Have any of you ever leased a hayfield?

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A man that we know through 4H has offered to lease our hayfield, improve it--drill seed, lime, fertilizer, the whole bit in return for a long term lease. We would still get a percentage of the hay, and we'd store the hay in our barn. We don't have haying equipment, nor the money to improve the hayfield-we've been quoted $1000 per acre to have the improvements done that amount included tilling tho. This sounds like a great thing to me but does anyone know if there is a standard length to a lease like this? Has anyone ever done something like this?

Stacy in NY

-- Stacy Rohan (KincoraFarm@aol.com), August 05, 2001


I am anxiously awaiting others responses as well! I have a similar situation, but I want to lease for cattle at first then for hay.

-- Doreen (bisquit@here.com), August 05, 2001.

I have quite a bit of experience in this area. First thing I would advise you is to get it in writing! Preferably written up by someone that knows something about legal documents. I've watched my familys beautiful ranch be driven into the ground (my papa took such good care of this land) over the last several years by folks leasing it. My dad's place that I recently inherited has been leased out for 17 yrs now. This land is downright poor! They are running too many cattle on it...it has eroded badly....not a speck of lime has been applied in all these years. I wish I had the money to renovate this land but sadly I don't. I remember before my Dad died this was excellent grazing land and we took a cutting or two of hay off of it......now it is nothing but goat weeds and gullies. I would get this person to outline specifics that he will do yearly.....also make it to where if he doesn't do this then the lease is broken. How long term are we talking here? Also include somewhere in the lease about maintaining fences. I just can't even describe how badly the folks leasing our land have butchered the fencing(oh all those hot July and August days I spent stringing fence are now wasted). Let me know if you have any specific questions.

-- Amanda in Mo (mrsgunsmyth@hotmail.com), August 05, 2001.

Well, that doesn't sound too encouraging! See, I was hoping to lease to get the cattle to fertilize for a year or so, then go to hay. There is a fellow haying the field right next to the property, so I guess if I can find out who he is and get in contact it might be good. Thanks for the advice Amanda!

-- Doreen (bisquit@here.com), August 06, 2001.

Stacy , take a look at his own fields.Are the nice ? I rent my fields and am not happy with them .I will not rent next year .If you can make a deal for them to do what needs to be done and the hay you need go for it .

-- Patty {NY State} (fodfarms@slic.com), August 06, 2001.

The basic problem with leasing land is that folks have human tendencies. Very few people are going to put much work into land that they don't own. Why would he want to improve land that he will never be able to sell? Most folks lease land to make a profit. The guy that rents my land (at $10 an acre) grazes the dickens out of it to get the most return on his cattle. Needless to say at the price he is leasing my land for he makes a nice profit on his cattle to the detriment of my land. I won't be leasing this property next year.....which is the first year I can do something about it. Just keep that in mind when you consider leasing property. Now one option that works out quite well is letting someone take hay off of your place with an agreement that they must fertilize. I know someone that is doing that this year. She gets $5 for every round bale that hits the ground plus he fertilizes the fields. They both make a profit this way.

-- Amanda in Mo (mrsgunsmyth@hotmail.com), August 06, 2001.

The man that wants to lease just got a large grant from Cornell to improve his beef and hay business and he needs additional hayfields. Part of his grant includes the use of a no till drill seeder so the field would be reseeded, limed, and fertilized. I like this guy, he's hard working, his farm looks great, and I trust him. There's no hope for the field this year--it will be brush hogged. I think we'll sit down and talk about the details at a horse show this weekend. I'll let you all know what happens.

Stacy in NY

-- Stacy Rohan (KincoraFarm@aol.com), August 07, 2001.

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