Soil appraisal

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Under soil evaluation , even Scoring or scoring , refers to the evaluation of the profitability and thus the estimate of the value (floor creditworthiness) of agricultural land ( arable land or grassland soils ). For this purpose, the profitability of the property is first assessed as part of the arable or grassland appraisal, which results solely from the soil and, in the case of grassland, also from the climate. This is followed by surcharges or deductions that take the terrain characteristics (e.g. slope inclination ) into account.


According to archaeological research, the beginnings of land surveying and credit rating go back to the times of the ancient civilized peoples of the Orient. In Mesopotamia as well as in ancient Egypt there was an archetype of the cadastre . In the old empire (around 3000 BC), the farmers' taxes were already measured according to the type and quality of their properties. This shows the close connection between taxation, surveying and land appraisal.

The hoof system was widespread in Central Europe from the Middle Ages .

From the beginning of the 19th century until the 1930s, the procedure was strictly based on the parcels of the real estate cadastre . Each parcel was estimated individually. This was a relatively laborious process, especially with small plots.


In Germany, after a planning phase that had already begun at the end of the 1920s, a Soil Estimation Act ( Act on the Estimation of Cultivated Soil in Germany ) was passed on October 16, 1934 . With this “Reich soil estimate”, the Reich government wanted to get an overview of how and with what proportion the different soils are represented in the individual companies, districts, communities, administrative districts and throughout the country. This soil appraisal law ordered the soil appraisal to be carried out for the entire Reich.

§ 1 For the purpose of a fair distribution of taxes, a planned arrangement of land use and an improvement of the lending documents, a soil appraisal is carried out for the agriculturally used areas of the Reich.

Up to this point in time there were no standardized documents about the soils in Germany. The trigger for a uniform land appraisal was the financial administration of the Weimar Republic , which had taken over financial sovereignty from the member states. The task at hand was to create uniform tax bases for the whole of the Reich .

The Soil Estimation Act that resulted in the Third Reich was a milestone in the assessment process. After the annexation of Austria , the same regulation was introduced there. This type of recording is unique in the world. Due to the estimation accuracy and the fineness of the grid (50 m × 50 m), the investigated areas still have a ground coverage that was almost impossible to achieve anywhere else on earth in terms of accuracy and area coverage before the availability of satellite photos and GPS. A similar system is currently being set up across Europe.

In 1935 the implementing regulations for the Soil Estimation Act came into force. The practical work of the estimators was fundamentally changed. From then on, it was valued across property and parcel boundaries. The areas were divided into

  • Class areas
  • Class sections
  • Special areas

After the outbreak of the Second World War, the estimation work could not be finally completed. However, extensive maps and data are available for the areas within the borders of the German Reich at that time. In the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR , the estimate was resumed after the war and completed approximately within the next 20 years. The tax office continues to make re-assessments to this day, for example when areas deteriorate due to erosion or new management (irrigation, fertilization, traffic connection) suggests a higher classification in the tax system.

In the GDR , the estimation framework was strongly favored and further developed in order to be able to better manage the large areas of LPGs . That is why much more precise soil data are available there than in the old federal states. Parts of the GDR estimation system were adopted after reunification.


The main reason for carrying out the soil appraisal lies in the standardization of taxation in the German Reich. Insurance, compensation payments, political decisions and planning also play a role. Structural changes in agriculture also made it sensible to collect soil data, because agriculture began to change in the 19th century: for a long time, smallholder structures with a lot of manual labor dominated. The owners, tenants or administrators usually had a precise overview of their land, which had often been owned by a family for centuries. This often changed with mechanization and rural exodus: many people familiar with the area withdrew from agriculture or left the country with their knowledge. Other businesses grew and leased or bought fields. The new owners did not have such detailed knowledge of this increase. In addition, the improved infrastructure means that distances have become shorter, so that moving or buying land in remote areas has become more frequent. In the 20th century, there was also the fact that more and more people with no relation to agriculture ("townspeople") z. B. came to agriculture after studying to do work or even to run businesses.

In order to enable new, sometimes completely unfamiliar owners to choose the crops or the cultivation, a precise planning basis is required. This is shown by the fact that the soil appraisal in the GDR with its huge LPG areas was expanded to the extreme and carried out.

The soil estimate flows into:

In addition to the tax aspect, the land appraisal serves other purposes such as:


In soil estimation, one differentiates between that

  • Land appraisal framework
  • Grassland estimation framework

Land appraisal framework

First of all, the best arable land in what was then German territory was determined - located near the village of Eickendorf in the Magdeburg Börde, which is known for its fertile soils . This soil ( black earth ) received the maximum soil value number 100. All other estimates are based on this value through a network of comparative pieces that were created in all parts of the country. That is why the small museum for soil assessment is now located in Eickendorf .

Classification of soil type

For estimating the value of the farmland, the soil is kind of high importance. A distinction is therefore made in the field assessment framework:

Abbreviation Soil type Share of the drainable
(= less than 0.01 mm equivalent diameter)
in% of the mineral dry matter
S. Sand (main mineral soil type) under 10
Sl clayey sand 10 to under 14
lS loamy sand 14 to under 19
SL strong loamy sand 19 to under 24
sL sandy loam 24 to under 30
L. Loam (main mineral soil type) 30 to under 45
LT heavy clay 45 to under 60
T Clay (main mineral soil type) 60 and more
Mon Moor (main organogenic soil type) 0

The detection takes place in the field with the finger sample .

