When completing the agreement application, you may choose to exclude a portion of owned land, including a portion of a parcel, from coverage under the agreement. If you wish to exclude land from coverage, you must provide the department with a clear description of the land to be excluded from the agreement in writing and attach the description to the respective deed. The description must include the parcel number and the acreage of the excluded area. The excluded area must also be shown on an aerial photo. You may develop the description, or get assistance to develop the description.
Farmland preservation agreements signed after July 1, 2009 are for 15 years and require the land to remain in the following uses for the term of the agreement:
- agricultural use
- accessory use
- undeveloped natural resource and open space use
or minor pre-existing use which is compatible with agricultural use
Remember that other local ordinances (such as zoning and land division ordinances) continue to apply to your land, regardless of whether you sign an agreement. In many instances, these local ordinances establish limits on non-farm residential or commercial development of agricultural land.
You may sell land enrolled in a farmland preservation agreement without penalty. The farmland preservation agreement runs with the land and the purchaser will need to comply with the terms of the agreement until its natural expiration or until a portion of the land is released from the agreement. When you sell land or otherwise transfer ownership, consider providing a copy of the farmland preservation agreement to the new owner or suggest that they contact the register of deeds office for a copy. This will help the new owner to better understand their obligations and enable them to claim the tax credit on the acres that they now own.