How to Become an Agricultural & Farm Machinery Appraiser

How to Become an Agricultural & Farm Machinery Appraiser
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Agricultural appraisers estimate the value of agricultural land, equipment and other tangible assets owned by the farm. This is necessary if the landowner wants to obtain a loan or do any other type of real estate transaction. This is a specialized field of appraisal and requires special training and experience.

Because it is specialized, it is a lucrative business for those who have prior farm knowledge. The next thing you probably want to know is: How do you become an asset appraiser?

What Is an Ag Equipment Appraiser?

What is a farm appraiser? As an agricultural appraiser, you might have to evaluate the value of livestock, different fields and crops and the unique characteristics of a piece of property. You will evaluate the value of specialized equipment, specialized buildings and other property located on the farm. It is different from other types of appraising, such as residential home appraisal, because of the variety and uniqueness of every farm operation.

How to Become a Farm Equipment Appraiser

How to become a certified farm equipment appraiser varies by state. Many states require you to be a residential or commercial appraiser before you apply to this specialty. You must know about various types of farms and operations. To become an ag equipment appraiser, you must often first become a residential or commercial appraiser and have an active license.

You must then seek out a mentor who specializes in agricultural appraisals. You might also need to take related courses and further your education. If you are serious about this field, you might also want to pursue the Accredited Rural Appraiser designation.

Some states require you to become a Certified General Appraiser to do farm appraisals. This certification requires ​300​ hours of coursework, an appropriate degree and ​3,000​ hours of work experience. Some states require you to have a certified general appraiser license if you are doing an appraisal of high-value properties, of which many farms qualify. You will also want to join the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA) for additional support, training and seminars for professionals in the field. The American Society of Agricultural Appraisers (ASAA) is another professional organization that serves professionals in the field.

Approaches to Farm Equipment Appraisal

There are several different approaches to farm appraisal. One is the cost approach, which considers how much it would cost to rebuild the property if it were to be lost. The second is the income approach that involves an analysis of the incomes and expenses that are associated with the property. The third method is the sales approach. This approach analyzes recent sales in the same area for similar properties.

There are also different types of appraisal reports, such as restricted-use appraisal reports, summary appraisal reports and self-contained appraisal reports. Agricultural appraisals are different from residential and commercial appraisals in many ways.

What Is the Potential for a Farm Equipment Appraiser?

How much does a farmland appraisal cost, and how much does an equipment appraisal cost? The cost of an appraisal depends on the size of the property, the amount of equipment involved and how many different products the farm produces. Your salary will depend on whether you work for someone else, or whether you work for yourself and are responsible for getting your own appraisal contracts.

If you work for yourself, salaries can vary widely. According to, the average salary for a real estate appraiser is about ​$57,606​ per year. The reported range is between ​$14,000​ per year and ​$142,000​ per year. Agricultural appraisers tend to earn about ​$15,000​ more per year than those working as residential appraisers, making this a lucrative specialty.