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Farmland Owners Computer Workshops Scheduled

Farmland Owners Computer Workshops Scheduled

Two "hands on" workshops geared specifically for owners of farmland will be held in central Iowa—one August 23 in Grinnell and the other August 24 in Ankeny.

Iowa State University Extension in central Iowa is doing something a little different in addition to holding a number of farmland leasing meetings in July and August. "We will also be holding two workshops specifically for farmland owners," explains Steve Johnson, ISU Extension farm management specialist. "These two workshops will be held on two different nights and at two different locations and computers will be available for the participants to use."

The Grinnell workshop will be held Tuesday evening, August 23 and the workshop at the Ankeny site on Wednesday evening August 24, both from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. with registration beginning at 6:30 p.m. You choose which one of the two sites you wish to attend.

The workshop will focus on two topics: "Flexible Cash Farm Leases" and "Investment in Tile & Drainage." Both workshops will have computers available to help the participants work through examples and make decisions regarding common questions farmland owners are facing today.

Pre-register prior to August 19 to reserve your spot

The registration fee is $20 per person or $30 per couple and is payable at the door 30 minutes before the workshop. "We are requesting that you phone in your registration prior to August 19 if you plan to attend either one of these workshops," says Johnson.

The Grinnell site is the Iowa Valley Community College located at 123 6th Avenue West in Grinnell, Iowa. The Ankeny location is the FFA Enrichment Center on the DMACC Ankeny campus located at 1055 SW Prairie Trail Parkway in Ankeny.

For more information or to register prior to August 19 contact the Poweshiek County Extension Office at (641) 623-5188 or the Polk County Extension office at (515) 957-5760. Additional information can be found at

Interest continuing to grow in flexible cash farm leases

With high grain prices and land values, and increased financial risk, more landlords and lenders are suggesting their farm operators look into using a flexible cash lease for cropland instead of a straight fixed cash rent lease. Interest is growing among more farmers, too, in flexible cash farm leases.

"Considering the extreme crop price volatility and increasing costs for inputs, it's difficult to set a fixed cash rent amount for 2012 in the summer of 2011," notes Johnson. "Also, cash rent landlords feel as though they fixed cash rents too early last year and missed out on much higher rents they could have negotiated last winter."

Tips on how to set up a flexible cash lease that works

How can you set up a flexible cash lease for your farm operation? The strategy is like profit sharing with the landlord. When the farm operator has high yields on that farm and good prices, the operator is willing to pay more for cash rent. Setting up a flexible cash lease involves determining a base rent, maximum rent, percentage of gross crop revenue to share and a gross base revenue. This base gross revenue is roughly the total cost of production for that crop on that farm.

Johnson has written quite a bit about flexible leases. He has handouts and webcasts posted on his ISU Extension Polk County Farm Management page at To learn how to put together a flex lease that works, listen to his webcast and read the handout. Another thing you could do is come to one of the ISU Extension farmland owner workshops that are upcoming. Make your reservation now to attend either the workshop on August 23 at Grinnell or the workshop on August 24 in Ankeny.

For farm management information and analysis, go to ISU's Ag Decision Maker site and ISU Extension farm management specialist Steve Johnson's site

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