Agriculture

Agricultural Classification

Application
An official application pdf for agricultural classification of land must be completed and submitted to the Property Appraiser's office PRIOR to March 1 of the year an owner first applies for the classification. The application is verification to the county that the owner is using the property primarily for commercial agricultural purposes. Once approved, applications are automatically renewed from year to year. If the application is denied, you will receive a certified letter in the mail by July 1st. It is the obligation of the property owner to contact us if the qualification status changes.

Homesite
If there is a homesite located on the property applying for an agricultural classification, the home and the acre it sits on are NOT eligible for this classification. The owner can obtain a homestead exemption pdf if it is the owner's primary residence.

General Information
All applications will be inspected by our field appraisers to verify use of property and to ensure the property is appraised properly. There may be additional information requested from the property owner to determine eligibility. In addition to the specific information shown below for different crops, we also consider the following types of information:

  • Purchase price paid;
  • Size, as it relates to specific agricultural use;
  • Whether there has been an effort to care sufficiently and adequately for the land as it pertains to the agricultural endeavor. This includes but is not limited to fertilizing, tilling, mowing, reforesting, and other accepted agricultural practices;
  • Whether such land is under lease, and if so, the effective length, terms, and conditions of the lease. The Property Appraiser has the right to remove the classification from land if the property is no longer being utilized for an agricultural purpose.

Leases
When a property is leased for agricultural purposes, the same rules apply to the classification. It is the ultimate responsibility of the owner to make sure the lessee is complying with all laws that govern the agricultural classification. The owner needs to submit the lease in its entirety with the application. If the lease changes, it is the responsibility of the property owner to report it to the Property Appraiser.

Guidelines
Pursuant to Florida Statutes 193.461(3) (a), "No land shall be classified as agriculture land unless an application is filed on or before March 1 of each year." Only lands which are used primarily for bona fide agriculture purposes shall be classified agricultural. "Bona fide agricultural purposes" means good faith COMMERCIAL agricultural use of land.

January 1st is the statutory assessment date therefore the property must be in use on this date. (See copy of Statutes 193.461)

These guidelines, while specific, are still "guidelines." The granting or denying of a particular application for agricultural exemption is a decision made after analyzing the entirety of circumstances surrounding the viability of the particular agricultural operation as a commercial entity, rather than on a specific point. These guidelines are intended to provide assistance to those planning to make application for the exemption. Questions beyond the scope of the items listed below should be directed to our AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT at phone number (386) 775-5228.

PASTURE LAND

  • Must be 5 acres or used in conjunction with other parcels.
  • Property must be fenced.
  • An indicated effort has been made to maintain and care sufficiently and adequately for this type of land, i.e. fertilizing, liming, tilling, mowing, etc.
  • In regards to livestock in relation to size of parcel, one cow, on one acre parcel cannot be construed as commercial agricultural operation while 70 cows on 100 acres could be. Obviously the smaller the tract of land, the more concentrated the use should be.
  • Horse farms fall within this category and the rule of thumb, 2 or more registered brood mares per operator.
  • Production of livestock for your own use does not qualify. Pleasure horses alone do not qualify.
  • If property is leased, the lease must be in effect as of January 1st. Please furnish us with a copy of the lease.

ROW CROPS

  • Must be 5 acres or used in conjunction with other parcels.
  • "Row Crops" is used in reference to those agricultural products referred to as vegetables.
  • Production of crops for own use does not qualify, i.e. garden.
  • "Hay" property used exclusively for production and harvesting of hay must be at least 10 acres or used in conjunction with other parcels.
  • If property is leased, the lease must be in effect as of January 1st. Please furnish us with a copy of the lease.

TIMBERLANDS

  • Must be 20 acres of planted pines or predominately natural stand of pines or used in conjunction with other parcels.
  • Larger tracts will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Approval will be based on the merchantability of the timber on the tract and whether or not there has been sufficient management of the timber, i.e. fire lanes, under brushing and reforesting.
  • A management plan should be implemented and a copy of the plan should be in our files.
  • Smaller tracts used for Christmas tree production will be considered nursery lands.

NURSERY

  • Must be 1 acre or used in conjunction with other parcels. Nurseries should have a state agricultural certificate and occupational license. Sales should be on wholesale level.
  • Only areas actually used for the nursery and service area shall be classified.
  • Types of Nurseries include:
    • In Ground (Ornamental)
    • Above Ground (In Pots)
    • Tree Nursery (Christmas Trees)*
    • *State agricultural certificate not required for this type

CITRUS LANDS

  • Must be 1 acre and 100 trees per acre. Land must be planted by January 1st.
  • Proper care and management of the grove must be evident.

CUT FOLIAGE AND FLOWERS

  • One acre minimum or used in conjunction with additional acreage.
  • Proper care and management must be evident.

MISCELLANEOUS AGRICULTURE

  • Poultry, swine, apiaries, blueberries, peaches, pecan, etc., will be handled on a case by case basis.

For more information, please feel free to contact our Agriculture Department at:

Volusia County Property Appraiser
Agricultural Department
2742-A Enterprise Rd
Orange City, FL 32763

Phone: 386-775-5228

Click here for the Agricultural Exemption Form pdf