Crops, Irrigation, Livestock, Programming

Landlord-Tenant Workshops

Nebraska Extension’s CropWatch recently announced a series of workshops that will help landlords and tenants with common land management questions that are often asked. Both parties want to ensure they are treated fairly and keeping up with market practices. This week, I’ve decided to share upcoming workshops and dates close to the area, including one we will be having in Geneva.

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Current and future landowners and tenants should make plans to attend free upcoming land management workshops sponsored by Nebraska Extension. The workshops will be held at nine sites across Nebraska this fall. “Managing Agricultural Land for the 21st Century” will cover current trends in cash rental rates, lease provisions, and crop and grazing land considerations.

Nebraska Extension Educators Allan Vyhnalek, Aaron Nygren, Erin Laborie, Ben Beckman and Jim Jansen conduct research and outreach in land management, agronomy and beef production. They will address common agricultural landlord and tenant questions such as, What does an equitable rental rate look like for my land? How do I manage a farmland lease? What should I expect for communications between the landlord and tenant? What does a soil test tell me? I hear about organic or natural production; how does that vary from what my farmer is currently doing? If corn or soybeans are not making money, should something else be raised on my land? What are key pasture leasing considerations including stocking rates? Who is responsible for cedar tree removal from grazing land?

These workshops will provide participants with up-to-date information so they can be confident about their lease arrangements. To ensure enough handouts please register at or call the phone number listed for each location. Lunch arrangements will be handled by each host location.

Registration at each location will start at 9:15 a.m., program starting at 9:30 a.m., and ending by 3:00 p.m.

Workshop dates and locations within our area include:

  • COLUMBUS: Nov. 20 at the Platte County Extension Office, 2715 13th St., 402-563-4901, attendees will be dismissed to have lunch off site
  • NORFOLK: Dec. 3 at the Divots Convention Center, 4200 W Norfolk Ave. 402-370-4040, lunch will be sponsored
  • BEATRICE: Dec. 19 at the Gage County Extension Office, 1115 W Scot St., 402-233-1384, lunch will be sponsored
  • HASTINGS: Dec. 20 at the Adams County Fairgrounds, 947 S Baltimore Ave, 402-461-7209, lunch will be sponsored
  • GENEVA: Feb. 12 at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds, Geneva, 402-759-3712, lunch sponsored by the Farmers & Ranchers College

These programs are free and open to the public with funding provided by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture under award number 2015-49200-24226. For more information or assistance, please contact Allan Vyhnalek at 402-472-1771 or, or Jim Jansen, at 402-261-7572 or

Crops, Programming

Farm Leasing

Landlord/Tenant Cash Lease Workshop

On November 20, 2013 a Landlord/Tenant Cash Lease workshop to help landlords and tenants develop a lease that is right for both parties while maintaining positive farm lease relations will be held at the Community Building in Shickley, NE starting at 9:00 a.m. The Nebraska Soybean Board and North Central Risk Management Agency sponsors this free workshop with lunch provided by the Farmers & Ranchers College and additional presentations continuing until 3:00 p.m. Afternoon presentations include information on programs available for producers, including information on the Beginning Farmer program.

As crop budgets tighten, it is more important than ever to learn the latest information about leasing options and issues. Please call the Fillmore County Extension Office at (402) 759-3712 to preregister.

Relatives and Farm Leasing

Hopefully you plan to attend the program described above, but if you were unable to participate, I’ve included excerpts of a recent CropWatch article written by Allan Vyhnalek, Extension Educator in Platte County. Clearly dealing with relatives can be one of the hardest issues to address as it relates to farm leases. However, with good communications and a written lease agreement, you can set up relationships that are not hard on the family.

First, have all leases in writing. This cannot be stressed enough. The handshake lease made by grandparents and great uncles and aunts does nothing but create suspicion and confusion because when that generation passes on, no one knows exactly what the agreement was.

Next, understand there are ownership costs for that land that the tenant is probably just providing without compensation. Items like: mowing road ditches, spraying weeds, controlling volunteer trees, maintaining terraces, maintaining buildings, grading and rocking driveways, and keeping fences up are just a few of the landowner costs that in many cases are just taken care of by the tenant.

