Farmers show eagerness to re-enter buying market
Close to 40pc of farmers plan to buy land over the next three years as they look to take advantage of the recent drop in prices.
A major survey carried out by the Farming Independent at the National Ploughing Championships showed that land purchases were back on the agenda for many farmers.
Thirty-nine percent of the 1,008 farmers surveyed said they would consider buying land over the next three years. However, 49pc of those questioned said they would not. A further 12pc were undecided.
Agricultural land prices have more than halved since 2007 and the greater levels of interest expressed by farmers in extending their holdings must be viewed in this context.
The sale price of farmland has fallen under €10,000/ac in most areas, with the majority of properties selling for €6,500-8,500/ac.
Dairy farmers are among those most likely to buy land. In all, 46pc of the 322 dairy farmers who took part in the survey said they would consider buying additional ground.
This is hardly surprising given the stated Food Harvest 2020 target of expanding total milk production by 50pc during the next decade.
Indeed, the land purchase returns tie in with the survey findings that 60pc of the dairy farmers sampled planned to grow milk production next year.