Gil Gullickson wrote on www.agriculture.com about things a farmer can do to create good relationships with landlords. The following ideas come from Andrew Fansler of Fansler Farms near Shelbyville, IN and might be helpful in your personal farming situation:
Reach out to landlords. A good website that explains your farming philosophy, work ethic, equipment, and agronomic strategies can help raise landlord awareness.
Listen to landlords. Play by their rules and be successful while maintaining the integrity of their asset.
Leave playing detective to Sherlock Holmes. Touch base with landlords once a month to update them on farm activities and crop progress so they don’t have to find out on their own.
Put a plan into writing. Doing so will help dispel any doubts a landlord might have about your abilities and your farming practices.
Offer several rental options. Straight cash rent, share crop, and flexible combinations of these two will help with negotiations.
Realize that landlords differ. No two are the same in goals or temperament. Some crave more frequent contact than others. But they all share common interests in terms of wanting someone who is honest and trustworthy, and who’ll give them a fair return on their investment.
Beat High-Rent Harrys to the punch. Apprise your landlords of operators who pay sky-high cash rents and discuss this with them. This can ensure goodwill and lead you to understand what motivates your landlord.
Don’t be a Chuck Cheapskate. Another way to beat the High-Rent Harrys is to be a competitive bidder yourself. Typically look at future prices for three years and think of long-term average yields so you don’t get too up and down on the rent you pay.
These are some great suggestions that Mr. Fansler offers, so consider putting them into practice and see what happens. Is there something else that you’ve done which has helped your land rental situation? Share them with us!
-Terry Olson, Titan Outlet Store Team