Researchers: Dr. W. van Vuuren, Dept. of Ag.
Economics and Business, University of Guelph, Principal Researcher
- To compare soil management practices affecting soil erosion
or its prevention between rented and owner-operated land.
- To examine whether or not there are differences in management
practices among tenants, and if so whether these differences
are related to the contract.
- To examine how well the stewardship lease under the Land
Stewardship Program is working. In all cases the analysis will
be control for soil quality. The information provided by the
analysis is crucial to -
- identify what effect tenancy has on soil conservation
- identify what the relationship is between the content
of the lease and soil management practices
- to design optimal contract terms in case certain tenancy
forms have negative effects on soil conservation and others
have a positive effect.
- To confirm whether or not significant differences exist
in soil management practices as was found eight years previous.
- To determine whether remedial measures are necessary for
contractual agreements with tenants.
The results indicate poorer soil quality on the rented land.
In the majority of cases, poorer soil drainage, more gully erosion,
ponding and loss of organic matter are found to be inherent characteristics
of the rental parcels. Evidence also exists to suggest that flooding
tends to occur more frequently on the rented land. Operator-owned
lands tend to be more stony and consists of shallower soils than
the rented land.
Few differences in annual crop and soil management practices
are found. Manure application is observed to occur more frequently
on owned land. Contour planting is observed to occur more frequently
on rented land. Overall there is no difference in the incidence
of erosion control and compaction correction practices between owner
and rented land. However, when erosion or compaction occurs on both
the owned and rented parcels simultaneously, there is a tendency
that annual erosion control and compaction correction practices
occur more frequently compared to a situation where erosion and/or
compaction occur on only one parcel, either the operator-owned or
the rented parcel. Frequency of stone picking does not differ significantly
with respect to land tenure. Neither does continuous cropping of
corn and beans.
Differences in the employment of durable soil inputs between
operator-owned and rented land are observed. Significantly more
tile drainage and installation of wind breaks would be done the
more certain land tenure is. However, it is also indicated that
significantly more fence row clearance would be done if the rental
parcel were to be purchased.
Written leases are found to be associated significantly more
frequently with soil conserving practices, such as, chisel plowing,
erosion control, compaction correction, and planting wind breaks.
Cash rental payments are found to be more frequently associated
with manure application, erosion control and liming, while fall
plowing tends to be found more often with crop share rental agreements.
Kinship to the landlord is found not to be significantly related
to either annual or durable land management practices, although
tile drainage is more frequent on land rented from a relative.
Long-term debt is not significantly related to the deployment
of any durable soil input.
Lease lengths greater than one year are found to be significantly
related to the increased frequency of annual soil conserving practices.
These practices include: manure application, plowdown crops, inclusion
of winter cover crops, chisel plowing and erosion control methods.
Potential soil degrading practices, such as, moldboard plowing and
fence row clearance also occur more frequently with lease lengths
greater than one year. Stone picking also occurs more frequently
with lease lengths greater than one year.
Tenant expected occupancy greater than 10 years is positively
related to: plowdown crops, inclusion of winter cover crops, tile
drainage and moldboard plowing. Fall plowing, on the other hand,
is more frequent with tenant expected occupancies less than 10 years.
Manure application, erosion control and tile drainage occur more
frequently with the presence of relevant lease obligations.
Therefore, it appears that lease type and lease length exhibit
the major impacts on annual crop soil management practices. No one
lease content and/or lease characteristic in particular exerts major
influence on the deployment of durable soil inputs.
Since annual land management practices do not differ between
operator-owned and rented land, the existing differences in soil
quality between owned and rented land must either result from
inherent poorer soil quality of the rental parcels or differing
deployment frequencies of durable soil inputs.
The results conclude that the presence of written leases, increased
lease length and the inclusion of binding lease obligations will
increase the frequency of annual crop and soil management practices
conducive to soil conservation. Lease content and/or lease characteristics
in our sample exerted little influence on tenant decisions regarding
the deployment of durable soil inputs.
In the authors' opinion, increased soil conservation on rented
land may be achieved by encouraging written, longer term lease arrangements
with compensation clauses for unexhausted durable soil inputs at
the expiry date of the lease. More work, however, needs to be done
in the area of adapting these type of leasing arrangements into
Ontario agriculture as presently the concepts are foreign to most
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 11:47:00 AM