Table 6 summarizes the net return to each management system or enterprise. This is the amount of profit or loss after the value of the land is deducted. Also listed is a return to land and management for producers who do not want to consider renting their land. The cost of labor on the cropping and haying systems was not deducted because it could not be separated from the custom work rate; therefore, this cost was not subtracted from the livestock returns either. As already observed, returns from all systems are as dependent upon weather and current prices as they are on good farm/ranch management.
Net Return to System
Return to Land and Management
Should you cash rent your land? On land valued at $300/acre, cash rent of $27.35 per acre is a 9.1% return on investment. This would indicate that land rental rates are too high in relationship to the land's ability to return a profit. Consideration should be given to additional uses such as wildlife easements or fee hunting. This research shows the long term productivity and economic potential of grazing and haying marginal, highly erodible land, whether it is enrolled in CRP or not.