If you’ve got cattle heading to the storied Flint Hills Blue Stem this summer, the potential looks strong. As of April 24, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reported 80% of the acres there were in good or excellent condition; 92% report water supplies as adequate or better. NASS reporters say 96% of the ground there was under contract by the end of April.

Between NASS numbers and work by ag economists at Kansas State University (KSU), you can begin calculating the cost and potential for next year. Specifically, KSU offers a free electronic spreadsheet to begin determining equitable grazing fees for both land owners and lessees.

According to KSU researchers, the spreadsheet utilizes two common methods: landowner’s cost and livestock owner’s return. Landlord’s cost equates the rental value to the cost of owning the land to be grazed. Livestock owner’s return bases grazing rent on the return earned by the livestock being grazed.

In the same spreadsheet, you’ll find historic lease rates determined by Kansas Agricultural Statistics, such as that in Tables 1-2.

For the spreadsheet calculator, go to: www.agmanager.info/livestock/.

You can also visit: www.agmanager.info/farmngt.