Farmland Leasing Resources

Farmland leasing is a popular topic of conversation right now due to the historical changes in cropland cash rental rates, September 1st lease termination date, and volatility in grain markets. Ag Decision Maker has a multitude of information relating to leasing arrangements under the Whole Farm – Leasing section, .

Ag Decision Maker (AgDM) includes rental rate surveys, forms, and information on agreements and types of leases. Survey information includes farmland cash rental rate surveys from ISU Extension and Outreach and USDA, the Iowa Farm Building Rental Rate survey, and historical county cropland cash rental rates. Forms are available for lease agreements; lease supplements for farm, conservation, and drainage improvements; and farm lease termination notice. Information on types of leases covers cash, flexible cash, crop share, pasture, building, storage, or beef cow leases. Additional information related to leasing arrangements is available on improving a farm lease contract, legal considerations, farm resumes or newsletters, and self-employment tax.

Ag Decision Maker Resources:

Resources that are commonly requested related to farmland leasing include the following publications.

ISU Farmland Cash Rental Rate Survey includes cash rental rates for the listed year by state, region, and county. Rates are represented for tillable farm ground, hay, oats, corn stalk grazing, and hunting rights.

Computing a Cropland Cash Rental Rate explains ways to compute to a farmland cash rental rate.

Flexible cash leases a topic that has brought about an increase of questions and interest over the past few years. The publication Flexible Farm Lease Agreements  lays the groundwork for these types of leases. The publication Flexible Cash Rent Lease Examples  gives additional examples of flexible cash lease agreements.

A farmland lease contract is an agreement between two or more individuals; the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation provides insight to the legal and taxation issues surrounding farmland leases in the publication Iowa Farm Leases – Legal, Economic, and Tax Considerations.

Other Resources:

Ag Lease 101 a product of the North Central Farm Management Extension Committee which is represented by several universities across the Mid-West. On Ag Lease 101 under the documents tab, individuals can find lease publications and forms for fixed and flexible cash, crop share, pasture, and beef cow rental arrangements.

Web Soil Survey (WSS) is a resource that provides soil data and information. Individuals can use WSS to find the soil types and related information for their farm.


These documents and the information on AgDM can get an individual started on setting a farmland cash rental rate for the following lease year. The local ISU Extension and Outreach Farm Management Field Specialist can assist an individual with additional questions; you can find the specialist in your area by clicking on the respective county or area on the map on the following webpage,

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Farmland rental rates increase moderately in 2013

Contributed by William Edwards, extension economist,, and Ann Johanns, extension program

Rental rates for Iowa farmland have been pushed significantly higher by the favorable corn and soybean prices that farmers have enjoyed since 2010. This trend continued in 2013, but the rate of increase slowed considerably.


Results from the most recent survey of farmland rental rates carried out by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach showed that the average estimated cash rent for corn and soybean land in the state for 2013 was $270 per acre, an increase of $18 per acre or 7% from last year. This compares to increases of 16% in 2011 and 18% in 2012. Lower crop yields due to prolonged dry weather and lower price forecasts for the 2013 crop have tempered the optimism about prospective profits.

Average rents were moderately higher in all nine crop reporting districts, with increases ranging from 13% in east central Iowa to 4% in southwest Iowa.

Overall Average of Typical Cash Rents 2009-2013, Corn and Soybean Acres






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Typical rental rates per bushel of corn yield, soybean yield, and CSR point were computed for each county. In addition, typical charges for land growing oats and hay, for grazing pasture and corn stalks, and for renting hunting rights were reported.

The intent of the Iowa State survey is to report typical rents being paid each year, not the highest nor the lowest values heard through informal sources. Rental values were estimated by asking people familiar with land rental markets what they thought were typical rates in their county. The number of responses received this year was 1,703, a 20% increase from last year. Of the total responses, 50% came from farmers, 27% from landowners, 13% from professional farm managers, 8% from agricultural lenders, and 2% from other professionals.

The Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2013 Survey is available online as a downloadable document from the Ag Decision Maker website, or Extension Store.

Other resources available for estimating a fair cash rental rate include the Ag Decision Maker information files Computing a Cropland Cash Rental Rate (C2-20), Computing a Pasture Rental Rate (C2-23), and Flexible Farm Lease Agreements (C2-21). All documents include electronic decision tools to help analyze leasing questions.

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An agricultural economics and business website.

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