Farmland Leasing and Management Workshops Planned across Iowa

Experts will address factors impacting 2023 farmland leases

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host multiple farmland leasing workshops during July and August. The annual meetings will address questions that landowners, tenants and others may have.

Core components of the 2022 program include discussion on land values and cash rent trends, legal updates that impact farm leases and land ownership, communication between rental parties, implementing conservation practices in leases, and cybersecurity tips for farm business operations.

Current market conditions have resulted in increased interest in farmland leasing and how lease rates are negotiated, according to Melissa O’ Rourke, a farm and agribusiness management specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

“Due to the volatility of commodity and land markets, we’ve seen increased inquiries regarding both fixed and flexible cash lease methodologies,” said O’Rourke. “There are dozens of methods for putting together flexible cash lease arrangements, and we will work through several examples.”

Iowa State research indicates that on average, most farmers in Iowa are seeing a significant increase in what they pay for 2022 land rents. This is according to the 2022 Cash Rental Rates for Iowa Survey of farmers, landowners and ag professionals.

O’Rourke, who is also a licensed attorney, has seen that farmland owners and producer-tenants need to have more conversations about the cost of inputs to produce the crop from planting to harvest (including storage), as well as reasonable expectations on profit margins.

“ISU Extension has good resources  to assist people to gain an understanding of how crop input costs can be considered in setting cash lease rates, and I’ll show how those can be used,” she said.

The two-to-three-hour workshop is designed to assist landowners, tenants and other agri-business professionals with current issues related to farmland ownership, management and leasing arrangements. Comments from past participants note the value of the materials provided and depth of information covered in the short program.

A 100-page workbook is provided to workshop participants, with resources regarding land leasing agreements such as surveys, example lease agreements and termination form, along with many other publications.

The meetings are facilitated by ISU Extension and Outreach farm management specialists. A listing of ISU Extension and Outreach county offices hosting meetings, registration fees, and details on virtual options are available online through the Ag Decision Maker website.

To register, contact the ISU Extension and Outreach county office hosting the event. Pre-registration is encouraged, as an additional $5 fee may be added if registering less than two calendar days before the meeting.

The Ag Decision Maker leasing section also provides useful materials for improving lease agreements, information on various types of leases, lease forms and newly updated Decision Tools.


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