Cow-Calf Share or Cash Cow Leases - What is fair?

Cow-calf pair in snow-covered fieldCow-Calf share or cash leases can be used as a way to share the revenue and expenses associated with a cow-calf enterprise when multiple people are involved. To determine what a fair and equitable lease is, it is important both parties accurately determine their level of contribution to the total costs involved in cow-calf production enterprise.

A webinar identifying things that cow owners and operators should consider when developing a Cow-calf Share/Cow Cash Lease Agreement was recently recorded (link opens in new window). This webinar utilizes an Excel® Spreadsheet titled "Cow-calf Share Lease Cow-Q-Lator" that is located in the UNL Extension Ag Manager's Toolbox. This spreadsheet takes into account the contributions of all parties involved in the cow-calf enterprise and then calculates both a fair cash lease value as well as what would be an equitable share arrangement.

For a brief overview on cattle lease agreements and things that should be considered see the "Cow Leases" article. For a more in-depth discussion of cattle leases as well as an example lease agreement, see the UNL Extension Circular: Beef Cattle Share Lease Agreements (PDF 525KB).

Due to the current volatility of inputs as well as cattle prices, evaluating a lease on an annual basis to revisit what is an equitable arrangement is in the best interest of all people involved.

January 2013

Aaron Berger, Extension Educator
Panhandle Research & Extension Center
University of Nebraska