All farm leases are not created equal, and helping farmers get a handle on which crop acres are profitable enough to justify rent payments is the focus of a discussion at a Purdue University workshop.

Purdue agricultural economist Howard Doster will address lease issues during the 35th annual Top Farmer Crop Workshop. The workshop takes place July 21-24 at Purdue's West Lafayette, IN, campus.

Forty-eight farm topics will be addressed at the intensive four-day workshop. Fifty-two speakers are lined up, representing Purdue and other land-grant universities, agribusiness, finance and the farming community.

"Everybody who attends is a full-time farmer," says Doster, who's also the workshop coordinator. "They are among the best farmers in the country. Last year we had 150 in attendance, and they came from 13 states. The biggest number come from Indiana, with almost as many from Illinois and several from Ohio and Kentucky. The largest farm represented this year is 8,000 acres."

With a new farm bill taking effect this year, farmers might want to consider renegotiating their leases for 2003, Doster says. During his session, he will lead farmers through a formula for figuring their profit-to-lease margins. He also plans to survey participants on their current leases.

Registration for the Top Farmer Crop Workshop is $250 per person and $75 for each additional person from the same farm. Registration fees include two meals, coffee breaks and the use of Purdue computers for the cost analysis.

Lodging and other meals are extra.

Enrollment is limited. To register, contact Tom Robertson of Purdue's Conference Division at (765) 494-7220 or by e-mail at tlrobertson@purdue.edu

Those wishing to stay at the Purdue Memorial Union Club Hotel should make reservations by July 3. The hotel's toll-free number is 800-320-6291.

For more information about workshop sessions and speakers, contact Doster at (765) 494-4250 or log onto the Top Farmer Crop Workshop Web site at http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/extensio/Top_Farmer