IAS 41 Agriculture
Table of Contents
In April 2001 the International Accounting Standards Board (Board) adopted IAS 41
Agriculture, which had originally been issued by the International Accounting Standards
Committee in February 2001.
In December 2003 the Board issued a revised IAS 41 as part of its initial agenda of
In June 2014 the Board amended the scope of IAS 16 Property, Plant and Equipment to
include bearer plants related to agricultural activity. Bearer plants related to agricultural
activity were previously within the scope of IAS 41. However, IAS 41 applies to the
produce growing on those bearer plants.
Other Standards have made minor consequential amendments to IAS 41, including
IFRS 13 Fair Value Measurement (issued May 2011), IFRS 16 Leases (issued January 2016),
Amendments to References to the Conceptual Framework in IFRS Standards (issued March 2018)
and Annual Improvements to IFRS Standards 2018–2020 (issued May 2020).
International Accounting Standard 41 Agriculture (IAS 41) is set out in paragraphs 1–65.
All the paragraphs have equal authority but retain the IASC format of the Standard
when it was adopted by the IASB. IAS 41 should be read in the context of its objective
and the Basis for Conclusions, the Preface to IFRS Standards and the Conceptual Framework
for Financial Reporting. IAS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors
provides a basis for selecting and applying accounting policies in the absence of
International Accounting Standard 41
The objective of this Standard is to prescribe the accounting treatment and disclosures
related to agricultural activity.
This Standard shall be applied to account for the following when they
relate to agricultural activity:
(a) biological assets, except for bearer plants;
(b) agricultural produce at the point of harvest; and
(c) government grants covered by paragraphs 34 and 35.
This Standard does not apply to:
(a) land related to agricultural activity (see IAS 16 Property, Plant and
Equipment and IAS 40 Investment Property).
(b) bearer plants related to agricultural activity (see IAS 16). However, this
Standard applies to the produce on those bearer plants.
(c) government grants related to bearer plants (see IAS 20 Accounting for
Government Grants and Disclosure of Government Assistance).
(d) intangible assets related to agricultural activity (see IAS 38 Intangible
(e) right-of-use assets arising from a lease of land related to agricultural
activity (see IFRS 16 Leases).
This Standard is applied to agricultural produce, which is the harvested
produce of the entity’s biological assets, at the point of harvest. Thereafter,
IAS 2 Inventories or another applicable Standard is applied. Accordingly, this
Standard does not deal with the processing of agricultural produce after
harvest; for example, the processing of grapes into wine by a vintner who has
grown the grapes. While such processing may be a logical and natural
extension of agricultural activity, and the events taking place may bear some
similarity to biological transformation, such processing is not included within
the definition of agricultural activity in this Standard.
The table below provides examples of biological assets, agricultural produce,
and products that are the result of processing after harvest:
Products that are the
result of processing
Sheep Wool Yarn, carpet
Trees in a timber plantation
Felled trees Logs, lumber
Dairy cattle Milk Cheese
Pigs Carcass Sausages, cured hams
Cotton plants Harvested cotton Thread, clothing
Sugarcane Harvested cane Sugar
Tobacco plants Picked leaves Cured tobacco
Tea bushes Picked leaves Tea
Grape vines Picked grapes Wine
Fruit trees Picked fruit Processed fruit
Oil palms Picked fruit Palm oil
Rubber trees Harvested latex Rubber products
Some plants, for example, tea bushes, grape vines, oil palms and rubber
trees, usually meet the definition of a bearer plant and are within the scope
of IAS 16. However, the produce growing on bearer plants, for example, tea
leaves, grapes, oil palm fruit and latex, is within the scope of IAS 41.
The following terms are used in this Standard with the meanings specified:
Agricultural activity is the management by an entity of the biological
transformation and harvest of biological assets for sale or for conversion
into agricultural produce or into additional biological assets.
Agricultural produce is the harvested produce of the entity’s biological
A bearer plant is a living plant that:
(a) is used in the production or supply of agricultural produce;
(b) is expected to bear produce for more than one period; and
(c) has a remote likelihood of being sold as agricultural produce,
except for incidental scrap sales.
