Farmland Investment

Can Farmland And Other Land Be Depreciated?

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Depreciation is a financial concept that involves allocating the cost of an asset over its useful life.

While farmland itself is not subject to depreciation, certain improvements made to the land can be considered depreciable assets.

This article aims to provide a simple explanation of farmland depreciation, focusing on the depreciable improvements that accompany the land.

Depreciation and Asset Allocation

Depreciation is a method used to distribute the cost of an asset across the time periods in which it is utilized.

For instance, if you purchase a machine for production purposes that will be used over several periods, its cost should be allocated accordingly.

Depreciation allows for the systematic allocation of the asset's cost over its useful life.

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Farmland and Depreciation

When acquiring farmland, you not only gain ownership of the land itself but also various assets that come with it.

While the land itself is not subject to depreciation, certain improvements made to the land are considered depreciable assets. These improvements have a limited useful life and will deteriorate or become obsolete over time.

Depreciable Improvements

The improvements made to farmland, such as wells, dams, buildings, fences, irrigation systems, or drainage systems, are considered depreciable assets.

These additions enhance the productivity and functionality of the land but will wear out or require replacement eventually.

Allocating Cost Based on Life Expectancy

The cost of these depreciable improvements is allocated over their estimated useful lives.

By spreading the cost over time, it reflects the gradual wear and tear or obsolescence of these assets. The specific depreciation method used, such as straight-line depreciation or accelerated depreciation, determines the rate at which the cost is allocated.

Land as a Non-Depreciable Asset

In contrast to the depreciable improvements, the land itself is not subject to depreciation.

Land is presumed to have an indefinite useful life as it does not wear out or become obsolete. Its value is typically expected to either hold steady or appreciate over time.


Depreciation is a concept that allows for the allocation of asset costs over their useful lives.

While farmland itself is not depreciable, the improvements made to the land, such as wells, dams, buildings, fences, irrigation systems, or drainage systems, are considered depreciable assets.

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