“Can you tell me what the rental rate is for farmland?”

This is a frequently asked question that each local UW-Extension county office receives throughout the year from both landlords and tenants alike. To answer, UW-Extension Ag Agents in the Chippewa Valley conducted a formal cash rental rate survey, intended to provide township level rental rate information for landlords and tenants who negotiate rental contracts.

It should be noted that the Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics Service (WASS) continuously publishes non-irrigated cropland cash rent values by county each year.

Rates are rising

The current average cash farmland per acre rental rates are:

Chippewa — $81

Dunn — $74

Eau Claire — $77

This compares to a per acre average of $89, $87 and $70, respectively, in 2011, and $69, $66 and $66 in 2010, according to WASS cropland cash rental rate report by county.

“Cash farmland rental rates are rising,” said Dunn County Ag Agent Katie Sternweis. “Farmers have seen strong ag commodity prices and higher crop yield potential result in the increased demand and competition for farmland, thus increasing cash rental rate per acre.”

The 2011 survey found a large range in cash rental rates of $12 to $250 per acre.

“It is not unusual to see such a wide range of rental rates in this survey,” Sternweis said. “Rental rates in various areas may be impacted by several factors, including but not limited to competition for the land, commodity prices, input costs, land ownership costs, distance to operator, size of field, productivity of soil types and slopes of the land. These averages and ranges are presented only as a starting point for negotiations between landowner and operator.”

For those interested in learning more about farmland rental, UW-Extension will be hosting the Renting Farm Assets workshops on Feb. 22 at Unity Bank in Augusta and Feb. 23 at the Dunn County Judicial Center in Menomonie.

Topics will include:

• Determine a rental price for cropland

• Commodity and input pricing outlook

• Sample cropland rental arrangement contracts

• UWEX Western WI cash rental rate survey results

• Building and pasture rental arrangements.

Registration is $20 and includes lunch and materials. For information or to register, contact the Dunn County UW-Extension office at 715-232-1636.

For a detailed township level summary report on farmland rental rate results in your area, visit http://counties.uwex.edu.

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