Ag and Extension Briefs

What is a fair farm rental agreement?

Landlords, farmers, agri-business professionals should make plans to attend one of the informative meetings being held across central and southern Minnesota. These free meetings are being provided by the University of Minnesota Extension. Farmer profits are low or negative and farm land rental rates declined slightly while commodity prices have decreased significantly. Determining a fair profitable farm rental agreement is a challenge in today’s economy with recent record corn and soybean prices and record farm land values as recently as 2012 but commodity prices continued to decline since then.

Negotiating a fair rental agreement that satisfies the land owner and the farmer is a challenge. David Bau and Nathan Hulinsky, Extension educators in ag business management, will provide several ways; by examples, factsheets and worksheets to determine a fair farm land rental rate for both parties.

Topics covered at the meetings will include local historic and projected farmland rental rate trends, current farm land values and sales, a worksheet that will help determine a fair rental agreement. Input costs for 2018 will be presented along with current 2018 corn and soybean prices. Worksheets will examine 2019 costs and what is affordable rent that a farmer will be able to pay in 2019, the rate of return to the landlord at current market values and examine flexible rental agreements.

Make plans to attend one of these 40 meetings now. Attendees will receive several informative worksheets and factsheets that will help to determine what is a fair 2019 farm land rental rate is.

The meetings will be held in Ada, Albert Lea, Alexandria, Albert Lea, Bagley, Benson, Blue Earth, Buffalo, Caledonia, Chaska, Cologne, Crookston, Elko New Market, Faribault, Farmington, Foley, Gaylord, Hutchinson, Jordan, Le Center, Litchfield, Little Falls, Long Prairie, Madison, Mankato, Melrose, Morris, Olivia, Owatonna, Pipestone, Preston, Red Lake Falls, Rochester, St. Charles, St. Peter, Slayton, Sleepy Eye, Waseca, Willmar, and Worthington starting Nov. 13 in Long Prairie and Little Falls and ending in Litchfield and Buffalo Dec. 19. Check out the Agricultural Business Management calendar on web at: specific times and locations.

Swedzinski: Resources available to help farmers facing tough times

Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent, said he knows first hand how stress can mount for farmers, especially during the fall harvest, and he urges people to take advantage of state programs that are available to help.

“Farming is tough business and the pressures can mount this time of year,” Swedzinski said. “I come from a farming family, so I know how stresses can weigh on a person. Fortunately, there are good resources available to help. The Legislature has made strong commitments in recent years to support farmers in the struggles they face and I urge people to take advantage of the help that is there.”

The Minnesota Extension offers free counseling for farmers experiencing financial stress. Call 800-232-9077 to set up an appointment with an Extension financial analyst.

The Minnesota Extension also has a Farmer-Lender Mediation program to help resolve financial issues farmers may face. The mediation is confidential and you can call 218-935-5785 for more information.

The Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline is open around the clock each day of the week to help people manage stress, anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts. If you or someone you know is experiencing these kinds of difficulties, call 833-600-2571, ext. 1 to reach help.

More information on these programs and others is available at

Texas A&M earns USDA approval for cottonseed genetic process

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Scientists at Texas &M University have earned federal approval of a genetic process to unleash cottonseed as possibly one of the world’s leading sources of protein-rich food.

The San Antonio Express-News reported the patent-pending process is known as “TAM66274.” The process this month won nonregulation status from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service.

Officials with Texas A&M AgriLife Research said cottonseed possibly could become a food source for the world’s growing population, such as grinding seed into flour.

Experts said it will take a couple of years before there’s enough seed for a commercial-scale run at a cottonseed oil mill. The Express-News reports an agreement will have to be reached with a seed company willing to market the trait for cotton farmers worldwide.