Acreage Living Newsletter Publishes Guide to Herd Bull Leasing and Rental

Five steps to help cattle owners improve their bull sharing agreements

April 16, 2024, 3:58 pm | Patrick Wall

AMES, Iowa – Working with other cattle owners to share the service of a bull can be an efficient way of growing the herd. Cattle producers can often find bulls close to home that will improve herd genetics, while those who own a bull can realize some profit by marketing the bull’s breeding service.

Whatever the arrangement, a detailed agreement between each party is essential.

Hereford bull.In a recent article for the Acreage Living Newsletter, Patrick Wall, beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, highlights five main points to consider when herd bull sharing or leasing, or when renting a bull to another cattle owner.

“The most important part of any agreement is trust,” according to Wall. “While a firm handshake often is enough for many cattle enthusiasts, keep in mind half of a herd’s genetics is hopping on the trailer when a lease is agreed upon.”

Listed in the article are steps with important outcomes to follow while going through bull sharing or leasing agreements. Each step lists the main goal, along with detailed follow-up information and precautions to consider.

Wall also advises cattle producers to consider the genetic value of the bull, and whether the bull offers enhanced growth or carcass merit. Likewise, he said it’s important to consider the quality of the cows being bred, and whether the lease agreement should involve a pick or percentage of the cows at weaning.

“All said, bull lease or rental agreements can be beneficial for both parties, as long as the terms and details are well understood in advance,” said Wall.

Other articles in the most recent Acreage Living edition cover topics on the “Private Well Stewardship Program,” “Biosecurity Your Way” and “Early Bud Development in Iowa.”

Acreage Living is published every other month by the Small Farm Sustainability team with the Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program of ISU Extension and Outreach.

Shareable photo: Hereford bull, by Robin Klein, Focus Marketing Group.

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