Reminder: Terminate Farm Leases by September 1 to Make Changes to the Lease Contract

If you want to make changes to your farm lease contract or want to change renter, you need to properly terminate your lease.   Written notice of termination may be delivered personally with the tenant signing to show acknowledgement of the termination. The written notice can also be mailed before September 1 by certified mail. The Iowa State Bar Association has a form called “Notice of Termination of Farm Tenancy” that is available by clicking here.

The Allamakee SWCD is encouraging farm landowners to revise their conservation plans and attach them to their farm leases. Do you know when your conservation plan was last updated? Do you know what is written in your plan? Many plans haven’t been updated since the mid-late 1990s. Is your current plan “good enough”? Often renters want the plan to be written to the minimum that they have to do to still be in compliance so they can continue to receive their program payments. In most cases, there is much more that could/should be done on HEL ground to protect the land.

Landowners have the right to state how they want to land to be managed and the responsibility to protect it from eroding. By attaching the conservation plan and plan map to the farm lease, it becomes part of the lease contract. This helps the landowner ensure that the plan is being followed. The landowner and renter become more aware of what is written in the plan and can see if it needs to be updated as crop rotations and tillage practices change.   It can be especially beneficial to include the plan map in the lease documents because it clearly shows where specific practices should be installed and maintained. In order to change your farm leases to include the conservation plan if they do not already, they need to be terminated by September 1. New leases have to be signed by March 1.

The Allamakee SWCD currently has a project to help landowners include conservation in their farm leases by updating their conservation plans and discussing additional conservation provisions. If you have questions about this project and how to include conservation in your farm lease, please contact Sara Berges at the Allamakee County SWCD at 563-568-2246 ext 3., sara.berges@ia.nacdnet.net, or stop by the SWCD office at 635 9th St NW, Waukon.