PA 116, the Michigan Farmland and Open Space Preservation Act, is a law that works to preserve farmland by offering incentives to farmers who are willing to participate. According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the law, which was passed in 1974, allows a farm landowner to enter into an agreement with the state that ensures that the land remains in agricultural use for a minimum of 10 years and up to 90 years. In return, the farm owner may be entitled to income tax benefits and exemption from special assessments on the land. Today, 3.3 million acres of land in Michigan is protected under this program.
Farms that are eligible for the PA 116 program are:
• Farms that are 40 acres or more in size with at least 51 percent of land being active agriculture or;
• Farms that are less than 40 acres but more than 5 acres in size with at least 51 percent of land being active agriculture and a gross income from agriculture of more than $200 per tillable acre or;
• Farms that have been designated as specialty farms by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and are at least 15 acres in size and have a gross annual income of more than $2,000.
To learn more about program eligibility, visit the MDARD Farmland and Open Space Preservation Act website, or link to the additional resources provided below.
Farmland and Opens Space Preservation Application
Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program Eligibility and Instructions
Frequently Asked Questions
Early Termination of Farmland Developmental Rights Agreements
Transferring Farmland Development Rights Agreement
Changing An Existing Farmland Development Rights Agreement
Transferring, Splitting, and Releasing Land From Farmland Agreement Brochure