In order for land to qualify for agricultural classification, it must be used in good faith for commercial agricultural use. Pursuant to the Florida Statutes 193.461, the following guidelines are established for determining bona fide commercial agricultural use by property size and type of agricultural use. If the property meets the criteria, it will be considered for classification as agricultural.
All agricultural classifications will be reviewed on a regular basis. Applications for new agricultural classifications or changes in previous designations must be filed with the Property Appraiser’s Office before March 1st of each year. The Property Appraiser may deny the request for agricultural classification if lands are not being used for or have been diverted from agricultural use.
DR 482 – Application for Agricultural Classification of Land
DR 482C – Land Use for Conservation – Assessment Application
DR 482CR – Land Used for Conservation – Assessment Reapplication
DR 418C– Real Property Dedicated in Perpetuity for Conservation Exemption
The following factors may be used in determining eligibility for agricultural classification.
- The length of time the land has been so used
- Whether the operation has been continuous
- The purchase price paid
- Size, as it relates to specific agricultural use
- Whether evidence establishes a bona fide effort by the property owner to sufficiently and adequately care for the land in a commercial agricultural manner
- Whether the land is under lease, and if so, the effective length, terms, and conditions of the lease
- Other factors as may become applicable
The following are the minimum acreage and stocking rates in Walton County for typical agricultural operations.
|Cows – 10 breeding age females or equivalent||20|
|Goats, sheep or hogs – 30 breeding age females or equivalent||10|
|Horse Farm – 3 registered brood mares in production annually||10|
|Corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, cotton & etc.||20|
|Vegetables & peanuts||10|
|Planted pines planting rate 500/ac||10|
|Christmas trees planting rate 900/ac||5|
|Tree farm-field nursery planting rate 900/ac||5|
|Strawberries, blueberries & blackberries||5|
|Citrus, apples, pears, peaches & persimmons
(Tree Spacing & number of trees per acre requirements)
|Fish Farms & poultry||Individual Basis|
|Feed Lot||Individual Basis|
- Actual use on January 1st, not expected or anticipated use, will be the basis for approval.
- Must be operated in such a manner as to reasonably expect to make a return on investment.
- Livestock must be bred and raised for commercial purposes. Stables must raise and sell horses. Riding and boarding are not regarded as bona fide commercial agricultural operations.
- Agricultural operations should file a tangible personal property return on all equipment that is involved in the farming operation by April 1 of each year.
Merchantability of the timber will be considered, and a management plan may be required outlining measures such as reforesting, cutting fire lanes, controlled burns, etc.
Timber tracts that have been clear-cut should notify this office at the time of harvest, and must be replanted within three years afterwards in order to maintain the classification. Note that this three year extension window does not carry over to a new owner of the property is sold.
An indicated effort was made to maintain and care sufficiently and adequately for this type of land, i.e., fertilizing, liming, mowing, fencing, etc.
Crops must be marketed commercially. Production of crops for your own use (such as gardens) does not qualify the parcel of land for agricultural classification.
Nurseries should have a state agricultural certificate and occupational license. Only areas actually used for the nursery and service area shall be classified.