Renting or Leasing a Farm

October 28, 2015

Tips and Techniques

Renting or Leasing a Farm

Here are five tips from the land owner’s perspective that can help add additional acres to your farming operation.

1. Network

Make sure people know you exist. Meet with farm managers, lenders, attorneys, and area landowners. They may not have any farms for rent today but it may be too late to make an impression once they do. The more people that know you, the better your chances.

2. Listen

Figure out what a landowner wants and make their life easier. It’s not always about the money. If you find out what an owner is truly concerned about with their farmland you will be in a better position to rent their land. Be a problem solver. Be THEIR problem solver.

3. Know your Numbers

Cash rent is quickly becoming the preferred method for farm leasing. It is important to know your farm operations specific operating costs. It’s good to be prepared if a cash rent option does become available. This doesn’t mean you have to pay the most to get a new farm, but you should know at what levels you could add rented land and still remain profitable.

4. Partner Up

Do you know an older farmer that is getting close to retirement? Now might be the time to create a partnership to ease his transition to retirement while giving you the opportunity to build a relationship with his landowners.

5. Take a shot

If you know of farmland that is available but don’t think you will get it take a shot anyway. Maybe it’s a cash rent bid – you don’t figure your bid will win but a well thought out bid can keep you on the list for the future. Maybe it’s a crop share lease and you don’t know the local owner – it’s a long shot but you’ll never get it if you don’t try. Take every opportunity to tell your story. You might be just what the owner is looking for in a new tenant.

We keep abreast on many of the current issues facing rural landowners, these trends and topics are highlighted in our “Field Notes” newsletter. Below are some key topics for owners and farmers.