Ploughing wheeling and dealing masks a lot of problems
Published 30/09/2015 | 02:30
A man with a determined look on his face, bag tucked neatly under his arm, was trying to beat a path through the surging tide coming towards him along the main thoroughfare at the Ploughing.
Politely but swiftly he rebutted a query, shouting back over his shoulder: 'Don't you know I've just the one day and I've a tractor to buy.'
Now, most of the purchases at the Ploughing may have been of the smaller variety, but there were also a few big deals being done.
Machinery sales are on the rebound, and there is also a renewed demand for land in auction rooms around the country.
Yet it would appear there is a growing divide between those with easy access to funds and those struggling to pay the bills.
The findings of the Farming Independent survey carried out in the midst of last week's wheelin' and dealin' in Ratheniska raised plenty of interesting issues.
Many respondents stated they were facing higher debt levels this year. That's no surprise given the turbulence in milk and grain markets, not to mention the larger than usual tax bills looming for many next month.
Yet, while much of the attention in recent weeks has been on the hard-pressed dairy and grain sector, our survey also showed that 27pc of suckler farmers reported higher debt levels this year, while a third of sheep farmers also reported that their debts are creeping upwards.