The latest upgrade to the University of Minnesota's FairRent software can help farmers incorporate 2002 Farm Bill provisions into land rental decisions.

FairRent was developed by the U of M Center for Farm Financial Management. It's designed to help producers enter into the maze of considerations that make up a land rental decision and exit with a well thought-out plan.

"There is little doubt that the 2002 Farm Bill complicated the thought process for land rental decisions," says Kevin Klair, U of M farm management economist. "Both producers and landowners are asking whether the Farm Bill justifies higher land rents. To answer this question, you must be able to determine direct payments and factor in loan deficiency and counter-cyclical payment thresholds."

The latest FairRent version incorporates the 2002 Farm Bill into the land rental analysis. "The user will need to supply the Farm Service Agency base acres and yields for government crops, as well as local loan rates," says Klair. "FairRent will take it from there. You will be able to determine how the Farm Bill impacts land rental decisions for both cash and share rent."

The software includes sensitivity tables that look at what can happen when prices and yields don't meet or exceed expectations. These tables will incorporate loan deficiency payments and counter-cyclical payments at lower price levels for a more accurate analysis. The software output also includes a new page that provides a complete summary of projected government payments, broken down per acre and for the parcel as a whole.

The price of FairRent is $95. For more information, write the Center for Farm Financial Management, 130 Classroom Office Building, 1994 Buford Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108, call (800) 234-1111 or go to http://www.cffm.umn.edu