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

Grazing Permits and Leases 43 U.S.C. § 4130.2
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
Grazing Leasing and Permits 43 U.S.C § 1752
Livestock Grazing 16 U.S.C. § 272b.


Dept. of Interior Land Leases 25 C.F.R Subpart B
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
Agricultural and Grazing Permits and Leases, 25 CFR § 173.17
Leases, Permits, and Easements, 43 C.F.R. Subpart 2920
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
Homestead Protection Leases 7 C.F.R. § 766.154
Lease of Security, 7 C.F.R. § 765.252
Federal Regulations Open for Comment

Case Law

Case Law Index for Agricultural Leases

Center Research Publications

Force Majeure and Other Contractual Defenses during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Snowden et all, 2020)
Ranchers’ Agricultural Leasing Handbook: Grazing, Hunting, & Livestock Leases (Lashmet et all, 2016)
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)
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)

Administrative Law Decisions

EPA Office of Administrative Law Judges – Decisions, Orders, & Filings
USDA Office of Administrative Law Judges Decisions

Congressional Research Service Reports

Reports– published and made available by CRS beginning in 2017
Subjects- published by CRS and made available by NALC until 2018:

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 Livestock Grazing on Public Lands
Services Overview
Livestock Grazing
BLM Handbooks
Federal Land Records
BLM Electronic Forms
National Agricultural Statistics Service
Grazing Fee Statistics
Agricultural Prices (January, 2018)
Land Values and Cash Rents
National Resources Conservation Services
Land Use
Grazing Land

U.S. Forest Service

Final Permitted Livestock Grazing Report (February, 2017)
Forest Service Publications


Regulation of Farm Landlord-Tenant Leases (Duke Law School)
Landowners Guide to Sustainable Farm Leasing (Iowa State)
Tax Implications of a Farmland Lease (Iowa State Center for Ag & Tax)
Terminating a Verbal Farmland Lease (U. of NE)
Agricultural Conservation Leasing Guide (UMD Ext.)
State Specific Leasing Issues  (Center for Ag & Food)
Legal Aspects of Ohio Farm Lease (Ohio State)
Natural Gas Exploration: Landowners Guide to Natural Gas Leasing (Penn St. Ext., 2017)
Oil and Gas Lease Negotiations (Michigan Farm Bureau)
Allowing A Cell Tower Leases On Your Land: What You Give Up Versus and What You Gain (SE Produce Weekly, 2018)
Kansas Agricultural Lease Law (Washburn Ag & Tax Report)
Arkansas’ Agricultural Land Leasing Laws: An Overview (Goeringer & Goodwin, U. of AR Ext., 2013)
Small Farm Leases and Rents (UC Davis Ext)
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)
AgManager: Land & Leasing (Kan. St. U. 2018)
Kansas County-Level Cash Rents for Non-Irrigated Cropland (Kan. St. U. 2018)
Land & Leasing: Land Rental Rates (KS St. U.., 2020)
Iowa Farm Leases – Legal, Economic, and Tax Considerations (IA St. U. 2015)
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)
Hunting Leases: Factsheet (U. of AR Ext., 2019)
Fee Hunting: Opportunities for Farmers and Rural Landowners (U. of Illinois Extension 2007)
Leasing Publications (ND St. U.)
Figuring Rent for Existing Farm Building (Purdue U. 1989)
South Dakota’s Rental Agreements: What is a Legal Lease? (SD St. U. Ext., 2010)
Factsheets on Agricultural Leasing (OK St. U. Ext)
Farm & Ranch Financing: Leasing & Rental Rates (OK St. U. Ext.)
Commercial Agriculture: Farmland Information (Leasing, Crop-Share, Cash Rent, Farmland Valuation)(U. of IL Ext)
Publications on Agricultural Leasing (U. of MO Ext.)
Crop Share, Cash & Flexible Lease Software (MT St. U.1997)
Flexible Cash Leasing of Cropland (U. of NE. Ext.)

Additional Resources

Cash Rent & Land Values (Purdue U. Ext., 2019)
“Who’s That in my Pasture?” (Doggett, 2018)
Lessons Learned in Eminent Domain (Ross, 2018)
Farm and Ranch Leases (Lashmet & Ferrell, 2018)
Easements 101 (Conoly, 2018)
A Place in the Sun: Solar Leases in Texas (Wetsel, Allen, & Lederle, 2018)
Farm Leases – Frequently Asked Questions (Tidgren, IA St. Center for Ag & Tax, 2017)
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, (Tullos, Rumley)
Agricultural Leases Posts (Ag & Food Law Blog)
The Texas Deer Lease (Texas A&M 2016)
Owning and Leasing Agriculture Real Estate (Penn. St. Ext.)
A Landowner’s Guide to Leasing Land for Farming (Land for Good 2012)
Farm Lease Agreement (U. of MO Ext.)
Farm Land Rental Agreements and Arrangements
Farm Land Rental Agreements and Arrangements (LaPorte, MacKellar, & Pennington, MI St. U. Ext., 2020)
Livestock Grazing on Public Lands (Bureau of Land Management)
Grazing Leases (Fuller & Mosley, MT St. U. Ext., 2016)
New Mexico State Land Office
Public Lands Foundation
Whole Farm Decisions – Leasing (IA St. U.)