Iowa landowners, tenants and other ag business professionals with an interest in farmland ownership, management and leasing agreements should plan to attend one of more than 50 farmland leasing meetings scheduled for July and August. The workshops are facilitated by Iowa State University Extension farm management specialists and will be held all across the state.
"I've had numerous contacts this year from persons who have questions about farmland values and rental rates," says Melissa O'Rourke, ISU Extension farm and agribusiness management specialist in northwest Iowa. "Due to the increases in land values and cash rents, there is definitely a heightened interest in farm leasing arrangements."
O'Rourke says ISU Extension research indicates that the average age of farmland owners continues to rise; with 55% of Iowa's farmland owned by people over the age of 65 and 28% of the land owned by individuals over age 75. The research also indicates that children and surviving spouses of farmers are less likely to continue operating the farm themselves. That's a major reason why farmland leasing continues to increase, according to O'Rourke.
The workshops are approximately three hours in length and provide each workshop attendee with a set of useful materials about farm leasing arrangements. The topics to be covered during the 2011 workshops include:
• Cash Rental Rate Survey and Land Values Survey
• Comparison of different types of leases
• Lease termination
• Impacts of yields and prices
• Calculating a fair cash rent
• Use of spreadsheets to compare leases
• Available Internet resources
The AgDM leasing meetings page www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/info/meetings.html lists meeting dates, locations and links to more information. Locations will be added as they become available, or contact an ISU Extension county office to find the nearest meeting location.
The leasing section of AgDM also provides useful materials for negotiating leases, information on various types of leases, lease forms and newly updated Decision Tools. ISU Extension farm management specialists believe having the latest information and knowing where to find the best resources will make decisions easier for those involved with farmland leases.
For farm management information and analysis, go to ISU's Ag Decision Maker site www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm and ISU Extension farm management specialist Steve Johnson's site www.extension.iastate.edu/polk/farmmanagement.htm.