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UVM Extension Publishes Guide to Help Vermont Landowners and Farmers Determine the Right Farm Rental Rate

For many beginning farmers, leasing can be an affordable way to gain access to productive farmland and associated infrastructure and equipment. For landowners, leasing can help offset the costs of ownership while keeping farmland in production. But how to determine a fair rental rate?

UVM Extension's new How to Determine the Right Farm Rental Rate Guide was developed to support both farmers and landowners through the process of determining a fair cash rental rate for farmland, equipment and infrastructure in Vermont. The same methods might apply to other states in New England, the Northeast, or other parts of the U.S.

"Farmland and farm infrastructure rental rates can be tough to determine because there are many variables to consider," says Ben Waterman author of the guide and New Farmer Coordinator at the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture. "However, the process can be simple. The guide explains common methods so farmers and landowners can forge lease arrangements with confidence."

UVM Extension Agricultural Financial Management Specialist Mark Cannella adds, “Rental rate questions are by far the most common question I get from farmers contacting me as a business specialist at UVM Extension. This guide will help property owners and tenants better understand the factors influencing rental rates and make a determination on which rate-setting strategy is the best fit for their own situation."

Divided into five sections, the 31-page guide is available for free download and offers approaches to:

  • Assess market rental rates;
  • Assess landowner’s costs of owning land;
  • Value equipment and infrastructure in a lease;
  • Factor the farm business’ net returns in the rental rate; and
  • Assess the farmer’s contributions to the lease arrangement

For more information, go to:

To download the guide, go to:

Established in 1994, the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture provides timely information to Vermont communities and the UVM campus.   The Center cultivates partnerships, supports innovative research and practices, and informs policy to advance sustainable food and farming systems.  Learn more at