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Digging deeper into land leases

Just over 60% of U.S. land in farms are owner-operated, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The national share of farmland that is owner-operated has been relatively stable over the past 50 years, with a noticeable decline during the farm crisis of the 1980s. That means that about 40% of U.S. farm land is rented. 

There are number of different ways that individuals can rent farm land, but most land leases fall one of three categories.  The categories are cash lease, crop share lease, and flexible lease. Cash leases are common and based on an agreement between the landowner and tenant on annual rental rates.  Crop share leases are based on production yields rather than a predetermined rental rate; operating expenses are shared between landlord and tenant.  Flexible Lease agreements allow for the risk and reward sharing of a crop share lease without the tracking and sharing of crop production expenses or the division of crops or crop revenue.  

Landowners and farmers can learn more about the various lease types, trends, and legal protections available with farmland leasing by participating in the Purdue University Extension virtual workshop, "Digging Deeper Into Land Leases."  Many times, lease terms must be negotiated that match expectations for both landlords and tenants.  The current volatility of ag inputs is another factor in discussions between the involved parties.  The Purdue Land Lease Team has developed this program that address many questions concerning land leases.

This virtual workshop will be offered at two different times including Tuesday, December 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. EST and Wednesday, December 7 from 10 a.m. to noon EST.  Please consider registering for the session that best fits your schedule.  Todd Janzen, an attorney with Janzen Ag Law, will present the legalities of having an effective land lease along with challenges associated with terminating a lease. Purdue Extension Educators will also discuss the following topics:

  • Identify the various lease tools available
  • Evaluate the pros & cons of common lease types
  • Learn about farm land leasing trends

The registration fee for this workshop is $25.  Individuals wanting to participate in this virtual workshop can sign up at  The deadline for registration is 24 hours before each session.  The Purdue Land Lease Team will send an e-mail to the e-mail address you provide with the link to connect from your home computer, tablet or smartphone.

For more information, or if you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, contact Jenna Nees at 765-653-8411 or prior to the program.

Visit our homepage at or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming Events:


Nov. 24 & 25 – Extension Office Closed for Thanksgiving

Dec. 1 – PARP & Outlook Meeting, 9:30 am, register at https://tinyurl.comPutPARP22

Dec. 5, 7, 9, 12, & 14 – Managing for Today & Tomorrow webinar series, 10:00 am, $25, register at

Dec. 5 – Junior Leader Officer webinar, 7:00pm,

Dec. 6 – Digging Deeper Into Land Leases webinar, 6:30 pm, $25, register at

Dec. 7 – Digging Deeper Into Land Leases webinar, 10:00 am, $25, register at