A biological asset is a living animal or plant.
Biological transformation comprises the processes of growth, degeneration,
production, and procreation that cause qualitative or quantitative changes
in a biological asset.
Costs to sell are the incremental costs directly attributable to the disposal of
an asset, excluding finance costs and income taxes.
A group of biological assets is an aggregation of similar living animals or
Harvest is the detachment of produce from a biological asset or the
cessation of a biological asset’s life processes.
The following are not bearer plants:
(a) plants cultivated to be harvested as agricultural produce (for example,
trees grown for use as lumber);
(b) plants cultivated to produce agricultural produce when there is more
than a remote likelihood that the entity will also harvest and sell the
plant as agricultural produce, other than as incidental scrap sales (for
example, trees that are cultivated both for their fruit and their
(c) annual crops (for example, maize and wheat).
When bearer plants are no longer used to bear produce they might be cut
down and sold as scrap, for example, for use as firewood. Such incidental
scrap sales would not prevent the plant from satisfying the definition of a
Produce growing on bearer plants is a biological asset.
Agricultural activity covers a diverse range of activities; for example, raising
livestock, forestry, annual or perennial cropping, cultivating orchards and
plantations, floriculture and aquaculture (including fish farming). Certain
common features exist within this diversity:
(a) Capability to change. Living animals and plants are capable of biological
(b) Management of change. Management facilitates biological transformation
by enhancing, or at least stabilizing, conditions necessary for the
process to take place (for example, nutrient levels, moisture,
temperature, fertility, and light). Such management distinguishes
agricultural activity from other activities. For example, harvesting
from unmanaged sources (such as ocean fishing and deforestation) is
not agricultural activity; and
(c) Measurement of change. The change in quality (for example, genetic
merit, density, ripeness, fat cover, protein content, and fibre strength)
or quantity (for example, progeny, weight, cubic metres, fibre length
or diameter, and number of buds) brought about by biological
transformation or harvest is measured and monitored as a routine
Biological transformation results in the following types of outcomes:
(a) asset changes through (i) growth (an increase in quantity or
improvement in quality of an animal or plant), (ii) degeneration (a
decrease in the quantity or deterioration in quality of an animal or
plant), or (iii) procreation (creation of additional living animals or
(b) production of agricultural produce such as latex, tea leaf, wool, and
The following terms are used in this Standard with the meanings specified:
Carrying amount is the amount at which an asset is recognized in the
statement of financial position.
Fair value is the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to
transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at
the measurement date. (See IFRS 13 Fair Value Measurement.)
Government grants are as defined in IAS 20.
Recognition and measurement
An entity shall recognize a biological asset or agricultural produce when,
and only when:
(a) the entity controls the asset as a result of past events;
(b) it is probable that future economic benefits associated with the
asset will flow to the entity; and
(c) the fair value or cost of the asset can be measured reliably.
In agricultural activity, control may be evidenced by, for example, legal
ownership of cattle and the branding or otherwise marking of the cattle on
acquisition, birth, or weaning. The future benefits are normally assessed by
measuring the significant physical attributes.
A biological asset shall be measured on initial recognition and at the end of
each reporting period at its fair value less costs to sell, except for the case
described in paragraph 30 where the fair value cannot be measured
Agricultural produce harvested from an entity’s biological assets shall be
measured at its fair value less costs to sell at the point of harvest. Such
measurement is the cost at that date when applying IAS 2 Inventories or
another applicable Standard.
The fair value measurement of a biological asset or agricultural produce may
be facilitated by grouping biological assets or agricultural produce according
to significant attributes; for example, by age or quality. An entity selects the
attributes corresponding to the attributes used in the market as a basis for
Entities often enter into contracts to sell their biological assets or agricultural
produce at a future date. Contract prices are not necessarily relevant in
measuring fair value, because fair value reflects the current market conditions
in which market participant buyers and sellers would enter into a transaction.
