Farmland leasing meetings scheduled in area to help all involved increase understanding of rental agreements

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting multiple farmland leasing meetings during July and August at various times and locations throughout northeast Iowa. The annual meeting is offered to address questions that land owners, tenants or other interested individuals have about leasing farmland.

Topics will include land values and cash rent trends, cost of production, methods for determining a rental rate, legislative updates regarding leases, and communicating with tenants or landlords.

“More than half of Iowa’s farmland is rented, and strong landlord/tenant relationships are important for the long-term viability of Iowa’s valuable farmland,” said Melissa O’Rourke, ISU Extension Farm & Agribusiness Management Specialist. O’Rourke is a licensed attorney with extensive experience in working with farm, ranch and agribusiness interests.

“Cash rent values across the state of Iowa have declined for the third consecutive year, dropping by 6.5 percent from 2015. Every crop reporting district in the state saw a decline in rental prices,” said O’Rourke.

The three-hour workshop is designed to assist landowners, farm tenants and other agri-business professionals with current issues related to farmland ownership, management and leasing arrangements. Attendees will gain a better understanding of current cash rental rate surveys and factors driving next year’s rents such as market trends and input costs.

A 100-page workbook is compiled for the programs, with resources regarding land leasing agreements such as surveys, sample written lease agreements and termination forms, along with many other publications.

The leasing meetings being held across Iowa are facilitated by ISU Extension and Outreach farm management specialists. A listing of county extension offices hosting the meetings is available online with additional information available through the Ag Decision Maker website,

Meeting locations in northeast Iowa include:
• July 26, Elkader, 1:30 p.m., Freedom Bank, 210 South Main Street. RSVP to 563-245-1451.
• July 27, New Hampton, 9 a.m., ISU Extension, 104 East Main Street. RSVP to 641-394-2174.
• July 27, Cresco, 6:30 p.m., Farm Bureau Office, 124 First Avenue West. RSVP to 563-547-3001.
• July 28, Waukon, 1:30 p.m., ISU Extension, 218 Seventh Avenue SE, Suite 102. RSVP to 563-568-6345.
• August 2, Fayette, 9:00 a.m.: ISU Extension - 218 South Main Street. RSVP to 563-425-3331.
• August 2, Decorah, 1:30 p.m. Bank of the West, 120 West Water Street. RSVP to 563-382-2949.

For registration information, contact the ISU Extension and Outreach county office. Pre-registration is encouraged as an additional fee may be added if registering less than two calendar days before the 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.