In some cases, landlords think they don’t receive enough cash rent from a relative. When we discuss the land ownership costs and how they are taken care of, the landlord quickly realizes that the tenant is providing the labor and cash investment in those items. If the rent isn’t the going “coffee shop” rate, the landowner is simply recognizing that the tenant is receiving a discounted rent as compensation for their efforts to keep the land and property in good order.

The rent to a relative doesn’t have to be at the ‘”top” of the range, but it should be fair. What one family does will be very different from another family. Tenants need to communicate clearly by sharing information about the farm. Information like actual yields and prices received will go a long way to building good trust for the family to continue the leasing arrangement for another generation.

Vyhnalek summarizes the most compelling reason to have a lower rent for a relative is that they are relatives. Especially if we have younger folks coming to replace our older generation, this provides an opportunity to help that generation establish themselves. Utilizing the land resource properly is a business, and the lease should be fair to both parties. With clear communication and having the lease in writing, most problems with lease terms can be minimized.

Crops, Programming

Leasing Workshop & Protecting Ag Program Offered

Landowner/Tenant Lease Workshop 

Lots of questions regarding leases and land values come into the office during this time of year. This is no “one magic” number that works for everyone, as there are so many variables that must be considered. A workshop has been designed to assist landowners, tenants and agri-business professionals with issues related to farmland ownership management, and leasing arrangements.  This workshop is planned for Wednesday evening March 21st from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the York County 4-H Building on the Fairgrounds in York.   

Topics include:  Trend is farmland values and cash lease values, good lease communications, writing a good lease, and flexible cash leases. 

The Nebraska Soybean Board is sponsoring the workshop, so there is no cost to attend and receive the handouts, but please call 402-362-5508 or email Gary Zoubek at to reserve a spot and ensure adequate handouts will be prepared. This workshop is designed for both landlords and tenants.

 Protecting Nebraska Agriculture Topic of Sutton Chamber of Commerce

The Sutton Chamber of Commerce and Ag Committee will be conducting a meeting on Monday – March 12, 2012 at the Sutton Community Center at 200 South Saunders Ave, in Sutton, NE. The evening will start at 6:00 pm with a social time and evening meal. The meal will be the precursor to the informative seminar program which is entitled: “Protecting Nebraska Agriculture”. The meeting is sponsored by the Sutton Chamber of Commerce and Ag Committee as well as area Cattlemen Associations, Breeders & Feeders, and Ag Producer groups. Anyone who is interested is cordially invited to attend.  Pre-registration is requested in order to get a meal count. There may be a minimal cost to attend the symposium.

The purpose of this seminar is to inform and educate farmers, ranchers and the public about groups who are at work spreading misinformation; influencing consumers and our youth; and attacking conventional agriculture and it producers, even our 4-H & FFA exhibitors — and in particular, the animal agriculture industry. Several states have had legislation forced on them, creating regulations that have adversely affected animal agriculture, all compliments of extreme animal rights and other activist groups. Think it can’t happen in Nebraska?  Think again, they are already at work in this state! How can this affect you? What can you do? Find out what is happening and what we can, and need to do to Protect Nebraska’s Agriculture!

The guest speaker will be Duane (Dewey) Lienemann, from Blue Hill, NE who is an active member of the South Central Cattlemen Association, and is speaking as a beef producer and on behalf of the SC Cattlemen group. Sutton Chamber of Commerce & Ag Committee; Area Cattlemen Associations, Breeders & Feeders, and Ag Producer groups encourages anyone interested in the preservation of Nebraska agriculture to attend this conference. You will learn the facts about the issues facing animal agriculture in Nebraska, and the detrimental effects that efforts of animal rights and other activist groups could have on consumers, society, youth, our local and state economy, and even our choice of foods and the prices we pay for them. It doesn’t just affect our farmers and ranchers it affects our whole state – including you as a consumer.

Pre-registration is requested for a meal count. To register or for more information please contact: Tory Duncan at 402-773-5576 or email or Todd Mau at 402-773-5224 or email