As a result, the fair value of a biological asset or agricultural produce is not
adjusted because of the existence of a contract. In some cases, a contract for
the sale of a biological asset or agricultural produce may be an onerous
contract, as defined in IAS 37 Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent
Assets. IAS 37 applies to onerous contracts.
An entity does not include any cash flows for financing the assets or
re-establishing biological assets after harvest (for example, the cost of
replanting trees in a plantation forest after harvest).
Cost may sometimes approximate fair value, particularly when:
(a) little biological transformation has taken place since initial cost
incurrence (for example, for seedlings planted immediately prior to the
end of a reporting period or newly acquired livestock); or
(b) the impact of the biological transformation on price is not expected to
be material (for example, for the initial growth in a 30-year pine
plantation production cycle).
Biological assets are often physically attached to land (for example, trees in a
plantation forest). There may be no separate market for biological assets that
are attached to the land but an active market may exist for the combined
assets, that is, the biological assets, raw land, and land improvements, as a
package. An entity may use information regarding the combined assets to
measure the fair value of the biological assets. For example, the fair value of
raw land and land improvements may be deducted from the fair value of the
combined assets to arrive at the fair value of biological assets.
Gains and losses
A gain or loss arising on initial recognition of a biological asset at fair value
less costs to sell and from a change in fair value less costs to sell of a
biological asset shall be included in profit or loss for the period in which it
A loss may arise on initial recognition of a biological asset, because costs to
sell are deducted in determining fair value less costs to sell of a biological
asset. A gain may arise on initial recognition of a biological asset, such as
when a calf is born.
A gain or loss arising on initial recognition of agricultural produce at fair
value less costs to sell shall be included in profit or loss for the period in
which it arises.
A gain or loss may arise on initial recognition of agricultural produce as a
result of harvesting.
Inability to measure fair value reliably
There is a presumption that fair value can be measured reliably for
a biological asset. However, that presumption can be rebutted only on
initial recognition for a biological asset for which quoted market prices are
not available and for which alternative fair value measurements are
determined to be clearly unreliable. In such a case, that biological asset
shall be measured at its cost less any accumulated depreciation and any
accumulated impairment losses. Once the fair value of such a biological
asset becomes reliably measurable, an entity shall measure it at its fair
value less costs to sell. Once a non-current biological asset meets the
criteria to be classified as held for sale (or is included in a disposal group
that is classified as held for sale) in accordance with IFRS 5 Non-current
Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations, it is presumed that fair value
can be measured reliably.
The presumption in paragraph 30 can be rebutted only on initial recognition.
An entity that has previously measured a biological asset at its fair value less
costs to sell continues to measure the biological asset at its fair value less costs
to sell until disposal.
In all cases, an entity measures agricultural produce at the point of harvest at
its fair value less costs to sell. This Standard reflects the view that the fair
value of agricultural produce at the point of harvest can always be measured
In determining cost, accumulated depreciation and accumulated impairment
losses, an entity considers IAS 2, IAS 16 and IAS 36 Impairment of Assets.
An unconditional government grant related to a biological asset measured
at its fair value less costs to sell shall be recognized in profit or loss when,
and only when, the government grant becomes receivable.
If a government grant related to a biological asset measured at its fair
value less costs to sell is conditional, including when a government grant
requires an entity not to engage in specified agricultural activity, an entity
shall recognize the government grant in profit or loss when, and only
when, the conditions attaching to the government grant are met.
Terms and conditions of government grants vary. For example, a grant may
require an entity to farm in a particular location for five years and require the
entity to return all of the grant if it farms for a period shorter than five years.
In this case, the grant is not recognized in profit or loss until the five years have passed. However, if the terms of the grant allow part of it to be retained
according to the time that has elapsed, the entity recognizes that part in profit
or loss as time passes.
If a government grant relates to a biological asset measured at its cost less any
accumulated depreciation and any accumulated impairment losses (see
paragraph 30), IAS 20 is applied.
