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Press Releases

February 27, 2017
USDA to Collect Data on Farmland Rental Rates
Survey results will serve as a decision-making tool for farmers when preparing 2018 rental agreements
Contact: Elaine Lidholm, VDACS - 804.786.7686, Herman Ellison, NASS – 804.771.2493 or 800.772.0670

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will begin collecting information from Virginia farmers this month to gather land rental rate information for the Cash Rents and Leases survey. The results of this survey will serve as a valuable decision-making tool for farmers and can be used for 2018 rental agreement negotiations.

“This brief survey is our only source of county cash rental rates,” said Herman Ellison, Virginia state statistician with NASS. “The Farm Service Agency (FSA) and other USDA agencies rely on average cash rental rates in each county to help develop and administer federal farm programs.”

Data Uses

  • FSA uses cash rent county estimates to determine market-based rates in administering USDA programs, such as the Conservation Reserve Program.
  • Other state and federal government agencies, universities, and research organizations use these data for other forms of economic analysis.
  • The data provide farmers with current information about rental rates in their county and are available for their use in making decisions regarding renting and leasing farmland.

NASS will publish average cash rental rates at national, state and county levels for non-irrigated cropland, irrigated cropland and pastureland Sept. 8, 2017.

Nearly 6,500 Virginia farmers will receive the survey forms. NASS offers the option of responding online via a secure internet connection. In late March, NASS representatives will begin calling and visiting farmers who have not yet responded.

“NASS will combine your responses with your fellow producers nationwide, providing the only accurate and comprehensive estimate of U.S. average rent and lease rates,” Ellison added. For more information about the Cash Rents and Leases survey, call the NASS Virginia Field Office at 800.772.0670, or visit

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