Agricultural Conservation Leasing

Agricultural Conservation Leasing

Agricultural Conservation Leasing

What is Agricultural Conservation Leasing?

The Hughes Center in partnership with the University of Maryland Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI) has set out to address a rising need in Maryland — support for implementing conservation practices on leased farmland.

Conservation practices are not commonly used on leased land for a variety of reasons, including inadequate communication between landowners and farmers, limited understanding of conservation programs and available cost-share funding, and a lack of security in the rental relationship. The obstacles to implementing farm conservation practices on leased land can be addressed by opening communication channels and using simple leasing strategies. 

In response, ALEI with support from the Hughes Center has developed an Agricultural Conservation Leasing Guide, meant to help farmers and landowners use leases as a tool to not only protect their business interests but also implement stewardship planning and conservation practices on leased land. Many conservation programs described in this guide are accompanied by suggested considerations and/or sample lease provisions to show how they might be incorporated into a lease. 

In winter 2018 and 19, ALEI and the Hughes Center jointly hosted five regional meetings across the state and one webinar. A majority of the attendees were agricultural service providers, while the meetings also attracted farmers and landowners.

An overall goal of this educational effort is to see 10 farmers make efforts on their leased land to use conservation practices. A six-month follow-up survey taken in summer 2019 found that 16 agricultural service providers have educated 38 farmers and 55 landowners. Of these, five farmers have communicated with a landowner about the subject; two landowners have communicated with a farmer; and four farmers have made efforts to use conservation practices on leased acres.

Download the guide HERE. View more resources below!

Agricultural Conservation Leasing Resources

Educating Others on Ag Conservation Leasing:

 

Other Supporting Documents:

Contact:
Sarah Everhart, UMD Agriculture Law Education Initiative
(410) 458-2475
severhart@law.umaryland.edu

 

This work is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under subaward number ENE18-151.

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