According the Cash Rental Rates for Iowa – 2016 Survey released in early May, the average 2016 cash rent statewide declined by an average of 6.5 percent as compared to 2015. The drop is due to lower crop prices impacting farm tenant profitability. Average cash rents have declined for three consecutive years and are currently nearly 15 percent below the 2013 high.

Closer communication and innovations will be vital for landowners and tenants as they work out farmland rental rates in an era of lower crop revenues and rising interest in soil conservation and water quality.

Join Iowa State University Extension and Outreach for farmland leasing meetings across 12 different sites in Central Iowa during late July and August. Meeting sites include Oskaloosa, Boone, Altoona, Nevada, Grinnell, Knoxville, Newton, Indianola, Adel, Marshalltown, Traer and Winterset and are coordinated by county ISU Extension and Outreach offices.

Discussion at these meetings will focus on various methods to determine a fair cash rental rate and the importance of tenant/landlord communications.

The Marshall County meeting site will take place on Thursday, Aug. 25, beginning at 7 p.m., with doors open at 6:30 p.m. It will be located at Fisher Community Center at 709 S. Center St. Call 641-752-1551 to reserve your spot. The meeting will last approximately three hours and will be facilitated by Steve Johnson, farm and agriculture business management specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

Preregistration is required at least two days before the meeting and a $20 per individual or $30 per couple fee is payable at the door. Participants will receive a 100-page booklet and meeting handouts designed to assist landowners, tenants and other agri-business professionals with issues related to farmland ownership, management and leasing arrangements.

Contact the Marshall County Extension office at 641-752-4551 with your questions or to preregister on or before Tuesday, Aug. 23.

For a list of meetings statewide, check the ISU Extension calendar for a meeting near you at www.extension.iastate.edu/calendar.