Location, markets, hard surface roads and other transportation facilities, churches, taxes, schools, and utilities are major factors in the monetary value of land, yet these things do not contribute to the land’s productivity. In this bulletin the only factor considered in determining the agricultural value of land is its productive capacity.
The three major factors in the productive value of land are water, climate, and soil.
These three factors are the principal ones in crop production. If any one of them is unfavorable to plant growth, it can inhibit or even prevent plant growth regardless of how favorable the other factors may be. Productive capacity of land is no better than that permitted by any one of the three factors. Even if two of the factors are favorable, the land will not produce above the capacity of the third.
This paper presents a system whereby the effect of soil, water, and climate upon the productive capacity of land can be more clearly understood and more easily evaluated. Not only can the system be used to evaluate the productive capacity, but also to identify factors which may be lowering the value of the land and to evaluate their relative importance.
A number of factors that give value to land are rated. The values presented are average relative values which may need some modification before being applied in a specific locality.
The authors have presented a philosophy of land evaluation built around scientific facts. They fully expect the values presented to be modified as further data becomes available – also, that additional graphical relationships will be developed for other quantities which have not been quantitatively evaluated in this presentation. This expansion and modification will come as the influence of these factors on agricultural value of land becomes clearer.
Harris, Karl and Hansen, Vaughn E., "Relative Productive Value of Land" (1950). Reports. Paper 447.