This Standard requires a different treatment from IAS 20, if a government
grant relates to a biological asset measured at its fair value less costs to sell or
a government grant requires an entity not to engage in specified agricultural
activity. IAS 20 is applied only to a government grant related to a biological
asset measured at its cost less any accumulated depreciation and any
accumulated impairment losses.
An entity shall disclose the aggregate gain or loss arising during the
current period on initial recognition of biological assets and agricultural
produce and from the change in fair value less costs to sell of biological
An entity shall provide a description of each group of biological assets.
The disclosure required by paragraph 41 may take the form of a narrative or
An entity is encouraged to provide a quantified description of each group of
biological assets, distinguishing between consumable and bearer biological
assets or between mature and immature biological assets, as appropriate. For
example, an entity may disclose the carrying amounts of consumable
biological assets and bearer biological assets by group. An entity may further
divide those carrying amounts between mature and immature assets. These
distinctions provide information that may be helpful in assessing the timing
of future cash flows. An entity discloses the basis for making any such
Consumable biological assets are those that are to be harvested as agricultural
produce or sold as biological assets. Examples of consumable biological assets
are livestock intended for the production of meat, livestock held for sale, fish
in farms, crops such as maize and wheat, produce on a bearer plant and trees
being grown for lumber. Bearer biological assets are those other than
consumable biological assets; for example, livestock from which milk is
produced and fruit trees from which fruit is harvested. Bearer biological assets
are not agricultural produce but, rather, are held to bear produce.
Biological assets may be classified either as mature biological assets or
immature biological assets. Mature biological assets are those that have
attained harvestable specifications (for consumable biological assets) or are
able to sustain regular harvests (for bearer biological assets).
If not disclosed elsewhere in information published with the financial
statements, an entity shall describe:
(a) the nature of its activities involving each group of biological assets;
(b) non-financial measures or estimates of the physical quantities of:
(i) each group of the entity’s biological assets at the end of the
(ii) output of agricultural produce during the period.
An entity shall disclose:
(a) the existence and carrying amounts of biological assets whose title
is restricted, and the carrying amounts of biological assets pledged
as security for liabilities;
(b) the amount of commitments for the development or acquisition of
biological assets; and
(c) financial risk management strategies related to agricultural activity.
An entity shall present a reconciliation of changes in the carrying
amount of biological assets between the beginning and the end of the
current period. The reconciliation shall include:
(a) the gain or loss arising from changes in fair value less costs to sell;
(b) increases due to purchases;
(c) decreases attributable to sales and biological assets classified as held
for sale (or included in a disposal group that is classified as held for
sale) in accordance with IFRS 5;
(d) decreases due to harvest;
(e) increases resulting from business combinations;
(f) net exchange differences arising on the translation of financial
statements into a different presentation currency, and on the
translation of a foreign operation into the presentation currency of
the reporting entity; and
(g) other changes.
The fair value less costs to sell of a biological asset can change due to both
physical changes and price changes in the market. Separate disclosure of
physical and price changes is useful in appraising current period performance
and future prospects, particularly when there is a production cycle of more than one year. In such cases, an entity is encouraged to disclose, by group or
otherwise, the amount of change in fair value less costs to sell included in
profit or loss due to physical changes and due to price changes. This
information is generally less useful when the production cycle is less than one
year (for example, when raising chickens or growing cereal crops).
Biological transformation results in a number of types of physical change—
growth, degeneration, production, and procreation, each of which is
observable and measurable. Each of those physical changes has a direct
relationship to future economic benefits. A change in fair value of a biological
asset due to harvesting is also a physical change.
Agricultural activity is often exposed to climatic, disease and other natural
risks. If an event occurs that gives rise to a material item of income or
expense, the nature and amount of that item are disclosed in accordance with
IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements. Examples of such an event include an
outbreak of a virulent disease, a flood, a severe drought or frost, and a plague
Additional disclosures for biological assets where fair
value cannot be measured reliably
If an entity measures biological assets at their cost less any accumulated
depreciation and any accumulated impairment losses (see paragraph 30) at
the end of the period, the entity shall disclose for such biological assets:
(a) a description of the biological assets;
(b) an explanation of why fair value cannot be measured reliably;
(c) if possible, the range of estimates within which fair value is highly
likely to lie;
(d) the depreciation method used;
(e) the useful lives or the depreciation rates used; and
(f) the gross carrying amount and the accumulated depreciation
(aggregated with accumulated impairment losses) at the beginning
and end of the period.
