Farm Ireland

Saturday 24 February 2018

How it can cost €2,215/ha to turn leased land into a milking platform

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

Building a good working relationship is key to making a success of leased land, says dairy farmer Cathal Moran, who hosted the second leg of the recent Irish Grassland Association event.

Long-term leasing was the best option for Cathal and Grainne Moran to expand their 57ha farm to 144ha at Skeaghvasteen, Co Kilkenny and build their herd to 255 black and white dairy cows.

"Around 62pc of what we are farming is leased," says Cathal, adding that they strive to look after all the land as if it was their own.

"In terms of leases it is all about trust and relationship building," he says, adding that they must be able to trust the person renting the land.

"If you can't pull with somebody and if they can't pull with you it's not going to work - it is like any other relationship when it boils down to it."

The majority of his leases are for terms of between seven and 15 years. He has approached and also been asked by landowners if he would be interested in renting. He estimates it can cost €2,125/ha to convert leased land into quality milk platform ground, between roadways, land improvement, tackling soil fertility and reseeding.

Jamie Kealy urges young farmers who visit him to ensure they have "respect" for those they are leasing the ground off.

"It doesn't feel like a lease situation with myself and Tom - it feels more like we work together as even though you make the decision yourself you still bring Tom along with you and he gets a great kick out of that. I think that is what is going to happen going forward," he says.

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Jamie urges other farmers to try to reach an agreement with the person leasing the land before it goes to auction, if possible.

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