  • Grazing period
  • Package size
  • Fertilizer provided/applied (if applicable)
  • Trim by owner
  • Water supply
  • Ability to cut and remove grass
  • To access
  • Storage Restrictions.

Where livestock are intended to be housed over the winter, building rental will often be agreed between £1 and £3/head per week (including water), depending on building specifications.

Shepherd’s Responsibility

In terms of livestock supervision, any additional charge should ultimately reflect the cost of the landowner’s time spent checking the herd and the value their livestock management adds to the business.

I recommend that both parties proceed with this structure with caution; if not done properly, the provision of labor could raise questions as to who the herder is and who should be responsible for keeping records, movement reports, identification marks. ear and the provision of liability insurance.

While the above summer pasture would likely fetch the same level of rent if stocked by sheep, the nation’s supply of steep hillsides, hay residues and small unfenced lawns expands the range of guards. summer for sheep at £30-£80/acre without too much competition. cattle ranchers on land leased for less than £40/acre.

Winter grass for sheep can vary greatly from region to region, but generally follows summer prices minus a 20% discount, with the highest prices being achieved through silage consequences and new grasslands. Landowners looking to place a herd on cattle pasture over the winter should proceed with caution as it can compromise the health of the herd and herd if not carefully managed.


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