Agricultural Property

In Wyoming, land being used to obtain a monetary profit from an agricultural product that meets specific qualifications, may qualify for an agricultural designation. Agricultural land is assessed based on the land's productive capability under normal conditions.  In order to qualify as a agricultural designation an affidavit must be completed and returned to the Assessor's office along with supporting documentation.

Agriculture Definitions

  • Agricultural – the primary use of the land is to produce crops, harvest timber, or graze livestock for commercial purposes consistent with the land’s capability to produce including land used for a farmstead structure that supports the land’s capability to produce.
  • Agricultural Products – includes the grazing of livestock, growing of crops or forage under cultivated conditions, or the management and harvest of timber products, for commercial purposes.
  • Agricultural Operation – shall mean a business in the primary pursuit of activities that attempt to produce agricultural products by the application of management, capital, and labor consistent with accepted agricultural practices.
  • Irrigated Crop Land - Tons of hay per acre is the productivity measurement used for valuing irrigated cropland. This measurement is determined from environmental factors that affect the soils ability to produce. These "factors" or limitations includes items such as precipitation, length of growing season, slope, etc. 
  • Range Land - Animal unit months or Aum's are the productivity measurement used for valuing range land. The term "AUM" is defined as the amount of forage required to sustain a 1,000 pound cow with or without a calf, for one month.

Assessor's Responsibilities

  • Identify Ownership - The Assessor identifies the property ownership and property type (i.e., urban, suburban, agricultural land etc.) This is accomplished through ownership map overlays. Proper ownership identifications are essential to the agricultural land evaluation process. It determines the boundaries and land use in which various types of soil exist.
  • Identify Land Use - There are three major categories of agricultural land use: irrigated crop land, dry crop land, and range land. Any or all three types may be incorporated into an identified parcel of property. To properly value land, land use must be correctly identified. This is accomplished through the use of Natural Resources Conservation Soil Surveys. Albany County uses digital soil maps that have been georeferenced. Ownership layers are superimposed over the soil layer and the given soil types in any agricultural property are then digitally measured, providing total acreage of the soil types within any property.
  • Identify Productivity - The following three categories of agricultural land are used in arriving at productivity value; dry crop land,* irrigated crop land, and range land. (*Not applicable to Albany County).

Determining Value

Once ownership has been identified, land use has been established, and the productive capability has been tabulated for the parcel, a four-step valuation process begins:
  • Determining Prices of Agricultural Products - This information is derived from the Wyoming Agricultural Statistics Service’s commodity price data and consists of hay, wheat and grazing prices and is converted to a 5-year weighted average.
  • Capitalization Rate Selection - This rate is based on the Farm Credit Services of Omaha’s Long Term Portfolio rates (with an added effective tax rate component), which are also converted to a 5-year weighted average.
  • Determine Net Income - To determine the net income, the unit price of each of the three commodities is multiplied by the production per acre. Next, the landlord share is determined, if applicable, then the expenses and production losses are deducted to establish a net income to the landlord.
  • Capitalize Net Income - The final step in the process is capitalizing the net income. The following formula illustrates the final step in the valuation process: (yield per acre x net value per commodity unit) / capitalization rate = land value per acre.

Related Documents

Wyoming Department of Revenue Manuals and Studies (all found under the publications tab)