Agricultural Management e-School

Iowa State

Farm Leasing Arrangements

Course Detail

$100 Registration Fee

90 Day Course Period


Farmland and farm buildings are valuable resources. A well constructed lease agreement can provide a fair return to both the owner and tenant, and preserve resources for future generations. This course helps you compare different types of farm leases, negotiate lease terms, resolve legal questions, develop a fair lease agreement and more.

A module by module introduction to the course is available.

Many types of people own farmland. According to the 2007 Leasing Practices Survey, 46 percent of Iowa farmland is owner controlled, 42 percent is cash leased, and 12 percent is share leased. Leased farm land is owned by active farmers, retired farmers, family members who have inherited it, estates and trusts, investors, and institutions such as churches and governmental units.

Farmland and buildings owned by non-farmers usually must be brought into production in order to earn a cash return. To accomplish this an operator or tenant must be identified and a lease agreement developed. Terms and procedures for utilizing the land, buildings and other improvements must be agreed on, including the manner in which income will be shared between the owner and the operator.

Tractor in field

Course Modules

  • Introduction to Farm Leases
  • Cash Rent Lease
  • Crop Share Leases
  • Custom Farming
  • Renting Buildings
  • Renting Hay and Pasture Land
  • Legal and Tax Considerations
  • Conservation and Environmental Considerations
  • USDA Agencies and Programs
  • Owner and Operator Relations

Decision Aids

  • Estimating Cash Rental Rates
  • Analyzing Crop Share Leases
  • Testing Flexible Cash Leases
  • Estimating Hay and Pasture Rents