Contributory Value of Farm Buildings
While new construction costs can be estimated from local contractors, determining the value of existing buildings is much more difficult. The tough question is how much are the old buildings worth? To determine value we need to think about what the building was designed for, whether it is still useful for that original intended use, or if it could possibly be used for something else. Each type of building has unique considerations when making these assessments.
A grain bin is an easy one. It is designed to store grain. Is it large enough that a producer would still want to use it? Does it have aeration fans or drying fans? Does it have unload augers? Once some of these questions are answered then the condition of the bin is looked at to see if there are maintenance issues that need to be fixed.
A study was conducted of many improved farm sales. The study indicated the grain bins contributed $0.20 to $0.80 per bushel. This is a large range in value. The newer, larger bins contributed the most value while smaller, older bins were at the low end of the range. Small bins without unload augers or aeration fans did not contribute any value to the farm sales, even if they were in use.
Machine sheds can be difficult. With modern farm equipment getting larger year after year, the size of the building is an important factor. Is the building tall enough to accommodate a combine or large piece of tillage equipment? Are the height and width of the door large enough for the equipment? Once these factors are determined, the condition of the building can be considered.
A similar study as the grain bins was conducted of machine sheds and resulted in a range from $0.50 to over $4.00 per square foot. The size of the buildings and the door opening size are important factors in the values. Machine sheds with a concrete floor are typically near the high end of the range.