August 13, 2010
Summer is a good time to think about cropland rental agreements for the coming year. By law in Iowa, if you wish to terminate your rental arrangement or want to change the terms in your current farmland lease, and the lease or agreement involves 40 acres or more, notice must be given to the other party by Sept. 1.
For example, if you want to renegotiate your cash rent for 2011, or any other terms, you have to serve the termination notice on or before September 1, 2010. This applies whether it is a written lease or an oral agreement.
Of course, a farmland lease or rental agreement can be terminated or modified at any time of year as long as such changes are acceptable to the landlord and tenant and they both agree to the changes. "However, if the current lease or agreement isn't terminated by September 1, keep in mind that it automatically renews for another year on the same terms and conditions of the existing lease or agreement," points out Steve Johnson, an Iowa State University Extension farm management specialist.
If notice to terminate is served on or before September 1, then the lease terminates the following March 1. "It's best to serve that notice in writing and obtain the other party's signature and the date confirming receipt of the notice," says Johnson. "If necessary, you should consider using certified mail to prove receipt of the delivery of your notice prior to the September 1 deadline."
Farmland leasing information available from ISU Extension
If you are thinking of terminating or re-negotiating your cropland rental agreement or lease, ISU Extension has helpful information online as well as in various publications and spreadsheets. Also, ISU Extension is holding over 30 local meetings across Iowa in July and August to provide the latest information on cropland rental rates and leases for the coming year.
The ISU Extension website for farmland leasing meetings and related information this summer is www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/info/meetings_leasing.html. Information and cropland leasing resources available on the ISU Ag Decision Maker site include:
* Leasing Publications
--Iowa Farmland Cash Rental Rate Survey (ISU) C2-10
--Iowa Farmland Rental Rates (USDA) C2-09
--Historic County Cropland Rental Rates C2-11
--Do I need a written lease? C2-03
--Computing a Cropland Cash Rental Rate C2-20
--Flexible Farm Lease Agreements C2-21
--Crop-Share Leasing Provisions C2-30
* Leasing Forms
--Iowa Farm Lease Form C2-12
--Iowa Cash Rent Farm Lease (short form) C2-16
--Midwest Plan Service Lease Forms
--Iowa Farm Lease Termination Notice (Iowa Bar)
* Related Publications
--Estimated Costs of Crop Production A1-20
--Iowa Farmland Legal Descriptions C2-85
--Understanding Iowa Corn Suitability Ratings C2-86
--Computing the Iowa Corn Suitability Rating for your Farm C2-87
--Economics of Tiling C2-90
Bring your land leasing or rental agreement questions to FPS
You can get farmland leasing and rental agreement questions answered by ISU Extension specialists at the 2010 Farm Progress Show near Boone on August 31 and September 1-2.
Crop marketing, harvesting, handling and storage strategies are the main discussion topics for ISU Extension farm management specialists Kelvin Leibold and Steve Johnson. One of them will present during the noon hour each day at the Seminar Center at the Farm Progress Show. They will be glad to talk with show visitors about cropland rents and leasing, too. In addition to their presentation at noon, Leibold or Johnson will be available throughout each day at the Seminar Center. The Seminar Center is located on Sixth Street next to the Wallaces Farmer hospitality tent.
Summing up, the ISU specialists make these key points:
* To legally terminate a farmland lease for 2011 you must serve notice by September 1, 2010.
* This is the law in Iowa, whether you have a written lease or an oral agreement.
* A lease can be modified or terminated any time during the year if both the tenant and landlord agree.
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