Farm Lease Resource: AgLease101.org
Watch CropWatch this fall for a schedule of UNL Extension landlord/tenant workshops.
This time of year, calls begin to ring into my office about agricultural lease agreements. How should a crop share rent be split? Who should maintain fences on our pasture lease? What is a fair rate for gravity-irrigated crop ground for the next year?
I patiently work through many concerns, but at the end of our conversation I often refer callers to AgLease101.org. This website, developed by a group of Extension professionals, is a rich resource of agricultural lease information. The website discusses all sorts of lease and rental agreements in addition to crop ground: pastures, farm buildings and livestock facilities, and beef cows.
Although many landowners and tenants still believe in the power of a handshake, a written lease is highly recommended over a verbal agreement. If nothing else, a written lease allows both parties to reference a document to remind themselves of the terms of the arrangement. Further, it usually provides greater detail of the lease provisions, reducing risk for both the landlord and tenant.
The document library of the AgLease101.org website houses multiple resources for developing a fair written agreement. Each publication takes you step by step through the process of writing a lease, answering many of the questions you may have. Furthermore, it provides fill-in-the-blank lease forms for your use as you develop your own arrangement.
Because AgLease101.org is a multi-state project, it does not include clauses that address laws or issues specific to Nebraska. These sample lease agreements serve as a great starting point to begin the negotiation process. If you have specific legal questions regarding a farm lease, contact an attorney.
As always, information provided by Extension educators is not a substitute for legal advice. We are merely a resource. If you have general questions regarding your lease, we are always here to help.
Extension Educator – Ag Economics