What is the minimal amount of acreage a person must have to be classified as...

Asked March 4, 2014, 9:20 PM EST

What is the minimal amount of acreage a person must have to be classified as a small farm

Charles County Maryland

1 Response

It really depends on the purpose of the classification and who is making the classification.

For purposes of the agricultural census, the standard definition for a farm by USDA is based on income rather than based on acreage. Any practice generating $1000 or more of income is considered a farm.

For purposes of agricultural land assessment for property taxes, the state of Maryland considers a parcel to be a farm based a combination of acreage and/or income. The rules are a bit complicated, so review the ag assessment website for more detailed information. In general the parcel must be actively farmed and either generate $2500 of gross income or be at least 3 acres of open land or 5 acres of woodland. More information can be found on the ag assessment eligibility here: http://www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/aguse.html


For purposes of land use and local zoning requirements, the definition of a farm and the allowable uses vary depending upon the location of the farm. For instance, where animals may be housed or where a farm market may be placed. Check with the local Planning and Zoning office in La Plata or visit their website here: http://www.charlescountymd.gov/pgm/welcome


Hope this helps.
Ben