HB 1097 – Ag land classification sent to summer task force

Today, the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee took up HB 1097, the bill brought by Rep. Verchio to change how land is classified as agricultural land.

There has been some confusion about what the bill does, as there is any time you change a complicated statute like agricultural land classification. SDCL 10-6-31.3 right now says you have to meet two of three criteria in order to classify your land as “agricultural,” and sometimes small producers have a difficult time meeting two of the three

What HB 1097 would do is change things a bit so everyone has to meet one criteria: the land must be primarily used as agricultural land. It keeps the 20 acre requirement, which is in current statute, but does require 20 acres of everyone, which is a change. It would also require folks looking for an agriculture classification to meet one of two additional criteria. One would be that the land provide a minimum of $1,000 of income per year; the second would be the acreage requirement again.

There are some issues with the bill, and despite its passage through the House, in the Senate Ag Committee decided it would be a better idea to send this to the Agricultural Land Assessment Task Force which meets every summer (you can see last years’ work here).

It is a pretty urgent issue, so it will be important to keep tabs on what the Ag Land Task Force is doing. We’ll keep you all up to date over the summer!



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