Farm Agistment

Should you agist your livestock or rent out your land for agistment?

What is ‘agistment’?

Farm agistment - the movement of livestock from a property where there is little feed or water to another property where there are adequate supplies - has been common practice in Australia for over 150 year. Such an arrangement normally involves payment, but it may still be cheaper than hand feeding your animals.

It has the potential to benefit both farm and stock owners, and if you own either acreage or livestock, it may increase the profitability of these investments. And if you're looking to buy acreage for sale and renting it out for agistees, GoRegional has suitable properties available!

Considerations for the landowner

When agisting your property to a stock owner there are two popular options with regard to income:

  • Price per head of stock
  • Price per acre

Over the past 10 years, however, a third option has become increasingly popular: share farming. This process lets a stock owner or farmer operate a farming operation without providing the upfront capital required to own land. Under this system, the share farmer and the landowner share in the risks of farming and reap the benefits of working more land and thus decreasing production costs.

Considerations for the livestock owner

There are many points to consider before agisting your livestock on another farmer’s land. Considering the answers to these questions is a good place to start:

  1. Quality of fencing: will your stock be secure?
  2. Feed level: is there sufficient feed to last for the tenure of the lease?
  3. Water availability: is there sufficient water available to support your herd?
  4. Facilities: are there stockyards available to enable easy transport of your stock to and from the property and to support animal health?
  5. Landowner support: what level of support is the landowner able to provide – i.e. can they keep an eye on stock and visitors to and from the property?
  6. Return: is the cost of the lease economically viable?
  7. Agreement: is there a solid leasing agreement in place to cover both parties in case of unforeseen circumstances?

If you can reasonably answer 'yes' to all of these questions (or at least all of them that are relevant to your situation) agisting your livestock at this property is likely a good decision that will benefit all parties. 

For further information:

Government departments provide many resources such as agreement templates and guides for agistment. Visiting the Department of Primary Industry website (NSW has a particularly comprehensive one) is a good start if you want to learn more about agistment in Australia.

If you're looking for acreage for sale in Australia to begin your own horse agistment or livestock agistment business, we've curated some suitable properties below.