South Dakota 2018 Cow-calf Grazing Prices

Grazing prices for summer 2018 in Western South Dakota for cow/calf pairs are steady to $10.00 higher (Table 1). According to USDA-AMS some land owners went up to either cover costs of higher taxes or if full care of the land is included. While lower prices generally mean the tenants have to care for the land themselves, this includes fixing fences, caring for water, etc.

Table 1. Grazing Prices for South West South Dakota Cow/calf pair per month.

Cow/Calf Grazing Fees    
  2017 2018
Range $35.00-50.00 $35.00-68.00
Mostly $35.00-40.00 $45.00-55.00

Yearling Grazing Prices

The range of prices for South West South Dakota yearlings has increased slightly from 2017 (Table 2). While the most commonly reported prices were between $20.00-25.00 per head, the range for 2018 is slightly wider than 2017.

Table 2. Grazing Prices for South West South Dakota Yearlings per month.

Yearling Grazing Fees    
  2017 2018
Range $17.00-25.00 $17.00-30.00
Mostly $20.00 $20.00-25.00

Grazing Conditions and Water Availability

It is important to note that most grass reports coming in indicate the grass is slow to grow. This is partly due to a long lasting winter and drought that occurred in Western South Dakota. The recent rains in parts of Western South Dakota will help with water availability for cattle. However, because of the lack of rain the previous year, there is likely to be a shortage of grass.


Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be reliable and correct. However, no guarantee or warranty is provided for its accuracy or completeness. This information is provided exclusively for educational purposes and any action or inaction or decisions made as the result of reading this material is solely the responsibility of readers. The author(s) and South Dakota State University disclaim any responsibility for loss associated with the use of this information.

  1. Cow/calf pairs are on a per unit/month basis