Marc Schober is the editor of Farmland Forecast an educational blog devoted to investments in agriculture and farmland.
Management Adds Value
Nov 19, 2009
We came across an interesting article from The Christian Science Monitor, about women farmland owners in Iowa. The article highlights Margaret Doermann, whose husband had passed away and was left in charge of the farmland. Doermann's husband had always farmed the land, but she now leased it out to a local farmer. She realized one day her stream on her property had turned brown from field runoff and her hills were plowed vertically. "That hill had been tilled up and down so the soil would wash right off," explained Doermann. Her concerns landed her in court with the local farmer and they ended up having to renegotiate the farmland lease.
With limited farmland management knowledge, Doermann ended up getting herself into quite a mess with her farmland lease with the farmer. If she would have been aware of how to properly negotiate the farming contracts and what all to include, Doermann could have saved herself a lot of time and money.
A farmland manager may be helpful if a farmland owner has:
· Conservation as a high priority
· Little farmland management experience
· Never negotiated a farmland lease
· Needs steady income
As a land owner, it is always a good idea to be aware of conservation practices when considering the leasing of farmland. According to the US Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservations Service, some common conservation of farmland practices include:
· Crop Rotation
· Contour Buffer Strips
· Contour Farming & Stripcropping
· Pasture Planting
· Grass Waterways
· Critical Area Planting
· Manure Storage and Runoff Control
· Nutrient Management
· Wetland Restoration
· Tree Planting
The more knowledge and management skills a farmland owner has, the more success will come from their land.