2020 Expected Rents Reports
Timely. Exclusive. Insightful.
In the wake of surplus grain supplies and ongoing trade disputes—especially with China—many landowners and operators are wondering how rental rates for cropland have been affected. Our Expected Rents® Reports offer a timely, quantitative tool for uncovering the true market rent for your land.
Cash rental rates typically adjust slowly to changes in farmland income. More worrisome for landowners, research suggests that cash rents are more likely to lag when land prices are rising, than when land prices are declining .
This is because landowners are the primary impetus for rent increases, and their understanding of the changing economics of crop production lags farm operators.
Conversely, tenants are the primary drivers of rent reductions, and they are quick to press their case when they foresee declining crop profit margins.
In the current environment of increased volatility in crop prices, newly negotiated cash rents are still substantially higher than the average rental rates reported in survey data. This is because many rental agreements are not updated annually to reflect changes in the profitability of crop farming. As a result, the average may be slow to adjust as leases are updated.
Our new Expected Cash Rents® Reports offer unparalleled insights for setting new lease rates, and for comparing your existing lease with the expected lease rate based on local crop yields and grain futures prices.
To view a sample Expected Rents report in spreadsheet format, click here.
How we calculate expected rents
We calculate Expected Rent Rates® based on established historical relationships between rents and crop revenues. This concept is now gaining currency among agricultural economists.
In many regions of the country, corn and soybean production are now often the highest value annual row crops for grain and oilseed production. As a result, our 2017 Expected Rent® analysis can be ordered by specifying either corn or soybeans as the base revenue crop to calculate Expected Rents®.
To calculate Expected Rents®, we begin by calculating expected revenue. This is derived by multiplying the average expected crop yield times the expected crop price. For expected crop yield, we obtain 10 years of historical county-level yield data. We remove the high and low yields and calculate the average yield of the remaining eight years. This is commonly called an "Olympic Average."
To calculate the expected crop price, we use the current price of the December 2017 corn future contract for rents based on corn production. For soybeans, we use the current price of the November 2017 soybean futures contract. If you order this report after February 2017, we will use the Projected Harvest Price as calculated by the Risk Management Agency, which oversees the government subsidized federal crop insurance program. For corn, this is the February average price of the December 2017 corn futures contract. For soybeans, this the February average price of the November 2017 soybean futures contract.
To calculate Expected Rents®, we multiply the expected revenue times a rent factor that represents the historical relationship of cash rents to gross crop revenue. For corn and soybean production, our research indicates that on average, farmers pay cash rent equal to 35% of gross crop revenue. In less competitive farming regions, or fields that are cut up with creeks, waterways or otherwise inefficient to farm, this rent factor can range as low as 25% of expected revenue.
Conversely, in highly competitive farming regions, or situations where farmers actively compete in lease auctions for the right to lease productive land, cash rents range up to 45% and higher of expected county average revenue. Farm operators who are above average in terms of their production skills or cost efficiencies may also bid cash rents up relative to what the average producer can pay over the long run. In addition, if a landowner is concerned that a tenant may not maintain the quality of land with regards to fertility or weed control, the landowner should require a cash rent above the 35% average historical relationship.
Our Expected Rents® reports include county-level Average Expected Rents® based on a 35% landowner share of expected revenues, as well as a high and low range of Expected Rents®, based on 45% and 25%, respective landowner shares of expected crop revenue.
Our Expected Rents® report is a valuable companion tool to our Cash Rent Survey Reports, which include county-level estimates of cash rental rates for non-irrigated and irrigated cropland and pasture for the last four years from USDA's annual cash rent survey.
 Mykel R. Taylor and Kevin C. Dhuyvetter, "2012 Kansas County-Level Cash Rental Rates for Non-Irrigated Cropland", Department of Agricultural Economics, January 2013 http://bit.ly/KS2013 [^]
If you have additional questions about this product, email us.
Our data set includes Expected Cash Rents for non-irrigated cropland on a county-by-county basis for every state. Data is omitted for some land classes in those counties where an insufficient amount of a specific land type exists to provide a reasonable estimate. Individual state reports are published in PDF format and sent via email.
Each Expected Rents® Report Includes:
- County-level Average Expected Rents® based on a low, average and high landowner share of expected crop revenues. You choose the crop yield type (All cropland, non-irrigated cropland or irrigated cropland) and the base crop (For example, corn or soybeans).
- Rent Report User Guide and Lease Practices Update. This 11-page bonus report includes an overview of four commonly used metrics for establishing cash rent rates, which can serve as useful tools to help ensure your lease rate is aligned with historical relationships to farm productivity and crop revenue. In addition, we offer our latest look at key lease provisions such as soil fertility maintenance requirements, rent payment dates, lease term (number of years), the importance of requiring tenant crop yield reports, late charges and lease termination clauses.
Gregory A. Ibendahl, “The Connection Between Cash Rents and Land Values,” Selected Paper prepared for presentation at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Birmingham, Alabama, February 4-7, 2012 http://bit.ly/yAu3o7 [^]
The cost of an Expected Rents® report is $80 each. You may purchase reports by printing and completing an Order Form and mailing a check.
Or, purchase your report now online. Your report will be sent via email within two business days. (Includes spreadsheet of average county-level Expected Rent® rates for non-irrigated cropland, average county corn or soybean yields, map of crop districts, and 11-page 2020 Rent Report User Guide and Lease Practices Update.)
Cash Rent Combination Analytics Package
Save $5 and get better insights into rent price points by accessing both our 2019 Cash Rent Survey Report and 2020 Expected Cash Rents® Report. This $135 data package includes:
- County-level report of average cash rental rates for non-irrigated and irrigated cropland and pastureland.
- County-level Expected Cash Rents® report for all cropland, non-irrigated or irrigated cropland (one yield-type per report.). Expected Rents® report include average county crop yields; low, average and high Expected Rents® for each county for the base crop you select.
- 2020 Rent Report User Guide and Lease Practices Update.
Your report will be sent via email within two business days.
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