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Farmland Preservation Program

Wisconsin's Farmland Preservation Program is a tool that farmers and local governments can use to preserve farmland, protect soil and water resources, and minimize land use conflicts. Through participation in the program:

  • Agricultural landowners can preserve their productive farmlands and participate through locally adopted farmland preservation zoning ordinances or by signing farmland preservation agreements in locally petitioned Agricultural Enterprise Areas (AEAs). Communities can layer the different participation options together to best fit their community‚Äôs needs.
  • Participating landowners who meet the state soil and water conservation standards are not only protecting their agricultural and natural resources, but are also eligible to claim the tax credit.

Income tax credits available are based on the eligible landowners qualifying acres:

  • $10 per acre for qualifying acres that are in a farmland preservation zoning district but are not subject to a farmland preservation agreement.
  • $10 per acre for qualifying acres that are subject to a farmland preservation agreement in an AEA but are not located in a farmland preservation zoning district, OR qualifying acres that are subject to a farmland preservation agreement signed before July 1, 2009 that has been modified to meet current eligibility requirements.
  • $12.50 per acre for qualifying acres that are in a farmland preservation zoning district and subject to a farmland preservation agreement in an AEA or a farmland preservation agreement signed before July 1, 2009 that has been modified to meet current eligibility requirements.

2023 legislative updates made the following changes to the Farmland Preservation Program:

  • Decreases the minimum term of a farmland preservation agreement from 15 years to 10 years for new agreements signed after December 8, 2023.
  • Expands eligibility for farmland preservation tax credits to land that is subject to an agricultural conservation easement purchased under s. 93.73, Wis. Stats1 to the extent planned for farmland preservation and not already eligible through a farmland preservation zoning district or farmland preservation agreement. Eligible landowners will receive $10 per acre for qualifying acres.
  • Requires DATCP to report on tax credits per qualifying acre and recommendations for the tax credit amounts in the program biennial report.

Communities can voluntarily pursue designation of an agricultural enterprise area by submitting a petition to DATCP. Landowners within the AEA are eligible to enter into voluntary farmland preservation agreements.

Current Agricultural Enterprise Area Map

Wood County does not currently have Farmland Preservation Zoning or an Agricultural Enterprise Area.