DES MOINES – Beginning farmers will now have priority when it comes to leasing public land owned by the state of Iowa and managed by DNR.
The change in the DNR’s leasing program results from legislation passed in the spring of 2013.
All DNR leased land is managed for wildlife habitat. Land quality varies from moderate to good, but most has some farming challenges, such as limited access, potential to flood or small fields.
Beginning farmers are encouraged to examine the lease details carefully as most DNR leases also include requirements such as planting food plots or restricting forage cutting dates that are not typical of standard agricultural lease agreements.
Starting in early November, the DNR Realty Services will post available lease lands at www.iowadnr.gov/realty. Interested farmers have a month to review the details, before the DNR begins awarding leases.
To participate in the beginning farmer program, the producer must be a permanent Iowa resident, have appropriate skills and have a net worth of less than $691,172. They must also be certified as beginning farmers by the Iowa Finance Authority. Applications are available at www.iowafinanceauthority.gov/IADD or www.iowadnr.gov/realty.