Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering farm leasing meetings at various locations throughout Iowa during July and August. The three-hour workshops focus on issues related to land values and rental rates, including Iowa's Water Quality Initiative, and the Agricultural Act of 2014—the new USDA farm program options.
Farm management specialists with ISU Extension and Outreach are addressing current cash rental rate surveys, factors driving next year's rents such as market trends and input costs, and answering questions land owners, tenants or others attending have about farmland leasing. Each workshop attendee receives a 100-page booklet of useful materials about farm leasing arrangements.
Answers to questions about land values and rental rates
Other topics include the annual Iowa Cash Rental Rate Survey and the Iowa Land Values Survey, a comparison of different types of leases, a discussion of the impacts of yields and prices, and considerations for calculating a fair cash rent.
Meeting locations are listed online through the ISU Extension and Outreach Calendar at www.extension.iastate.edu/calendar and are available by contacting a local county extension office. Meeting fees and registration requirements may vary by location.
ISU Extension and Outreach and Ag Decision Maker have several helpful farm leasing information files and decision tools. They can be found at www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm under the heading Whole Farm.
New USDA farm program also discussed at these meetings
In central Iowa, ISU Extension is conducting farmland leasing meetings at 12 different sites during late July and August. Meeting sites include Oskaloosa, Boone, Altoona, Nevada, Grinnell, Knoxville, Adel, Newton, Indianola, Traer, Marshalltown and Winterset. They are coordinated by county ISU Extension and Outreach offices. The meetings will last approximately 3 hours and will be facilitated by Steve Johnson, farm and ag business management specialist with ISU Extension.
"Among with current issues related to farmland ownership, management and leasing agreements, the meetings will cover the new USDA farm programs," says Steve Johnson, ISU Extension farm management specialist. "Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) election, and the enrollment decisions involving farmland owners and operators will be explained."
To protect farmers from multiple year downturns in cash prices or a decline in revenue, the new farm program introduces these two new programs. Farmers will choose between a revenue program that covers price and yield losses (ARC) and a price-only program known as PLC. Landowners need to make a one-time irrevocable decision to elect either the PLC or ARC program for the five-year period 2014 through 2018.
What landowners and farm operators need to know
Owners of farms who participate in ARC or PLC programs for 2014 to 2018 covered commodities also have a one-time opportunity to:
maintain the farm's 2013 base acres (historic base), or
reallocate the farm's base acres on the farm using the 2009 to 2012 actual planted acres for each commodity crop.
The total numbers of base acres on a farm cannot exceed the total 2013 base acres.
This is an "all or nothing" decision farmers need to make
The option to retain or reallocate base acres is an "all or nothing" decision. Partial retention or reallocation or bases is not permissible. Base acres may be restored for Conservation Reserve Program contracts that expire, are voluntarily terminated, or released early.
An owner may also want to take the opportunity to update the program payment yield for each covered commodity crop on a farm. This new PLC yield will be based on 90% of the farm's 2008 to 2012 average yield per planted acre, excluding any year when no acreage was planted of the covered commodity. If any of the annual yields for these 5 years are less than 75% of the county average yield, they can substitute that yield in the calculation. Program payment yields are used to determine payment amounts for PLC. Note that PLC yields may be updated for all farms, regardless of your USDA farm program election.
Contact your county Extension office now and get registered
Pre-registration is required at least two days before the leasing meeting and a $20 per individual or $30 per couple fee is payable at the door. Registrants will also receive a 100-page booklet containing farmland leasing information.
Contact your local County Extension office to find more details about an upcoming farmland leasing meeting. For a list of meetings statewide, check the ISU Extension calendar for a complete list of meeting dates and locations near you.