Open Access

Farmland Rental Rates: Does Organic Certification Matter?

Kate Binzen Fuller, Joseph P. Janzen and B. Munkhnasan


We estimate U.S. organic farmers’ marginal willingness to pay to rent an acre of certified organic land relative to conventional farmland. Using a selection-on-observables design and farm-level data on farmland rental rates, organic status, and many conditioning variables, we address the role of profitability in mediating the effect of organic status. We find a 26% rental rate premium for organic farmland not driven by higher profits on organic farms. This premium is a modest incentive for landowners but a barrier for tenants to convert to organic farming practices, which may explain limited growth in U.S. organic acreage.


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