What to consider when leasing agricultural land

This is what makes a good agricultural land for farming

The land is a key factor in production. Whether you are buying or leasing land for agricultural production there are several factors that determine if it’s arable or not? These factors determine the yield potential of the land and the cost of production.

Agricultural land should be fertile with good drainage. Crops planted in unfarmable lands often stunt with a premature yield of low quality leading to losses. Before leasing land for the sole purpose of farming ensure you put the factors below into consideration.

What I usually consider first before leasing land for farming
Soil type

Good agricultural land should have rich dark loam soil. Loam soils have more nutrients organic matter and moisture than sandy soils with the best drainage and infiltration of water and air than silt and clay-rich soils and are easier to till than clay soils.

Clay soils have poor drainage, texture and deficiency of organic matter. Plants farmed in these soils often have stunted growth and show signs of phosphorus and nitrogen deficiency.

Adding a lot of farmyard manure on sandy soils can help improve soil fertility. For clay soils; land rehabilitation by adding a layer of loam soils can make them arable.

Occurrence of calamities
factors to consinder befoere leasing an agricultural land
A farmland flooded

When leasing land enquire if the area its located experiences extreme weather conditions like prolonged drought, landslides, hailstones, flooding and hailstones. No human has control of these calamities.

The associated losses can only be avoided by studying the frequency and patterns of occurrence. Avoid leasing land prone to these calamities as they can cause total crop damage. The damage done to the crops cannot be reversed or controlled.

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Source of water for irrigation

Rainfall patterns have changed and depending on it might frustrate you. For a good agribusiness; the land should have a sufficient, clean and accessible water supply for irrigation.

Also, consider the irrigation options available and their associated costs. Does it have installed driplines? Is it connected to electricity for water pumps?

A land with a permanent water supply throughout the year on the farm guarantees continuous production all year through.

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History of the farm

Is it virgin land? Did it have any planted in the past two years and how did they perform? Was there any occurrence of soil-borne diseases? Carrying out soil test analysis on nutrients and pathogens in the soil prior to leasing. This will determine the crops to plant and the cost of production.

People lie a lot and only a professional soil test result can give you an honest health status of the soil.

Accessibility and security

When leasing land considers its road network. Is it accessible in all-weather seasons? Agricultural products are perishable and need fast market access for all reasons. Poor and inaccessible road networks are the greatest contributor to post-harvest losses.  

The farm should be near the market to avoid the high cost of transport. It should also be secure from animals and theft.

Sign a legal lease Contract

After ensuring the land has all necessary qualities, Ensure you sign a contract of above three years which is legally binding. Since the cost of leasing is a fixed one regardless of production level, it’s good to distribute along the three years. Within these three years, you can rehabilitate the soil improving its fertility gradually.

Cost of leasing

Leasing high costly farms mean a high cost of production. The cost should be within the market rates with flexible payment plans distributed within the period of the lease. This would be easier to pay without much streaching.

Finally, having good farmland is the first step to high production and profit. However, if it doesn’t have the above qualities; it can be reclaimed but of course at a cost. You can reach out to us for a soil test and farm visit analysis.

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