Approximately two thirds of farmers in County Kilkenny and surrounding counties would have a huge interest in increasing their existing holdings.
That's the opinion of leading Kilkenny auctioneer, Joe Coogan.
“The obvious reason from my knowledge and experience is that the elimination of milk quotas has given reason for the majority of dairy farmers to increase their dairy herd, which in turn will result in increasing their land holding,” he said.
“Farmers in the suckler enterprise are also trying to increase their holdings, based on producing good stock.
“Tillage farmers are also in the market to lease or purchase good quality land.
“However over the last number of years the supply of land for sale has plummeted, resulting in farm holdings not been offered for sale, mainly because the tax benefit to land owners to lease their lands over a long period of time.
for example: 5 – 7 years tax exemption €18,00, 7 – 9 years tax exemption €24,500, 15 years tax exemption €40,000.
This tax exemption doubles for married couples with the lands in join ownership, eg 15 years tax exemption €80,000. To date approximately half of the land rented is now on long term lease, eliminating the old eleven month lease. The average price for good grazing land also suitable for hay/silage well fenced with water supply and handling facilities eg cattle crush would make somewhere in the region of €250 to €300 per acre. I had the opportunity to lease tillage land in Lower Conahy Ballyragget on the 10th of March last this 10 acre field made €400 per acre this is a 5 year lease. This is a prime example of the scarcity of lands available to lease or purchase.
In the last year land prices in Counties Kilkenny and Laois ranged from €10,000 per acre up to €23,000 per acre.
In May 2016, 16 acres at Knocknadogue Castlecomer sold for €166,000.
In July 2016, 24 acres outside Freshford sold for €305,000, 26.5 acres in Luggacurran Co Laois sold for €325,000.
In October 2016, 10 acres in Maudlin, Castlecomer sold for €122,000.
In December 2016, 14 acres in Coppenagh Graignamanagh sold for €170,000.
Lands in Ballyragget sold for €14,500 per acre.
Lands in Goresbridge sold for €16,300 per acre.
Lands in Kells sold for €22,900 per acre.
“There are also good opportunities for young enterprising persons to get into farming for the first time through The Young Farmer/New Entrant Scheme provided they meet the criteria set out on the Department of Agriculture Website,” Joe said.
“Looking towards the future, lands prices will remain steady or will increase depending on small and large holding coming to the market. The demand for land is high but the supply is very limited.”