AMES, Iowa – Landowners and tenants can improve their knowledge of current leasing issues during the annual statewide farmland leasing meetings, scheduled to begin July 29 in Buchanan, Dallas and Jasper counties.
More than 80 meetings will be held, led by farm management specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Each meeting will take the form of a three-hour workshop designed to assist landowners, tenants and other agribusiness professionals with current issues related to farmland ownership, management and leasing arrangements.
The meetings are featured in the July Ag Decision Maker newsletter. Topics will include trends in land values and rental rates, conservation issues, farm bill topics, and a look at the year ahead.
“We’ve seen an increasing need for farmland owners and producer-tenants to have more conversation about the cost of crop inputs as well as reasonable expectations on profit margins,” said Melissa O’Rourke, farm management specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “ISU Extension has good resources to help people consider how input costs can be considered in setting cash lease rates, and the workshops will show how those can be used.”
According to O’Rourke, the volatility of commodity markets has led to increased inquiries regarding both fixed and flexible cash lease methodologies.
Participants will receive a 100-page workbook with resources such as surveys, example lease agreements and termination forms, and a multitude of other publications that will help answer common questions, and possibly spark new ideas.
One of the challenges that Iowa landowners and tenants continue to face is the knowledge gap that can exist with modern production agriculture.
“We have more aging landowners, and landowners who have never farmed themselves – many of these have inherited land from farming parents,” O’Rourke said. “Together with the producers, we try to educate the parties to understand factors to be taken into account on setting rent and farmland management consideration.”
Pre-registration is encouraged, and an additional $5 fee may be added if registering less than two calendar days before a meeting date.
The Ag Decision Maker leasing section also provides useful materials for negotiating leases, information on various types of leases, lease forms and newly updated Decision Tools.