House and Field

LINCOLN - Many farm leases, especially those between family members, are not written but are verbal "handshake" agreements.

Nebraska Extension Ag Economist Jim Jansen says in Nebraska approximately half of the 45 million acres of agricultural ground are rented by a tenant.

Jansen says a verbal contract does have some positives and negatives.

"Verbal leases if there are any changes that need to be made to the lease prior to the following production year, the landlord or tenant needs to give notification to the other party to let them know their intent of terminating the lease."

Jansen says the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled verbal leases must be given termination notice six months prior to the end of the lease.

He says crop land leases must be terminated by September 1st.

Jansen says it’s always very important to have a written lease, and you can find more information at

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