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How do I Lease Farmland?

Agriculture is one of the most important industries in Wisconsin and contributes about 100 billion dollars to industrial sales in the state. Farmland accounts for more than 14 million acres of land, with almost 64,000 farms. The average size farm is 221 acres, according to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. It is no surprise that you may be able to lease some or all of your farmland in order to get some extra income.

Benefits of Leasing Farmland in Wisconsin

There are several benefits to leasing farmland. If you own property that you do not utilize, you can earn extra money by leasing it as farmland. There are several potential purposes that your land may be used for such as for crops, livestock, or hunting. When you lease land, the tenant will be responsible for maintaining it, so you will no longer need to care for that portion of your property. You may be able to collect a portion of the proceeds for crops that the tenant grows on your property.

You may elect to lease only a portion of your land or all of it, including buildings such as barns and silos. You will be able to keep your property while it continues to increase in value over time, even if you do not currently need to use the acreage. In some cases, you may prefer to lease farmland until you decide whether to sell a portion or all of the land.

What Factors Influence Farmland Prices?

Just like other types of real estate, farmland prices fluctuate continually. It is important to check the latest land values and land rents in Wisconsin before you make a decision or sign a lease. Land values can change quickly and may be quite different in various parts of the state. Certainly, location is always one of the most critical factors in the price of farmland rentals. Some areas are more competitive than others. Demand also controls the prices of farmland to a great extent. Another thing that influences farmland prices is governmental taxation.

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service provides information on land values. According to the 2019 report, cropland in Wisconsin had an average value of $4,850 per acre with a lease price of about $140-150 per acre. This is a steady increase each year over the last 15 years. It is critical to choose farmland that will be ideal for your intended use either for crops or livestock. In general, irrigated cropland is more expensive than non-irrigated land.

Legal Concerns

When you lease your farmland, it is essential to ensure that you protect your rights while minimizing the risks that you take on due to the rental. You need to make sure that you cover all your bases with the lease. An experienced attorney will evaluate your needs and draw up a lease that is best for your situation. Your attorney will negotiate all of the terms of the lease and work on your behalf. If you are considering leasing your land, we can help. The best place to start is with a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney. Contact Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. today for a free phone consultation.

Published May 21, 2020
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