If, during the current period, an entity measures biological assets at their
cost less any accumulated depreciation and any accumulated impairment
losses (see paragraph 30), an entity shall disclose any gain or loss recognized
on disposal of such biological assets and the reconciliation required by
paragraph 50 shall disclose amounts related to such biological assets
separately. In addition, the reconciliation shall include the following
amounts included in profit or loss related to those biological assets:
(a) impairment losses;
(b) reversals of impairment losses; and
If the fair value of biological assets previously measured at their cost less
any accumulated depreciation and any accumulated impairment losses
becomes reliably measurable during the current period, an entity shall
disclose for those biological assets:
(a) a description of the biological assets;
(b) an explanation of why fair value has become reliably measurable;
(c) the effect of the change.
An entity shall disclose the following related to agricultural activity
covered by this Standard:
(a) the nature and extent of government grants recognized in the
(b) unfulfilled conditions and other contingencies attaching to
government grants; and
(c) significant decreases expected in the level of government grants.
Effective date and transition
This Standard becomes operative for annual financial statements covering
periods beginning on or after 1 January 2003. Earlier application is
encouraged. If an entity applies this Standard for periods beginning before
1 January 2003, it shall disclose that fact.
This Standard does not establish any specific transitional provisions.
The adoption of this Standard is accounted for in accordance
with IAS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors.
Paragraphs 5, 6, 17, 20 and 21 were amended and paragraph 14 deleted by
Improvements to IFRSs issued in May 2008. An entity shall apply those
amendments prospectively for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January
2009. Earlier application is permitted. If an entity applies the amendments for
an earlier period it shall disclose that fact.
IFRS 13, issued in May 2011, amended paragraphs 8, 15, 16, 25 and 30 and
deleted paragraphs 9, 17–21, 23, 47 and 48. An entity shall apply those
amendments when it applies IFRS 13.
Agriculture: Bearer Plants (Amendments to IAS 16 and IAS 41), issued in
June 2014, amended paragraphs 1–5, 8, 24 and 44 and added
paragraphs 5A–5C and 63. An entity shall apply those amendments for annual
periods beginning on or after 1 January 2016. Earlier application is permitted.
If an entity applies those amendments for an earlier period, it shall disclose
that fact. An entity shall apply those amendments retrospectively in
accordance with IAS 8.
In the reporting period when Agriculture: Bearer Plants (Amendments to IAS 16
and IAS 41) is first applied an entity need not disclose the quantitative
information required by paragraph 28(f) of IAS 8 for the current period.
However, an entity shall present the quantitative information required by
paragraph 28(f) of IAS 8 for each prior period presented.
IFRS 16, issued in January 2016, amended paragraph 2. An entity shall apply
that amendment when it applies IFRS 16.
Annual Improvements to IFRS Standards 2018–2020, issued in May 2020, amended
paragraph 22. An entity shall apply that amendment to fair value
measurements on or after the beginning of the first annual reporting period
beginning on or after 1 January 2022. Earlier application is permitted. If an
entity applies the amendment for an earlier period, it shall disclose that fact.
Approval by the Board of Agriculture: Bearer Plants
(Amendments to IAS 16 and IAS 41) issued in June 2014
Agriculture: Bearer Plants was approved for issue by fourteen of the sixteen members of the
International Accounting Standards Board. Mr Finnegan and Ms McConnell voted against
its publication. Their dissenting opinions are set out after the Basis for Conclusions.
Hans Hoogervorst Chairman
Ian Mackintosh Vice-Chairman
Amaro Luiz de Oliveira Gomes