Classification of the origin

The soil groups are further subdivided into their possible types of formation, caused by the mechanical forces that change the soil in a natural way, namely ice, wind and water:

  • Al = alluvium (alluvial soil)
  • Lö = loess (Pleistocene, aeolian deposit; "wind soil")
  • D = Diluvium (glacial or tertiary soil)
  • V = weathered soil
  • Vg = rocky weathered soil
  • Dg = rocky diluvial soil
  • Alg = rocky alluvial soil

Classification of the state level

Each type of soil has a different status level according to its soil development :

1 ... gradual transition of the humus-rich crumb to the subsoil (highest quality) up to 7 ... sharp boundary between crumb and subsoil (lowest quality)

Result: Soil class for arable land

The three parameters determined so far (soil type, condition level and origin) result in the soil class . It represents a measure of the general soil condition. Example: L 4 V 63/58 (loam, condition level 4, weathered soil, number of soil 63, number of fields 58)

Grassland estimation framework

The best soil in the country was also determined for grassland. This got the value 88. The original rock is of little importance for the productivity of grassland soils and is therefore not taken into account in the estimation framework for grassland. On the other hand, average air temperature and water availability or soil aeration are included in the assessment, as these factors have a strong influence on the productivity of grassland.

Classification of soil type

The nature of the soil does not play a role as important for the grassland soil as it does in the field estimate. In this respect, a distinction is only made here between five soil type groups:

Abbreviation Soil type Share of the drainable
(= less than 0.01 mm equivalent diameter)
in% of the mineral dry matter
S. Sand (main mineral soil type) until under 14
lS loamy sand 14 to under 24
L. Loam (main mineral soil type) 24 to under 45
T Clay (main mineral soil type) over 45
Mon Moor (main organogenic soil type) 0

Classification of the state level

The three soil levels of the grassland estimate are:

I. No sharp demarcation of the humus-rich upper soil layers
II. Crumb , not very rich in humus
III. sharp demarcation of the upper soil layers, little humus .

Classification of the climate

The average annual temperature is, among other things, decisive for the healthy growth of the grass. A distinction is made here between four climate levels , based on the average annual temperature:

a = 8 ° C and above (favorable climate level)
b = 7 to 7.9 ° C (medium climate level)
c = 5.7 to 6.9 ° C (unfavorable climate level)
d = 5.6 ° C and below (particularly unfavorable climate level)

Classification of water conditions

Healthy green growth requires a lot of water, so its availability is an important quality criterion for grassland.

One differentiates:

  1. fresh, healthy location with a good population of sweet grasses
  2. Intermediate stage
  3. damp location, but not yet dammed ; less good grasses with only a small proportion of bad sour grasses. Further no dry location
  4. Intermediate stage
  5. worst level. it includes
    • wet to swampy locations with predominantly sour grasses and
    • very dry, arid locations (south-facing slopes) with less good, hard grass

Result: Soil class for grassland

With the determination of the soil quality by the above four parameters, classes were again formed, for example: IS II b 2 46/44 (loamy sand, soil level II, climate level b, water conditions 2, grassland base number 46, grassland number 44)

Determination of the productivity of the soil

The classes determined by means of the arable and grassland estimation framework can be used to quantify the general soil quality. When converted, these classes result in a value range that indicates the percentage of the possible maximum yield: "With the above soil quality, this soil brings so much less yield compared to the value 100 (or 88)."

The estimation framework then specifies, for example, the following:

L 5 D → 50-57
L II b 3 → 41-49

Individual surcharges or discounts can be defined for the values ​​determined. For example, a field or grassland plot can be difficult to manage due to its terrain (e.g. hillside location or depressions with backwater), which can reduce the overall yield. In this respect, a further distinction is made:

  1. L 5 E 57/ 55 → Ackerzahl
  2. L II B 3 - 49/ 45 → grassland number

Estimation results

Results are:

The results of the soil appraisal are recorded in appraisal maps. These are the basis for taking over the land appraisal in the real estate cadastre, here in the real estate register. The real estate register provides evidence of the estimate results for each estimated parcel, including the number of arable land or grassland and the yield indicator.

Yield metric

The yield index (EMZ) expresses the natural productivity of an area valued in soil. It is the product of an area in ares (100 m²) and the number of arable land or grassland (values). If there are several sub-areas with different arable land or grassland numbers within an area, the sum of the products of the individual sub-areas in Ar and the respective value figure forms the yield index for the total area.

The property tax per unit area is levied via the yield indicator . Please note, however, that the EMZ is only a comparative number and not a real value.


Area: 2000 m² (= 20 Ar)
Number of fields: 32
→ EMZ: 640

Accordingly, 2000 m² of usable agricultural area are taxed with the value 32 exactly as 640 m² with the value 100.

Calculation of the yield index: (arable land / grassland number × area in m²) divided by 100.

Example: An area of ​​11,300 m² with an estimate of: L II b2 50/44 (44 × 11,300) divided by 100 results in an EMZ of 4972.

The yield indicators are digitally available and retrievable in the land register of the cadastre for all agriculturally used land.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. August Schnider, H. von Welz (1925) Assessment of condition, yield and value (rating) of agricultural properties , FP Datterer & cie.
  2. Wein-Plus, the European Wine Network, accessed on May 14, 2012
  3. a b Estimation framework from the Bergischgladbach tax office (PDF; 65 kB)
  4. Legend of the valuation map in color (PDF; 24 kB) ( Memento of July 10, 2012 in the Internet Archive )