There are a number of ways landowners and tenants can benefit from government programs that incentivize sustainable farm lease arrangements.  These programs exist on the federal and state level.

At both levels, these programs focus on providing land access to beginning farmers. Landowners may consider these credits compensation for taking on additional risk that some perceive from leasing to a new farmer. These incentives can also be used, however, to enable landowners to reduce the rent of beginning farmers or to help compensate for additional expenses associated with some sustainable practices.

Federal

CRP Transition Incentives Program (TIP)

  • TIP is administered through the USDA and provides two years of additional CRP payments to retired or retiring farmers who lease land to a beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer.
  • The retiring owner or operator must agree to sell, or have a contract to sell, or enter a lease of at least five years.
  • Complete information can be accessed through the link above.
  • The USDA is working on a site, TIP NET, that will help link eligible landowners and beginning farmers.

Iowa

Beginning Farmer Tax Credit

  • Available to landowners who enter a 2-5 year lease with a qualifying beginning farmer.
  • The credit is 5% for cash rent leases and 15% for crop-share and livestock-share lease agreements.
  • Additional information and applications are available from the Iowa Agricultural Development Authority, accessed through the above link.
  • Iowa Code Section 175.37 (2010).