Land letting heats up as tax breaks take hold
Demand soars despite poor grain prices and rising fertiliser costs
The market has hotted up for land letting weeks ahead of schedule, with tillage farmers leading the charge despite poor grain prices.
New greening and crop rotation requirements under CAP mean many grain farmers are looking to put firm plans in place to schedule their planting requirements.
"The land letting season has kicked off," said auctioneer Stephen Barry. "Most tillage men forward sold grain and are trying to plan their crops to fit in with greening and crop rotations."
"Sometimes I think I'm working in a parallel universe. I would have expected the opposite as the prices of grain are not good," he said.
It comes as farmers deal with slumping grain prices, while they face higher costs with a €12/t rise predicted for CAN fertiliser prices.
Mr Barry, from Raymond Potterton auctioneers which lets land in Westmeath, Cavan, Louth and Co Dublin, said the market is already in full swing four weeks ahead of normal.
However, this year he reported the new tax concessions have seen more farmers push for five year or longer leases rather than conacre leases.
Most are paying around €180 to €200 an acre for tillage ground for winter crops, with land that is also suitable for a potato rotation commanding around €240 to €250.