Contract Grazing Factsheet Series Now Available

Contract Grazing Factsheet Series Now Available

As beef cow numbers increase and available pasture acres decrease, cattle producers are looking for grazing options.

A new four-part series of factsheets on contract grazing for cattle is now available on the Iowa Beef Center website. Two Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists are Iowa representatives to the specialized working group within the Green Lands, Blue Water project that developed the new resource. Iowa State Extension beef program specialist Joe Sellers says he and small farms specialist Andy Larson at Iowa State worked with project members and Extension specialists from the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota to identify needs and information for those who graze cattle.

WHAT IS CONTRACT GRAZING?: Also known as custom grazing, contract grazing is a system in which land ownership, livestock ownership and management of the system may be de-coupled. This arrangement can involve as many as three separate entities carrying out three distinct roles: a landowner, a livestock owner and a grazier (the grazing manager) who provides the grazing management expertise and oversees the grazing activities.

"Our group has been working on these factsheets as a source of assistance to graziers and cattle owners who use custom grazing in their management schemes," Sellers explains. "As cow numbers increase and available pasture acres decrease, we want people to recognize and learn more about options for their operations."

Develop a working partnership with other producers to gain access to pasture

One such option is the development of working partnerships with other producers to access pasture through contract grazing. Each of the four new factsheets focuses on one topic related to contract grazing: contract grazing basics, evaluating land suitability, rental and lease agreements, and contract grazing rates.

 The factsheets can be viewed, download and printed at no cost from these links:

1. The Basics of Contract Grazing

2. Evaluating Land Suitability for Grazing Cattle

3. Pasture Rental and Lease Agreements

4. Rates Charged for Contract Grazing Arrangements

These factsheets can be used to supplement existing grazing-related information on the IBC website, specifically under "Cattle Grazing Survey 2007."

The Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting the growth and vitality of the state's beef cattle industry. It comprises faculty and staff from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and ISU's College of Veterinary Medicine, and works to develop and deliver the latest research-based information regarding the beef cattle industry. For more information, visit the IBC website.

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