October 14, 2021
By Elizabeth Thilmany

Cash rent lease agreements are the most common type of lease agreement in Maryland. Cash rent is a fixed amount on a per-acre basis. The owner is relieved of operating and marketing decisions in this agreement, and income is known year to year. 

The USDA's National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) estimates average cash rental rates per acre of irrigated cropland, non-irrigated cropland, and pastureland at the County, Ag District, and State level annually updated when sufficient data is available. This data's source is producers' responses to annual farm-level surveys. To learn more about the Cash Rents Survey from NASS, visit: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Surveys/Guide_to_NASS_Surveys/Cash_Rents_by_County/

The University of Maryland breaks down the NASS data to assist Marylanders in understanding the trends in rental rates of various land uses across the geographical areas of Maryland. In addition, farmers and ranchers can use this updated data rental rates data from their region "for use in making decisions regarding renting and leasing farmland," as summarized by NASS on their Surveys page for Cash Rents. 

The updated publication includes Maryland Total rental rates for non-irrigated cropland, irrigated cropland, and pastureland, visualized in a moving-average line graph from 2009-2021. Additionally, the report delves into the cash rental rates (2009-2021) for non-irrigated land by county and Ag district, irrigated land by county and Ag district in the Lower and Eastern Shore Districts, and pastureland by county and Ag district in the North Central and Western ag districts. 

The publication is available at: https://go.umd.edu/UMELeases