Agricultural Leases


The agriculture sector relies heavily on leases to fulfill different needs.  With absentee ownership of farmland growing in the United States, farmers and ranchers lease many of the acres they farm and graze today.  Private parties can grant these leases of land, or in some cases state governments or the federal government may grant a “grazing permit” for a rancher to use public lands for grazing.  Farmers or ranchers may also lease the equipment needed in their operations.  Read the full overview.

Note: Recently added resources are posted at the top of the applicable sections.

Major Statutes

Alaska Livestock Grazing Act, 43 U.S.C. §§ 316-316o

Leasing, Sale, or Surrender of Allotted or Unallotted Lands, 25 U.S.C. §§ 391-416j

Taylor Grazing Act, 43 U.S.C. §§ 315 – 315m, – 315n – 315r

Pierce Act, 43 U.S.C. §§ 315m-1 – 315m-4


Leases and Permits; General Provisions, 25 C.F.R. §§ 162.001 – 162.029

Leases and Permits; Agricultural Leases, 25 C.F.R. §§ 162.101 – 162.256

Grazing Permits, 25 C.F.R. §§ 166.1 – 166.1001

Grazing Administration-Exclusive of Alaska, 43 C.F.R. §§ 4100.0-1 – 4190.1

Grazing Administration; Alaska; Livestock, 43 C.F.R. § 4200.1

Grazing Administration; Leases, 43 C.F.R. §§ 4600.0-2 – 4610.5

Federal Regulations Open for Comment

Case Law

Case Law Index for Agricultural Leases

Center Research Publications

States’ “Fence Law” Statutes (R. Rumley)

Wind Energy Leasing Handbook — Workbook (Ferrell and R. Rumley)

Agricultural Contracting (R. Rumley)

Using Alternative Enterprises and Recreational Development to Bolster Farm Income — Workbook (R. Rumley & Tullos)

Landowners’ Legal Liability Concern – Webinar Presentation (R. Rumley)

Limiting Liability with Business Organizations – Webinar Presentation (R. Rumley)

Bull Leasing Contracts (R. Rumley)

Written Sugarcane Leases: Protecting the Interests of the Farmer and Landowner (R. Rumley & Thomas)

Agricultural Contracts and the Leasing of Land – PowerPoint Presentation (R. Rumley)

Congressional Research Service Reports

CRS Subject(s):

Public Lands

Agricultural Law Bibliography

Introduction   |   Keyword Search   |   Browse Categories

Legal publications on Agricultural Leases:

Leases, Landlord-Tenant

Public Lands

Reference Resources

Bureau of Land Management

History of Public Land Livestock Grazing

Livestock Grazing

BLM Handbooks

BLM Records and Forms

National Agricultural Statistics Service

Grazing Fee Statistics

Land Values and Cash Rents

U.S. Forest Service

Permitted Livestock Grazing

Handbooks and Manuals


A Landowner’s Guide to Hydraulic Fracturing (Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic)

Leasing Farmland in New Jersey: A Guide for Landowners and Farmers (N.J. State Agriculture Development Committee, 2013)

The Landowner’s Guide to Sustainable Farm Leasing (Drake U. 2010)

The Law of Wind: A Guide to Business and Legal Issues (Stoel Rives LLP 2009)

Farm Management: Leasing (Kan. St. U. 2014)

Farm Lease Calculator (U. of NE 2011)

Iowa Farm Leases – Legal Economic, and Tax Considerations (IA St. U. 2014)

Lease Alternatives for CRP Land (IA St. U. 2009)

Farm Lease Termination (U. of NE 2008)

Farmers’ Guide to Wind Energy:  Legal Issues in Farming the Wind (FLAG, Inc. 2007)

Negotiating Wind Energy Property Agreements (FLAG, Inc. 2007)

The Hunters’ Guide to a Successful Hunt Lease (U. of Tenn. 2002)

Cattle Lease Checklist (U. of NE 2006)

Improving Your Farm Lease Contract (IA St. U. 2003)

Fee Hunting: Opportunities for Farmers and Rural Landowners (U. of Illinois Extension 2007)

Should I Lease or Buy? (MS St. U.2001)

Pasture Leases (Purdue U. 2000)

Leasing Publications (ND St. U.)

Figuring Rent for Existing Farm Building (Purdue U. 1989)

Factsheets on Agricultural Leases (SD St. U. Ext.)

Factsheets on Agricultural Leasing (OK St. U. Ext)

Farm Rental Fact Sheets (OH St. U. Ext)

Publications on Agricultural Leasing (U. of IL Ext)

Wind Lease Publications (wIndustry)

Publications on Agricultural Leasing (U. of MO Ext.)

Crop Share, Cash & Flexible Lease Software (MT St. U.1997)

Fixed-Cash Crop Lease Agreements (CO St. U.)

Flexible-Cash Crop Lease Agreements (CO St. U.)

Additional Resources

Ag Lease 101 (North Central Farm Management Extension Committee)

Grazing Leasing and Liability (Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association)

Using Alternative Enterprises to Bolster Farm Incomes, Part 1 – Webinar Presentation (Tullos)

Using Alternative Enterprises to Bolster Farm Incomes, Part 2 – Webinar Presentation (Tullos)

Building on the Business Concept and Incorporating the Wildlife Lease as Your Profit Tool – Webinar Presentation (Tullos)

Drafting the Alternative Enterprise Plan for Your Property: Committing to the Budding Business – Webinar Presentation (Tullos)

Agricultural Leases Posts (Ag & Food Law Blog)

The Farm Lease (W. VA U. Ext. Serv.)

The Texas Deer Lease (Texas A&M 2012)

A Landowner’s Guide to Leasing Land for Farming (Land for Good 2012)

Farm Leases and Rents (U. of CA – Small Farm Program)

Grazing on Public Lands (NASDA)

New Mexico State Land Office

Public Lands Foundation

Whole Farm Decisions – Leasing (IA St. U.)