Getting it All In Writing: Farm Leases
Every new, beginning, and aspiring farmer will have to face the issue of acquiring land for their operation. Land prices are always high, and one of the best ways to get a patch of your own on limited capital is to lease good agricultural land.
As I always say, treat the farm like a professional business. In this context that means you must get your lease in writing. Consult an attorney that is familiar with agricultural leases to obtain a draft of one. At the very least, use an appropriate format from a reputable public resource, such as these which can be found on the Iowa State University Midwest Plan Service website. I only recommend using open sources with reluctance - you really shouldn’t be your own attorney (would you drill your own teeth if you had a cavity?). If you proceed on your own, be really careful.
Not only is farming a business, it is a special business. Leases on agricultural land can be different from leases for other kinds of real estate. There are many elements to farm leases that make them distinctive from all other types of leases.
For example, when selecting or drafting a lease, you should consider your specific soil requirements for the crop you intend to grow. If you do have specific needs, you should include these requirements in the lease agreement. If you are growing sod, your soil composition needs would be much different than if you intended to grow carrots or fruit trees. If you require your soil to be a certain depth, or to be free of obstructions, such as large, subterranean rocks and tree stumps, say so in your lease. The last thing in the world you need when it is time to start planting is to discover that your leased land has hidden obstructions that need to be cleared before the crop can go in."
You can read the rest of this article at Farm-Dreams (http://www.farm-dreams.com/profiles/blogs/get-it-in-all-in-writing-how-you-should-lease-agricultural-land) a social networking site for sustainable farmers and homesteaders.