Iowa State University Extension is hosting 58 farmland leasing meetings during July and August at various locations throughout Iowa. These meetings address questions that landowners, tenants or other interested individuals have about leasing farmland. In Iowa, Sept. 1 is the deadline to serve notice if you want to terminate or change your current rental agreement.
In some counties, as much as 70% of the land is farmed by producers who do not own it. Throughout farm country, there is an increasing number of farmland owner and renter relationships.
Fair cash rental rate for 2019
The discussion focuses on various methods to determine a fair 2019 cash rental rate and the importance of good tenant and landlord communications. According to the “Cash Rental Rates for Iowa — 2018 Survey” released in May, the average 2018 cash rent statewide is $222 per tillable acre, a 1.4% increase compared to 2017. Average cash rents statewide stabilized in 2018 after a decline of nearly 19% from the 2013 peak.
The program includes a focus on farmland ownership and tenure in Iowa, the latest on economics of cover crops, and related research and a discussion on including conservation practices in leases. Also, land values and cash rent trends, cost of production, methods for determining a fair rental rate, and the latest legal updates that impact farm leases and land ownership are covered. The importance of communication between tenants and landlords is emphasized.
Practical information offered
The three-hour workshop is designed to assist landowners, tenants and other ag professionals with current issues related to farmland ownership, management and leasing arrangements. Attendees gain a better understanding of current cash rental rate surveys and factors driving next year’s rents, such as market trends and input costs.
A 100-page workbook is compiled for these meetings, with resources regarding land leasing agreements such as surveys, sample written lease agreements and termination forms, along with other publications.
The farmland leasing meetings held across Iowa in July and August are facilitated by ISU Extension farm management specialists.
The Ag Decision Maker leasing section on the website provides useful materials for negotiating leases, information on various types of leases, lease forms and newly updated Decision Tools.