Farmers' hold on land lasts beyond the grave
The most active class of land sellers are executors or others making probate sales, according to a new report.
The Annual SCSI/Teagasc Agricultural Land Market Review and Outlook Report 2019 found that most agricultural land is still held until death - unlike other businesses - and farmers do not tend to sell up their businesses when they retire.
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"One of those conversations that rarely take place around the farm family table is the will, and next-generation planning is left until very late in the day," said Edward McAuley, head of practice and policy with the SCSI.
"This is a huge challenge if we are to further professionalise the sector and increase productivity and sustainability of the farming. Those type of conversations need to take place at a far earlier stage."
The report also found that 94pc of auctioneers have noted that those who had inherited land but have no desire to farm it are active in the land sales market.
People with little interest in farming inheriting and then selling land was particularly a feature of the market in Connacht/Ulster, with 36pc of auctioneers saying the category was "very active" last year.
The report found the Connacht/Ulster market was particularly busy in terms of land sales, with 60pc of auctioneers reporting a higher volume of land sold in the region.
Mr McAuley said the high level of activity in Connacht/Ulster may be explained by the fact there are larger areas of disadvantaged land and associated challenges in terms of margins and income levels.