Farmland Assessments

General Farmland Guidelines:

  • No minimum acreage requirements
  • Acreage must be actively farmed for a minimum of 2 years:
    • A Tract of land used solely for the growing and harvesting of crops
    • For feeding, breeding and management of livestock or poultry, swine, sheep, beef cattle, ponies or horses, fur farming, bees, fish & wildlife farming (must be more than 1 or 2 animals)
    • For dairying or for any other agricultural or horticultural use of combination thereof.
  • Only the acreage used for farming will be assessed as farmland
  • In order to have a farmland classification on the entire property, 51% of the property must be actively farmed.
  • Additional information regarding the guidelines is available from the Illinois Department of Revenue in the Illinois real Property Appraisal Manual, pages 95-97.
Beekeeper Guidelines:
  • Register your bee hives
Jo Daviess County Assessment Office requires your bee operation/hives to be registered through the Illinois Department of Agriculture. Information on registration may be found here:
    • Specifically IL Bees & Apiaries Rules
    • Beekeeper Registration Form
    • A yearly renewal registration is required (with the State) in November per Section 60.20 - Registration; Colony Identification – C (link provided above)
    • It is the responsibility of the property owner(s) to submit a copy of the renewed registration yearly to the County Assessment Office; failure to provide this could result in your preferential farm assessment being removed and your property re-classed to residential.
  • Other Documents or Requirements
    • MUST provide income tax documents from the sale of honey or other honey products (schedule F), should be submitted and
    • It is recommended that a “pollinator” garden is planted on the property, or near the property. (½ mile to 3 miles from hives).
  • How many bee hives per acre do I need to pollinate a crop?
  • Jo Daviess County Assessment Office requires 2-3 hive huts per acre.
    • Average bee hive densities (hives per acre) recommended for crops grown in the USA range from 1-7. Most crops that benefit from honey bees require 2-3.
    • Recommended numbers have inched upwards in recent years because of a drop in wild honey bee densities.
  • All General Farmland Guidelines listed above apply as well.
Other Available Programs (Preferential Assessments)
217.785.8284 or 217.785.8774
  • Filed with the IDNR (Illinois Department of Natural Resources)
  • A PTAX-337-R must be completed; this form will be returned to you by IDNR
  • Easement property is valued at 8 1/3% of market value
  • Once your Conservation Easement is recorded, the recorded document and a copy of the approved PTAX-337-R (with Part 3 & Part 4 completed) MUST be submitted to the Jo Daviess County Assessment Office – THIS IS THE OWNER'S RESPONSIBILITY.  
  • Reference INSTRUCTIONS on page 2 of the PTAX-337-R Application.  This form available at under General Forms
217.785.8284 or 217.785.8774
FILED with the IDNR (Illinois Department of Natural Resources)
Valued at 5% of market value, must have 5 or more contiguous acres
Effective the following January 1 after approval
Jo Daviess Farm Service Agency
  • Once a program is approved, it is the owner's responsibility to deliver a copy of the paperwork to the Jo Daviess County Assessment Office to go into effect.
Paul Bane (Mississippi Palisades SP)
  • Program design through a Forester
  • Forester sends application to IDOR, IDOR sends approval to County
  • Valued as 1/6 of the value of cropland
  • Must have 10 or more contiguous acres
  • Effective the following January 1 after approval