SOUTHWEST, N.Y. — Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program (SWNYDLFC) shares considerations for buying and leasing farmland. Leasing and purchasing are two options which provide opportunities for current farms to expand land access and for beginning farmers to get on the land.
This year’s growing season is coming to a rapid close. In thinking to the year ahead, how, where, and at what scale we want to farm may come back under the lens of consideration. Perhaps there is an opportunity to increase forage and crop production by expanding into more acreage. Maybe a chance to get into farming has presented itself. Whether you are looking to start a farm or are a seasoned farmer looking to expand the acreage of your enterprise, you can choose to either lease or purchase land.
Before making the decision to lease or buy, understanding your business needs is an important first step to narrowing down available properties. For example, vegetables thrive more readily in good quality soil, livestock operations may benefit from available fencing and barns, and mushroom cultivation requires woodland that is easy to access by people and equipment. Distance to an identified market is also a consideration, as is a purchaser’s or renter’s personal fit with the area or region.
Leasing land offers flexibility and can be a way to attain extra acreage for a current operation or to start building a farm business without the large, upfront financial commitment that buying entails. If leasing, drawing up a contract that is agreed upon by both parties is vital. While handshake agreements can work, contracts leave nothing left unknown and allow for peace of mind for both the landowner and renter. Considerations for lease agreements include what can be grown, what previously existing infrastructure is available to use, which party will maintain upkeep of which portions of the property, length of the arrangement, what the payment rate will be, and when payments are due.
There are multiple ways to find land available for sale or lease. Local classified ads, real estate websites, bulletin boards at local businesses, and talking to neighbors with farmland are great places to start. Farmland for a New Generation New York is another tool to keep in mind when the search for land begins. The program connects current landowners with potential buyers or leasees. It allows for searches by region, acreage (both open and wooded), infrastructure and equipment availability, and permitted crops and livestock. There is also an opportunity to create an online profile for landowners to review and contact you, should they have a property that may meet your needs. More about this free program can be found at https://nyfarmlandfinder.org.
If you are interested in learning more about leasing or purchasing farmland, contact Livestock and Beginning Farm Specialist, Amy Barkley, at 716-640-0844 or email@example.com.
Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program specialists are here to help provide research-based resources and support during this challenging time. Their team of four specialists include Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Farm Business Management (716-640-0522 or firstname.lastname@example.org); Joshua Putman, Field Crops (716-490-5572 or email@example.com); Alycia Drwencke, Dairy Management (517-416-0386 or firstname.lastname@example.org); and Amy Barkley, Livestock Management (716-640-0844 or email@example.com). While specialists are working remotely at this time, they are still offering consultations via phone, text, email, videoconferencing, and mail. They are also providing weekly updates with timely resources and connections via email and hardcopy and virtual programming.
The Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program is the newest Cornell Cooperative Extension regional program and covers Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Steuben Counties. The Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops regional specialists work with Cornell faculty and Extension educators to address the issues that influence the agricultural industry in New York by offering educational programming and research based information to agricultural producers, growers, and agribusinesses in the Southwestern New York Region. Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities. For more information about this program, or to be added to their contact list, contact Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Team Leader, at 716-640-0522, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website swnydlfc.cornell.edu.
If you would like more information about this topic, please call Amy Barkley at 716-640-0844 or email email@example.com. For more information about Cornell Cooperative Extension, contact your county’s Association Executive Director. Allegany County – Laura Hunsberger, firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-268-7644. Cattaraugus County – Dick Rivers, email@example.com or 716-699-2377. Chautauqua County – Emily Reynolds, firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-664-9502. Erie County – Diane Held, email@example.com or 716-652-5400. Steuben County – Tess McKinley, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 607-664-2301.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension’s
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program