Many Valley farmers are used to the gentleman's agreement, where a handshake seals the deal. 

But it comes to leasing farm land for growing crops, an unplanned eviction notice from using the land could be be devastating fro the renter, but new law went into effect Thursday to help protect farmers who lease farmland for growing their crops from financial ruin.

The new law impacts only the property landlords who seek to terminate their property leases from the farmers who rent their property.

If a farm lease does not establish a date or method for terminating the agreement, the new law requires a landlord who wants to terminate the lease to do so in writing by September 1 of each year. The goal of the law is to prevent late terminations that could harm tenant operators who have made investments for the next crop season. If the property landlord and tenant operator have addressed these provisions in a previous leasing agreement, the provisions are unchanged by the new law.

The new law applies to both written and verbal agricultural lease agreements that address the planting, growing, and harvesting of agricultural crops. The law does not apply to leases for pasture, timber, farm buildings, horticultural buildings, or equipment. 

With the new law, if a landlord gives notice of termination in writing by September 1, the lease is terminated either upon the date harvest is complete or December 31, whichever is earlier. The law also allows the parties to establish a different termination date if agreed to in writing.

Any termination notice must be in writing and deliver it to the tenant operator by hand, mail, fax or email by the deadline. Any late attempts for termination of the lease is illegal and the lease would continue for another period. However, the tenant operator could agree to accept the late termination. If so, the parties should both sign a termination date agreement.

Any farmers that need legal assistance getting a lease in writing are encouraged to check out the Ohio State Extension farm lease resources and contact them for a referral to an agricultural attorney.

The new farm crop lease statutory termination law is in Ohio Revised Code Section 5301.71.

There will also be an Ohio Farmland Leasing Update Zoom webinar Thursday, Aug. 11  from 8 am to 10 am. To register for the seminar, go to