Cooperative Extension Service • Circular
Farm Rental Agreements
U.S. farmland, valued at $492 billion,
comprised about 60% of the total value of
farm assets in 1988. More than one-third of
the nation’s farmland is rented, a proportion
that has remained relatively stable over time.
However, the role of land rental has changed.
Fifty years ago farmland rental was a stepping
stone to ownership. But, in recent years,
renting has become a more effective way to
gain control of land resources. Farmland
rental opens doors that otherwise would be
closed to younger and older farmers alike. In
New Mexico, the farmland renter has lots of
company. Of the state’s 13,400 farm or ranch
operators, 1,240 rented all of their land and
4,170 rented part of the land they farmed.
Farm leases have evolved over time, but
perhaps never more rapidly than during the
last quarter of the 20th