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Lawyers for Agricultural Lease Agreements

Agriculture is Arkansas’s largest industry, contributing billions to the state’s economy every year; however, many farmers do not own the land they farm. To grow crops or support livestock, farmers often lease land from private or government property owners.

If you are looking to lease acreage to start or expand your farming business, The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas PLLC can help you put together a comprehensive and well-executed lease agreement to protect your rights and interests. Our experienced agricultural lease lawyers represent farm businesses of all sizes. To learn about how we can help you, call us at (479) 316-3760.

What Is An Agricultural Lease Agreement?

An agricultural lease agreement is a legally binding contract for use of land for farming. The landowner (or lessor) and the tenant (or lessee) agree to the lease terms. Each is responsible for carrying out their agreed-upon obligations.

Agreements typically include provisions for the following:

  • All parties to the lease
  • The parcel of land to be leased and its boundaries
  • The number of acres of land to be leased
  • What the acreage will be used for
  • Start and end dates of the contract
  • Provisions for terminating a contract
  • The payment terms of the lease
  • Who is responsible for maintaining the property

The lease agreement can include various other items depending on the needs and wishes of the parties. Generally, the more comprehensive a lease is, the better it will be adhered to.

Leases also stipulate how use of the land will be paid for. Two common arrangements are through a cash rent lease or a crop-share lease.

Cash Rent Lease

When you enter into a cash rent lease arrangement, you make fixed monetary payments to the landowner. Payments may be made regularly throughout the year, annually (such as before the start of each year’s growing season), or by lump-sum per the contract terms. The agreement will also state when payments are to be made and for what amount.

Crop-Share Lease

A crop-share lease is just what it sounds like. The lessee “shares” a portion of the crops produced with the landowner as payment. The portion or percentage depends upon the terms of your agreement. Crop-share leases may also stipulate a split in labor or equipment costs with the landowner.

Combined Crop Share and Cash Rent

Sometimes property owners and tenants may work out payment arrangements for a combined crop-share and cash rent. Every situation and every arrangement is unique and depends on what is most satisfactory for both parties.

How Our Agricultural Lease Lawyers Can Help You

Well-crafted lease agreements that address all possible scenarios are crucial for farming businesses.  Our agricultural lease lawyers provide comprehensive services — from contract drafting to dispute resolution — that help agricultural businesses stay profitable and successful.

Contract Negotiation and Drafting

Lessees will want to think through everything before drafting an agricultural lease agreement. Failure to do so can seriously impact and even damage your business. Think about such things as:

  • Are you are allowed to make changes to the property
  • Can you use existing buildings on the land for equipment or crop storage
  • Are there any limitations on the types of crops you can grow or livestock you can keep

The lease should address who is responsible for maintaining the property — the lessee or the lessor. Our ag lease attorneys will help you consider everything, and we will work to negotiate and draft a fair agreement that meets your current and future needs.

Contract Review

If you are presented with a contract to sign, the agriculture and food attorney at The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas PLLC will review it to ensure your best interests. You should never be pressured into signing an agricultural lease without your attorney examining it first.

Maintaining Compliance

Our attorneys can help you maintain compliance with the terms of your land contract and answer your questions and concerns about it. We will inform you of revised or new farming laws that could affect your lease arrangement.

Dispute Resolution

If disputes arise, despite your efforts to comply with an agricultural lease agreement, we will work to resolve them outside of litigation. A dispute resolution clause in your contract may stipulate how specific disagreements will be handled.

Breach of Contract Claims

If you are sued for breach of contract, an agricultural lease lawyer from our firm will work to defend you based on the facts of your particular situation. If the landowner breaches their obligations in the contract, we can advise you about your options and assist in bringing a claim against them.

Why Choose The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas PLLC?

Agricultural leases are often very complex, and filling out an agreement template pulled off the internet is insufficient to protect your rights. As experienced agricultural and food law attorneys in Fayetteville, we understand your unique land needs as a farming professional.

Our agricultural lease lawyers have the knowledge to guide you through the lease drafting process. We will ensure that your lease agreement addresses the terms and provisions unique to your needs and that you understand your rights and responsibilities before you sign.

Agricultural Lease FAQs

Here are some answers to a couple of the common questions.

Can an agricultural lease agreement be oral?

An agricultural lease covering more than a year must be in writing to be enforceable. If it is for less than a year, by law it can be oral and still be enforceable. In most circumstances, however, it is preferable to have a written agreement for a farmland lease, even if it is only for a short period of time. A signed lease is documented proof as to what parties have agreed to.

Who gets any unharvested crops that remain on the land after the lease is terminated?

This depends on whether a provision has been written into the lease. If a provision stating the unharvest crops belong to the lessee, then they are yours. Without a provision, however, the left-over crops typically go to the landowner. If you wish to keep unharvested crops after contract termination, you will need to negotiate such a provision into your contract.

The agricultural attorneys at The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas PLLC can address all of your questions and concerns when it comes to Agricultural lease agreements.

 The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas 

Get Help from Experienced Agricultural Lease Lawyers in Fayetteville

A poorly executed contract can disrupt your farm business and cost you financially. A solid lease that clearly lays out the terms that land lessors and lessees agree to and must adhere to can prevent potential problems. At The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas PLLC, our agricultural lease agreement lawyers are highly experienced in contract preparation for farmers. We understand agricultural and food business challenges and can represent you in all matters related to your farmland lease. Call us at (479) 316-3760 or contact us online to arrange a consultation.