Farming leases carry a maximum 10-year term and are renewable with preference given to the current lessee. Notice will be given to the lessee 90 to 120 days in advance of the expiration of their lease. Agriculture leases are granted on irrigated land farmed to irrigated field crops or vegetables. Permanent crops such as orchards or vineyards are not generally permitted on Trust Land due to their high reimbursable improvement values. Leases may be granted for the development of undeveloped land into irrigated cropland on a case-by-case basis depending on the number of reimbursable improvements associated with the development, location, water conditions, and other factors deemed material by the Department. Development leases are granted for an initial term of two years and may be renewed for up to 10 years if adequate progress has been exhibited in the development.
The Agricultural Lease Section administers the leases and permits for agricultural uses that are issued by the Land Department for State Trust lands.
State Trust Land can be leased for agriculture (farming) for a maximum of ten years, as set by statute. Renewal of leases is contingent upon the lessee has complied with the terms and conditions of the lease.
A new lease on undeveloped land is restricted to a two-year developmental lease. Renewal of the two-year lease could occur if the lessee has complied with the terms and conditions of the lease and the lease has been substantially developed.
Improvements - Any temporary or permanent improvement placed on a State agricultural lease must be approved by the Land Department prior to placement. Reimbursement for approved permanent improvements in the event of taking or sale is provided by law and would be valued on the appraised value at the time of the action or by mutual party agreement.
Rent rates - Agricultural leases are billed annually in advance. The Department utilizes farm areas as a mechanism to differentiate the leases. The farmable rate varies by farm area. The Department’s agricultural lease rentals are subject to annual reappraisal.