Cash rental rates change little in 2018 MU survey

  • Published: Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Cash rental rates for Missouri cropland changed little, according to a newly released survey from University of Missouri Extension. Pastureland rental prices ticked upward slightly.

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.

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 percent of Missouri farmland is rented.

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

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.

“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.”

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.

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.

Massey is an economist in the Division of Applied Social Sciences in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

Writer: Linda Geist

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Ray Massey

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