In general, good husbandry describes the common farm practices performed by members of the agricultural community.  Covenants of good husbandry protect property against waste, but also ensure tenants make productive use of the land in a manner consistent with the practices of the farming community.  The existence of a good husbandry covenant, as well as its interpretation, is dependent on state law.  Some states recognize an implied covenant of good husbandry that can be enforced whether included in the written lease or not.  It should be noted a written provision expressly adopting a good husbandry covenant can ensure the existence of the covenant and establish the standard by which good husbandry will be measured.

An examination of state laws in relation to the covenant of good husbandry reveals the need for a written lease explicitly establishing a standard of good husbandry, beyond that commonly found in the community and with the purpose of ensuring the stewardship and sustainable productivity of the farm.

Click on the state below to see anexamination of the state’s implied covenant of good husbandry and interpretations of good husbandry provisions.

Iowa