New Grazing Leases

grazing land

DNR leased nearly 590,000 acres of grazing land in fiscal year 2014 to produce revenue for public school construction. Photo: DNR

Do you have a State grazing lease expiring soon, or are you hoping to acquire a new grazing lease? If so, you should know that our grazing leases have undergone significant changes this year. These changes are meant to create a clearer lease document as well as encourage interaction between lessees and land managers. Our lessees are one of our greatest resources for understanding what happens on the ground, and we want to hear from you.

Perhaps the most notable change is the inclusion of a specific grazing management plan for the entire lease term, typically 10 years. Our land managers work with lessees to create these long-term plans so we meet the lessee’s economic needs, while ensuring that sustainable grazing practices are adhered to. These plans typically prescribe specific on- and off- dates and the maximum number of animals on the lease.

Because we understand it can be difficult for lesees to always anticipate changes to their grazing operations, or future climactic variations such as drought, the new lease also allows for flexibility in changing grazing dates and number of animals. With a simple telephone call or email to your land manager, we can accommodate most changes to your grazing plan provided that any changes allow us to continue maintaining rangeland sustainability and ecosystem health.

Another notable change involves cooperative monitoring and record keeping. This is as simple as taking a photo twice a year — at the on- and off- dates — from the photo monitoring post that your land manager installed on the lease. The photos are then submitted along with a record of the year’s grazing activities. The new lease format includes detailed photo monitoring directions, a sample photo for replication, a map with the photo monitoring post location, and the form used for record keeping. The photos and record can then be submitted through the mail or by email.

This is just a sampling of the more significant changes to the grazing lease. If you have a grazing lease that is expiring or are interested in one of our upcoming public auctions, and have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Emma Barnett, DNR rangeland manager, at (509) 237-1571 or by email at emma.barnett@dnr.wa.gov.

Again, lessees are one of our greatest resources, and we look forward to hearing from you.

by Emma Barnett, DNR Rangeland Manager

New Office in Pasco for DNR

DNR's Pasco office

DNR’s new agricultural leasing office at 2407 Commercial Ave., Suite A in Pasco

In late August, the DNR agriculture staff based in Pasco moved to a new location at 2407 Commercial Ave., Suite A, Pasco. The area commonly known as King City is located where Highway 395 and Highway 12 join.

This new location is not only more convenient and accessible for most people to stop in but it also provides a better working environment for the employees. As our lease management program continues to grow this location is capable of growing with us.

Please feel free to stop in and say hi to any of us here and we will be happy to work with you. Give us a call and let us know when you will be stopping by.

Jeff Bragg: 509-545-2023
Tim Kopf: 509-545-2024
Ryan Cloud: 509-545-2025
Mark Bohnet: 509-545-2026

Agriculture Program Revenues Increase in Fiscal Year 2014

Spud_Harvest2The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) saw a modest increase of 3.4 percent in its in the Agriculture and Water Program revenue for fiscal year 2014 (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014) compared to the previous year. Income increased in most of the categories DNR tracks for trust lands in agriculture and grazing production: dryland, irrigated, orchard/vineyard, and grazing leases and range permits.

Several factors contributed to the revenue increase.

  • Lessees continue to work with DNR land managers to implement best-management and sustainable land management practices;
  • Commodity prices were generally favorable;
  • Sufficient rainfall in the dryland regions produced higher yields per acre and higher protein percentages; and
  • DNR continues to increase its marketing efforts for leases going to public auction.

Revenue from 85 percent of the state trust lands in agriculture and grazing production are Common School trust lands, which help build K-12 public schools statewide.

Fiscal Year 2014 Results for Agriculture Leasing and Grazing Permits

Lease Type Number of Leases Acres FY 2014 Revenue Income Per Acre
Dryland 602 127,971 $6,393,612 $49.96
Irrigated 154 34,046 $6,720,744 $197.40
Orchard/Vineyard 99 15,460 $9,425,803 $609.69
Grazing 781 589,885 $598,149 $1.01
Range Permits 43 313,358 $325,284 $1.04
Totals 1,679 1,201,058 $23,463,592  
DNR ag and grazing revenue-2013 v. 2014

CLICK on graphic for larger image

by Pat Ryan, DNR Agriculture Program Manager