Pictures: Ready to go dairy farm hits the market in the Royal County

The dairy farm property in Meath
The dairy farm property in Meath
Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

Taking a trip to Royal Meath, one doesn't expect to encounter too many dairy farms, but that is all changing as the sector continues to expand into areas where it never went before.

Stephen Barry of Raymond Potterton auctioneers was my host as we journeyed to a compact 80ac residential dairy farm at Chamberlainstown, Fordstown, about 17km from Navan and close to the N52 at Clonmellon.

The working farm with 80 milking cows has frontage on to the R164 and is reached by a short avenue from a by-road off that. Everything about the farm is neat and tidy. Its current owner has an off-farm job and the farm is set up to maximise efficiency. It is guided pre-auction at €850,000.

The holding is centred around a fine farmyard with modern sheds. The milking parlour is fully equipped with a 14-unit milking parlour, automatic feeders, a bulk tank, wash room and collecting yard.

Adjacent to the parlour is a cubicle shed with a capacity for 84 animals, equipped with automatic scrapers. A three-column haybarn is converted for use as a calving house and a calf house, while there are comprehensive cattle-handling facilities in the yard, along with a variety of older stone sheds.

The slurry is handled by tanks located under the cubicle house and a 220,000gal over-ground store.

The residence is a two-bedroom traditional cottage renovated in 2004, and while it needs some refurbishment, it is perfectly habitable and comes with oil-fired central heating.

The land is the best of Meath grazing ground, all in one block in an irregular shape with extensive road frontage on to the R134. Laid out in about nine fields, the holding is paddocked with electric fencing for strip grazing. The ground is firm under wheel and foot, is well manured and cared for, and is in the best of heart.

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"This is an ideal farm for someone starting into dairying. Not a penny needs to be spent and it's ready to go," said Mr Barry.

"The place would be ideal for someone starting out who wants to prove his or her capacity for work and ability to pay. Having built up a good business and credit rating, they could add to the holding or move on to something bigger."

The auction, in association with joint agents REA O'Brien Collins, takes place at the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan, at 3pm on Wednesday, August 21.

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