Majority of farmers put expansion plans on hold
Low incomes and poor profitability has hit investment plans at farm level, with six out of 10 farmers indicating that they intended holding investment at current levels over the coming 12 months.
A survey of 250 farmers carried out for Bank of Ireland found that 59pc of respondents would not increase on-farm spend over the next year.
But younger farmers are more ambitious, with three in five (61pc) of those aged under 50 planning to grow the business over the coming years.
Asked about their plans for expansion over the next three years, 44pc said they aimed to maintain operations at the current level, 43pc intended expanding, while 13pc said they would scale back.
One in four of the farmers surveyed said they planned to increase investment over the next 12 months.
Replacing and upgrading buildings, equipment and vehicles and purchasing livestock for investments.
"The results show that a large number of farming businesses are on a growth track.
While most of those planning on expanding over the next one to three years are likely to do so cautiously, the rest are set to actively pursue opportunities to grow," claimed Dr Loretta O'Sullivan, Bank of Ireland's chief economist.