Agricultural Impact Statements
Agricultural Impact Statements:
Agricultural impact statements analyze
the potential effect on Wisconsin farms when a public project will involve acquiring farmland, through either outright purchase or easements. By "public project," we mean that the party in charge -- the project initiator -- has condemnation authority, also called eminent domain. Project initiators could be:
- Counties, towns, villages, cities, or state agencies that are building projects like new or expanded highways, landfills, airports, and waste water treatment plants
- Companies building utilities such as oil and gas pipelines, electric transmission lines, and telephone lines.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection prepares agricultural impact statements.
When we prepare agricultural impact statements
An agricultural impact statement is required when:
- The project initiator has condemnation authority, and
- The project will take more than 5 acres from any one farm
The farm may be operated by an individual, a partnership or a corporation, and it may include both owned and rented land.
Town road projects, and electric transmission line projects carrying less than 100 kilovolts are exempt.
An agricultural impact statement may be prepared
- The project will take five acres or less from any one farm, but would still significantly affect a farm, or
- The project is located within the boundaries of a city or village, but would still significantly affect a farm.
Agricultural impact and environmental impact
An agricultural impact statement analyzes only the agricultural effects on farms. An environmental impact statement analyzes broader effects. The agricultural impact statement may be part of the environmental impact statement, but it is still prepared by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
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Content of agricultural impact statements
The statement analyzes the economic impact of the project on individual farms, identifies the acreage lost or affected, and conveys land owner concerns. The Department may draw conclusions and recommend ways to reduce the impact on farms. The statement may be useful in negotiations between the land owner and project initiator.
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Timeline for agricultural impact statements
- Project initiators provide written notification to the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection when they have enough information to describe the project's purpose and scope, and to know which land owners will be affected -- even if they do not plan to condemn property. If the project initiator has condemnation authority, the Department should be notified.
- The Department has 60 days to prepare an agricultural impact statement, from the date when all the required information has been provided.
- The Department publishes the statement after the project initiator has paid for the costs of preparing it.
- The Department provides hard copies or electronic files of the statement to government agencies, legislators and other interested parties. Statements for larger projects are also posted on the department website.
- The project initiator can begin negotiating with farm owners 30 days after publication.
Wisconsin statutes covering agricultural impact statements
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