Iowa State University

Iowa State University

Wendong Zhang, Assistant Professor of Economics


Econ 364 - Rural Property Appraisal

Prerequisite: Econ 101 – Principles of Microeconomics or FlipIt Econ



- Excellent networking opportunities with five to six guest lectures from speakers with extensive appraisal experience

- Hands-on learning through actual appraisal project of one farmland parcel of your choice!


There is no required textbook for this class and all course materials will be posted on the Blackboard. For those who are interested, I encourage you to read the following textbooks for reference.

• Murray, William, Duane Harris, Gerald Miller, and Neill Thompson, 1983. Farm Appraisal and Valuation, 6th edition, the Iowa State University Press

• American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and the Appraisal Institute, 2000, The Appraisal of Rural Property, 2nd edition

Detailed Description

There are two major objectives for this course. One is to develop an understanding of the fundamentals and principles of valuing and appraising rural property, especially farmland. Students will gain an appreciation of what an appraiser does, what constitutes a sound appraisal and how to apply this knowledge in their careers. The second major objective is to show students how to evaluate an individual land purchase. Buying land involves many individual factors that must be considered.

Data Sources for the Appraisal Project

Iowa Land Value Sales: Beacon; Vanguard; Iowa County Assessors; Iowa Land Records

Iowa Land Value Portal

USDA NASS Web Soil Survey

Iowa GIS Map Server - Historical Aerial Photos

U of Missouri Ag Site Assessment Tool

Farmland Auction Results: Hertz; Farmers National; Peoples Company

Industry Land Value Predictions: Acre Value, What's My Farm Worth, Peak Soil Land Index

Popular Ag Magazines: Wallaces Farmer, Landowner Newsletter, Iowa Farmer Today

Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA)