Adapting Crop Share Agreements for Sustainable and Organic Agriculture

Created with SARE support
Diane Mayerfeld, Rick Exner, Margaret Smith, William Edwards | 2004 | 4 pages

When the farming system deviates from a conventional corn-soybean rotation, the usual division of costs and returns in a 50-50 crop share lease may no longer fairly reflect the inputs of each party. This sheet demonstrates how crop share agreements can be adapted for sustainable and organic agriculture.

There are a number of ways the agreement can be adapted, depending on the preferences and situations of the parties involved. For example:

  • The landowner may contribute a greater share of the costs, perhaps by paying the full seed costs and all certification fees or by paying for custom combining (even if the tenant does the combining).
  • The tenant may keep a greater proportion of the crop—perhaps 55 or 60 percent, depending on the proportion of inputs he or she provides.
  • The landowner and tenant may choose to store and market the crop together to minimize hauling and storage costs for organic crops.
  • The landowner may help with management by handling the paperwork for organic certification and marketing.

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This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.