The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture is suggesting land owners consider signing farmland preservation agreements this fall.

The agreements, which run for 15 years, allow property owners to claim a farmland preservation tax credit. It requires the owner to keep the land in agricultural use for the agreement’s duration, and to meet state soil and water conservation standards.

Land included in agreements must be in a designated Agricultural Enterprise Area (AEA), and the farm’s gross revenue must be at least $6,000 in the past year or $18,000 over the prior three years.

For the agreement application and additional information about farmland preservation agreements, visit the Apply for a Farmland Preservation Agreement webpage. Interested applicants can contact the department at (608) 224-4611 or with any questions.

Nationally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture accepted more than 2.5 million acres into the Grassland Conservation Reserve Program, double the previous year’s enrollment. The figure brings total acres for all conservation reserve program signups this year to more than 5.3 million acres.

Both the overall reserve acres and the offers for grassland reserves were the highest in the programs’ history.

“We were pleased to see this level of interest from conservation-minded producers here in Wisconsin and across the country,” said Tyler Radke, Acting State Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Wisconsin. “This is a powerful program, and we want to continue to grow interest in Grassland CRP as well as other CRP signups in the coming years.”

Wisconsin landowners added 703 acres to the Grassland CRP program, which helps preserve rangeland and pastures while preserving owners’ rights to grazing, haying and harvesting seed.

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