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Early Termination of All or Part of a Farmland Development Rights Agreement

The law allows for the termination of all or part of a Farmland Development Rights Agreement prior to an Agreement's expiration under one of the following conditions:

  • Death or disability of an Agreement holder or a person essential to the farm operation.*
  • A parcel up to two acres with a structure on it that pre-dates the Agreement.
  • A parcel of up to two acres for construction of a residence for a person essential to the farm.*
  • The farmland is economically inviable.
  • Surrounding land usage restricts farming.
  • Natural irreversible change occurs to the land, which restricts farming.
  • A court order restricts farming.
  • Public interest is served by the release.

Find the conditions that best fit your situation and proceed from there to make a request for a full or partial termination.

Required Repayment: Except when due to death or disability, the law requires the landowner to repay the last seven years of tax credits attributable to the Agreement, or the part of the Agreement being terminated or released, plus 6% simple interest. Repayment on termination or release due to death or disability uses a formula that prorates the last seven years without any additional interest. After full review of your request, our office will inform you of approval or denial. If approved, we will send a request to the Michigan Department of Treasury to calculate the required payback amount (or lien amount).  Upon completion, we will notify you of the repayment amount, if any. After the lien amount is paid, or if the amount is zero, the State will relinquish the Agreement, or part of Agreement, and send the relinquishment document to the landowner. The landowner is responsible for recording the relinquishment at the Register of Deeds in the county where the land is located. Expect this process to take two months or more.

*Definition of Essential to Farm: A person essential to the farm is a co-owner, partner, shareholder, farm manager or family member who cultivates, operates or manages farmland under an Agreement and meets one of the following: Has a financial interest equal to or greater than 1/2 the cost of producing the crops, livestock, or products; and inspects, advises and consults with the owner on production activities; OR works 1,040 hours or more annually in activities connected with the production of the farming operation, and can document it (W-2, payroll records, e.g.).