Ireland's farmers getting older - CSO
The age profile of Irish farmers is continuing to rise. This was highlighted by CSO figures released last week that showed the average age of farmers increased by three years in the decade between 2000 and 2010.
The CSO census of agriculture shows the average age of farmers in Ireland in 2012 was 54, compared to 51 in 2000.
It also showed more than half (51.4pc) of all farm holders in 2010 were 55 or older.
Macra na Feirme agricultural affairs manager Derry Dillon said the aging trend was a worrying one for the farming sector.
"If Ireland is to meet the targets set out in Food Harvest 2020 and improve efficiency and productivity on farms, then we need to have younger farmers coming through," he maintained.
"Department of Agriculture figures show that 28pc of single farm payment recipients are aged 65 or older, while only 5pc are aged 35 or under," he said.
"In any other industry, people over 65 would be retired but farmers continue to work for years," he said.
"Those older farmers are less likely to invest on their farms and adopt new technology than the younger generation."