August is the month many landowners and tenants get together to negotiate 2012 rents. Understanding cycles is important for two reasons: One is the terms of the lease. Many support and propose flexible leases, and those appeal to some landowners and tenants but not others. I think every situation is different, but the terms need to provide for some flexibility if prices and costs change significantly.

The second reason understanding cycles is important is it provides an opportunity for better communications and interpersonal relationships between owners and tenants. This is important to nearly three-fourths of landowners. For others price is the only driver, and knowing which those are can help you manage your risk. A useful strategy is to rank your landowners on a scale of understanding your business and ease of doing business. This can tell you a lot.