Wallaces Farmer

Focus is on improving communication to benefit all parties involved in leasing arrangements.

Rod Swoboda

July 27, 2020

2 Min Read
Combine in cornfield with corn residue
LEARN MORE: Live webinars and recorded videos on farm leasing are offered on the ISU Ag Decision Maker website as alternatives to attending an in-person meeting.ISU

In Iowa, state law specifies landlords and tenants must serve proper notice by Sept. 1 if either party wants to terminate their current farmland lease. Otherwise, the terms of the 2020 lease will reset for the 2021 crop year with the same arrangements.

If a notice of termination isn’t served by one party to the other by this deadline, the tenant and the landlord can still agree to terminate or change the terms of the lease after Sept. 1. However, if they can’t reach an agreement, then the current lease will continue. 

Iowa State University Extension is hosting multiple programs during July and August at various times and locations as well as online. These programs address questions landowners, tenants and others have about leasing Iowa farmland. In addition to in-person meetings, live webinars and recorded videos are available.  

Farmland leasing questions

Farmers entered 2020 with uncertainty regarding trade agreements with China, and the uncertainty has escalated with the impacts of COVID-19. Amid the turmoil, agricultural production continues along with decisions regarding farmland rental arrangements. With ongoing concerns to reduce the spread of COVID-19, ISU Extension’s educational programs on farmland leasing are being provided in a variety of ways intended to reach individuals in the method most accessible. 

At these in-person farmland leasing meetings, the discussion will focus on:

  • land values and cash rent trends

  • cost of crop production

  • methods for determining a fair rental rate

  • legal updates and methods for terminating farm leases

  • communication between tenants and landlords

A 100-page workbook to complement the program topics includes resources regarding farmland leasing agreements such as survey results, editable lease forms and a termination example. 

Options for meetings

The leasing meetings held across Iowa are facilitated by ISU Extension farm management specialists. See the list of the ISU Extension county offices hosting meetings. Preregistration is required for the in-person meetings. Face coverings are strongly encouraged, and social distancing will be followed. Registration fees vary. To preregister, call or email the ISU Extension and Outreach county office host site. 

A statewide webinar will be presented Aug. 25 with ISU Extension economists, and Kristine Tidgren, director of the Center for Ag Law and Taxation at ISU. The Ag Decision Maker meeting page will have meeting and webinar details along with additional video recordings and related publications.  

An article in the July edition of Ag Decision Maker explains the different types of farm leases, along with the risks and rewards. The Ag Decision Maker leasing section provides useful materials for negotiating leases, information on various types of leases, lease forms and newly updated Decision Tools




Read more about:

Land Leases

About the Author(s)

Rod Swoboda

Rod Swoboda is a former editor of Wallaces Farmer and is now retired.

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