In this crop share lease the tenant is given special inducement to keep livestock. One of the greatest faults of most cropshare methods of rental is that the landlord's share of crops is sold from the farm and the tenant keeps only enough livestock to consume his own share of the crop. This is usually not enough livestock to keep up the fertility of the land or to give the tenant the most profitable farming business. Farm records in Indiana show that over a period of years the most profitable systems of farming are those in which sufficient livestock is kept to consume most of the crops produced in a normal year. The livestock keeps up the fertility of the soil economically, utilizes roughage that cannot be marketed directly to advantage and gives more efficient use of man and horse labor by furnishing employment at times when work is not needed on crops.
On a rented farm the amount of livestock kept, and in fact, the entire farming system followed, depends largely on the lease used. This lease is therefore written with the thought of encouraging the tenant to keep considerable livestock by the following provisions:
(1) The tenant must have at least a certain acreage in legume hay and can have as much of this hay for feed as he has livestock to which to feed it economically. If he does not feed all the hay, the receipts from its sale are shared equally with the landowner.
(2) The tenant has the privilege of buying the landlord's share of corn and small grains at slightly less than market prices, for feeding on the farm, but if he does not purchase it for feeding he must deliver it to market for the landlord.
These two provisions are somewhat new in Indiana, but the value of the first of these inducements has been demonstrated by over fifty years of successful leasing on fifty-six farms in another State (see U. S. Farmers' Bulletin 437).
Although these provisions may seem to favor the tenant, the landlord who gives these inducements will benefit on account of the increase in fertility of the farm, his greater profits through increased crop yields, and his having a tenant who is satisfied in following a profitable system of farming.
(1) Instead of having the same division of all crops, the crops are divided more nearly in proportion to the tenant's and landlord's cost of production. Thus the tenant gets a larger share of such intensive crops as potatoes, tomatoes and tobacco than of general crops because his labor expense on these crops is proportionately higher.
(2) The tenant upon leaving the farm is reimbursed for unexhausted improvements he puts on the place. In this way the tenant is encouraged to improve the farm, knowing that if it becomes necessary for him to leave earlier than expected he will be reimbursed for such improvements.
Although this contract provides that the tenant receive fruit for family consumption before the fruit crop is divided, such a practice is merely a customary inducement that the landlord gives to secure a good tenant, and if the landlord lives near the farm and wants an equal amount of fruit for his own family there is no reason why the contract should not provide this.
It must be recognized that the provisions of this lease or any other lease, will need modifying to fit varying conditions. In a general way the landlord's furnishing of land is supposed to offset the tenant's operating expenses, the largest of which is labor. Where land is very productive and high priced, the landlord's contribution is high in proportion to the tenant's, as the tenant's expense does not increase in the same proportion as the increase in quality of land. Vice versa if the landlord furnishes poor low-priced land, his contribution is low in proportion to the tenant's, as the work in operating a poor field is nearly as great as and often greater than in operating a good field. Therefore on very good or very poor land, the division of investment, operating expenses, or share of crops should be varied to meet the conditions.