Farm Ireland

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Glorious weather fuels farmers' hunger for land

Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

Ernest Forde is cautiously optimistic about land prices as the good summer banishes the bad taste left by this year's cold, wet spring.

"We have been getting good prices here," he says referring to land in south-west Cork.

"Sales of land in the €500,000 to €600,000 price range have been happening steadily. There is good interest in agricultural ground at the moment and this bodes well for autumn sales. The farmers are over the bad weather and the amounts and quality of fodder being saved are high."

Land prices in south-west Cork have been coming in between €10,000 and €15,000/ac, with some parcels passing the €15,000 threshold.

"Land is strong at the moment and will stay strong," Mr Forde predicts.

He bases his prediction on the good summer, the strength of the dairy and tillage sectors and a positive attitude on behalf of the banks to lending for farmland.

The buoyancy in the land market in West Cork, mirrors that in other intensively farmed areas of the country.

While the start of the year was extremely difficult, things have turned around dramatically over the last three months.

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Strong prices for both beef and milk has helped restore farmer confidence, which took a bit of a hammering last year.

In addition, the planned expansion in the dairy sector is expected to continue to drive demand for land, particularly in strong dairy areas such as West Cork.

The recent improvement in the weather has also helped

"The weather is good, the fodder is good and the dairy men are flying," he says.

"Cows are milking like never before. There is a real hunger for land among the tillage and dairy men and the banks are interested. What more could you want?" he said.

Irish Independent