AMES, Iowa ― Incorporating conservation practices into land leases takes careful thought and planning. Changes or additions to leases can’t be undertaken overnight, meaning both landowners and tenants need to communicate their thoughts and intentions early in the discussion regarding these practices.
This topic and the questions both parties need to ask each other are the focus of an article written by Angie Rieck-Hinz, field agronomist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, titled “Conservation practices and land leases.” The article can be found in the August issue of Ag Decision Maker.
“The first step to take is for both parties to meet and have an open discussion about the goals of including specific conservation practices,” said Rieck-Hinz. “Specific practices such as wanting a tenant to include a cover crop on crop acres takes planning in advance – maybe up to a year in advance.”
While many conservation practices are available, Rieck-Hinz’s article focuses on incorporating cover crops. Cover crops are planted crops that bridge the gap between harvest and planting of primary commodity crops such as corn and soybean.
The article provides a list of things to consider and ways to start a conversation between landowner and tenant should either party consider using cover crops. Conversation topics might include the goals for growing cover crops, local cost-share opportunities, termination plans and many more.
The article also provides an extensive resource list for additional information on using cover crops, farm leases and tax implications.