“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” – William Blake

If you are marketing to farmers, you may feel that approaching them in the winter gives you your best chance to reach them. This is true in large part because farmers traditionally have more free time in the winter months.

That is not to say that farmers do nothing in the winter, especially those who raise livestock. But even farmers who strictly grow crops keep busy with other farm-related tasks. And while the days are shorter and the fields wet or frozen, many farmers are working on their books, ordering supplies and making sure their tractors and other farm equipment is in working order.

Everyone knows that time is money, and even though their hectic schedules may have slowed a bit, you never want to waste your customer or prospects time. So how can you let farmers know you value their time? Here are some surefire ways:

  1. Be direct. If you have done your homework, you know what your customers and prospects need. When you speak to them get right to the point. Offer them the best products at the right time. Farmers will appreciate your straightforwardness and the fact that you know they have an operation to run.
  2. Pay attention. If your customers or prospects are not responding to you, figure out why and make the necessary adjustments. When you continue to approach farmers in ways that aren’t working, you are wasting their time and yours. If, after you have adjusted your approach, they still aren’t interested it is time to back off.
  3. Reach out in the right way. Do your customers or prospects prefer to connect with you in person? On the phone? Do they prefer email? Are they most comfortable on their mobile device? Are they comfortable being on mailing lists? These are the things you need to know before you spend too much time reaching out to them in the wrong way.

Farmers may have a little more time to spare in the winter months but chances are if they do, they don’t want to spend all their extra time talking with salespeople. Always remember that in spring, summer, fall or winter, farmers need to know that you value their time.



It is no secret that cash rents on farmland can be tough on tenants trying to turn a profit. If you are wondering how best to protect your profitability from cash rents, you are not alone.

Alison Rice is the markets and news editor for agweb.com. She recently published an article in TopProducer Magazine which helps to answer some of the most common questions regarding flexible farm leases.

In her article, 8 Common Questions on Flexible Farm Leases, Rice writes that with the prospect of low grain and soy pricing in the coming months, some producers are looking for options to protect their profitability. This may include the possibility of negotiating a flexible farm lease with their landlord.

Perhaps the most important question answered in the article is what is a reasonable base rent? After all, there is no point in trying to renegotiate if you are getting a good deal already. Rice says the definition of a reasonable base rent varies “from farm to farm, but generally, it should be lower than what the fixed-cash rent would be.”

According to extension economists at Iowa State, if your base rent is not lower than what the fixed-cash rent would be then the landowner does not share in any of the downside risk.

Some of the other questions Rice answers include:

  1. How many types of flexible farm leases are there?
  2. What is a reasonable revenue share?
  3. Could I end up paying more rent with a flexible lease vs. a fixed cash rent lease?

In the end, whether or not you should try to negotiate a flexible farm lease will depend on the answers to the questions in this article and your unique financial situation. While you may not get all the answers you are looking for in this article, it is certainly a good starting point.