Valuation of Agriculture Land

  1. Land used for agricultural purpose shall be valued using solely the income approach to value without any allowance for urban or market influences.
  2. The income of the property shall be determined using the capitalized average annual net cash rental of the property.
    1. Is the average of the annual net cash rental, excluding real estate and sales taxes, determined through an analysis of typical arm's length rental agreements collected for a five-year period before the year for which the valuation is being determined for comparable agricultural land used for agricultural purposes and located in the vicinity, if practicable, of the property being valued.
    2. Shall be capitalized at a rate 1.5 percentage points higher than the average long-term annual effective interest rate for all new farm credit services loans for the five-year period before the year for which the valuation is being determined.

The Income Approach

The income approach is used to value commercial or industrial properties, or properties which are bought and sold by investors primarily because of their income-producing potential. This approach to value depends on reliable and detailed information on the income and the costs of doing business for a particular business or enterprise. This is referred to as the "income stream" of the property. The income approach defines value as "the present worth of future benefits of owning a property." These are composed of the annual income for an estimated number of years (called the economic life of the property) plus a capital amount representing land value or land value plus some remaining worth of the improvements. This approach emphasizes investment components rather than physical components of a property.

The steps in the income approach are:

  1. Estimate potential gross income (PGI)
  2. Deduct vacancy and collection losses
  3. Add miscellaneous income to derive effective gross income (EGI)
  4. Deduct operating expenses to derive net operating income (NOI)
  5. Select appropriate capitalization rate and method
  6. Develop an estimated value

Glossary - Agricultural Property

Agricultural Land

Land which is one or more of the following:

  • Cropland of at least 20 gross acres
  • Ten or more gross acres of permanent crop
  • Grazing land with a minimum carrying capacity of 40 animal units, and containing an economically feasible number of units
  • Land devoted to high density use in the production of commodities
  • Land devoted to use in the processing of cotton necessary for marketing
  • Land devoted to use in the processing of grapes for marketing

Agricultural Home Site

An allowance for residence and associated residential structures on an agricultural property (usually one acre, unless actual occupancy dictates a larger acreage used strictly for residential purposes).

Agricultural Property

Property used for agronomy, horticulture or animal husbandry, producing an agricultural crop or commodity.

Animal Unit

A unit of measure to classify grazing land according to its carrying capacity, i.e. the ability of a parcel of land to graze a certain number of animal units over a period of time (usually a year but sometimes expressed on a monthly basis) without injurious effect upon the natural vegetative cover of the land. In the State of Arizona, the following equivalent measures have been classed as one animal unit:

  • One mature beef animal of 1,000 pounds
  • One and one-quarter horses
  • Five head of sheep
  • Five head of goats
  • Five head of Ratites

Crop Value

The value of the vine, tree, or plant over and above the land value. The add on value as permanent crops reach maturity or the value of the harvest from the field crop.

Fallow Land

Land capable of being farmed but due to the lack or cost of water or participation in a crop rotation program is left idle. It is value the same as irrigated lands.

Farm property Qualification

The type of crop being raised on a farmstead relates directly to the qualification for farm property. Field crops (grain, alfalfa, sugar beets, lettuce, safflower, etc.) require twenty (20) acres or more. For permanent crops (citrus, nut, grape and fruit) ten acres or more are normally required.

Headquarters Land

Land used for storage and farm/ranch improvements (barns, sheds, corrals, seasonal employees housing) and valued the same as crop or grazing land.

Irrigated Land

Land cleared, leveled and ditched for the application of water and growing of plants (includes the roads, ditches, well sites, ponds, turn and skip rows as well as the cropped acres).

Non-Qualifying Rural Property

Land used for residential pleasure, development, speculative or recreational purposes, classed and valued according to its primary use.

Qualifying Agricultural Property

Land must be in active production for three out of the last five years prior to application as agricultural land for qualification as agricultural property. Failure to farm the property due to severe drought conditions may extend the idle period on a year-to-year basis as initiated by the cognizant assessor, and as approved by the Department of Revenue.

Qualifying Ranch Property

Natural grazing land must have a minimum annual carrying capacity of forty (40) animal units per year to qualify as ranch property.

Undeveloped Land

Raw acreage that is not used as part of farming acreage and does not meet the criteria for classification as wasteland. Value is based upon comparable properties in the locale of similar size, quality and use potential.

Unit (Annual) Carrying Capacity

That which the land will naturally support. A measurement of the animal units allowed by the State of Arizona Land Department for negotiation of grazing leases of state land.

Waste Land

Land that can not be converted to an economically beneficial use and includes such land areas as river bottoms, sand hills, rock outcroppings, sand washes and soil salinity areas. Value is based on its contribution to the farming operation. In valuing ranch or grazing property, wasteland is not segregated and value separately.