Youth plans to expand farms a welcome sight
Young farmers appear determined to be major players in the drive for expansion in Irish agriculture over the coming years. The latest survey of Macra na Feirme members confirms that there is real enthusiasm among its membership for pushing output.
And this is not just limited to the dairy sector. While 86pc of young dairy farmers intend growing their business, 75pc of young beef farmers aim to do the same.
The figures for those with sheep and tillage enterprises were equally impressive, with 70pc and 62pc respectively aiming to increase output.
This is good news for Irish agriculture. Every industry needs the energy of youth to drive it on, especially farming given that the planning and management of the farm business has to be matched by an ability to do hard, physical work.
There is certainly an air of positivity in the farm sector at the moment and that is clear from the Macra survey.
An amazing 84.2pc of those surveyed said the outlook for Irish agriculture was good or very good. Just 10.6pc said the future was not good, while 4.2pc were undecided.
There also appears to be a deal of reality in what the respondents would be willing to pay for additional farmland.
Close to 50pc of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay €5,000-8,000/ac for land, while 23.9pc said €8,000-11,000/ac. There are a lot of farmers who want to pay less but the likelihood of decent ground being sold at anything less than €6,000 is slim.