There are as many lease terms possible as there are farm situations.

However, these nine categories should be in a cash cropland lease.

• Correct legal names of all parties. Is the lessee an individual, an LLC, corporation? If the operator also wants his wife listed as a co-lessee so that she can succeed him if something happens to him, her name and signature should also be on the lease. For the spouse who wishes to assign a lease as part of an estate plan during the lease term, her or his name should be listed as one of the lessees.

• Correct legal description of the farm and a farm map. The legal description should match the description on the deed. A farm map with the boundaries of the leased area highlighted clarifies which land is in the lease. If there are certain areas that are not to be included, they should be noted and highlighted.


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• Start and end dates. It is not uncommon to sign a lease on one date, but the lease not be effective until a later date. For example, a lease may be signed in September, but not be effective until Jan. 1. Is the lease a one year lease that automatically renews unless either party gives written notice by a pre-determined date, or does it have a definite ending date? Possession date can be different than the signing date.

For example, it is not uncommon to allow possession as crops are harvested from each field. On the other side, when should the lessee vacate the property as this lease comes to a close? Possession date can have a major impact on the success or lack thereof of a new lessee.