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Farmland Preservation Program

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The Farmland Preservation Program (Wisconsin Working Lands Initiative) provides landowners with an opportunity to claim farmland preservation tax credits through participation in the program.  These tax credits are income tax credits that are applied against tax liability. 



Tax Credits:

Eligible landowners may collect one of the following per acre amounts by filing Schedule FC-A with their income tax return:

  • $5.00 for farmers with farmland preservation agreement signed after July 1, 2009 and located in an agricultural enterprise area
  • $7.50 for farmers in an area zoned for farmland preservation (Outagamie County)
  • $10.00 for farmers in an area zoned for farmland preservation and in an agricultural enterprise area, with a farmland preservation agreement signed after July 1, 2009.

There is no cap on the amount of credit that an individual can claim or on the

amount of acreage eligible for a credit.  However, if the total amount of claims exceeds $27 million in a given year, that state is obligated to prorate the value of the credits available to individuals. 


To receive the Farmland Preservation Tax Credit, land must be located in a state certified farmland preservation zoning district, farmers must have entered into a farmland preservation agreement, or both, and farmers must also meet gross farm revenue requirements. 


Farmers are eligible for the tax credits if the land produces $6,000 in gross farm revenue the previous year or $18,000 over the previous three years.  Gross farm revenue must result from agricultural use of the land.  If the land is rented out, the owner can claim the tax credits based on gross farm revenue produced by the renter.  The actual rent received by the landowner is not counted toward gross farm revenue.  However, other payments received, such as payments for enrolling land in the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Managed Forest Law (MFL), and other state and federal programs, can be used to meet the gross farm revenue requirement. 


Claimants must be able to certify that all property taxes owned from the previous year have been paid. A farmer is not eligible for the farmland preservation tax credit if they choose to apply for the Homestead Tax Credit on any of their land.


Farmers claiming farmland preservation tax credits must certify on their tax form that they comply with state soil and water conservation standards.  New claimants must also submit a certification of compliance with soil and water conservation standards that has been issued by the county land conservation committee.  Compliance inspections are required by Land Conservation staff every 4 years to verify compliance in the program. 


Beginning in 2018:  There is a $50 inspection fee for new claimants and renewal inspections every 4 years payable to Outagamie County.


Please contact the Outagamie County Land Conservation Department at 920-832-5073 with any questions or comments regarding the Farmland Preservation program. 



Claiming the Farmland Preservation Tax Credit in Wisconsin