Tillage farmers are much more active in the land rental market this spring, according to Meath auctioneer, Kay Smith.

“A lot of dairy farmers got sorted last year and it’s the tillage farmers coming this year. They’re stuck for land. A lot of them have lost ground. Their backs are against the wall, so they’re going a bit harder on ground this year. Solar is coming into play now too and some farmers are losing land to that too.”

At the upper end of the tillage market, the Navan-based auctioneer reported deals of €450/ac to €540/ac for ley ground.

“That’s averaging over five years and factoring in two crops of spuds and three years of cereals. Grazing has come back a bit but it’s still €250/ac to €350/ac depending on land quality.”

Carnew-based auctioneer, David Quinn reported similar.

“Other than a few specialist deals with vegetables or potatoes, generally the real high prices haven’t been repeated. The top end is back €80/ac or €100/ac. Good land in Wexford is making €350/ac to €420/ac, while heavier land is making around the high €200s to mid-€300s.”


Claremorris estate agent Fintan Gilligan said €200/ac to €250/ac is available for good-quality ground in the west. “Poorer-quality ground is making anywhere from €100 to €150 with a lot depending on who is near. There’s very strong demand for it at the minute.”

New land is scarce in the southwest. “Compared to last year, it’s a different year. Demand is exceeding supply,” said Clonakilty auctioneer John Hodnett.

“We’re busy with renewals but there’s less new ground as so much is tied up in long-term leases. We have a lot of demand for bare ground but it’s not available.”

Reporting a similar trend, Tullamore-based Gordon Cobbe of GVM Auctioneers said: “There’s near enough the same demand but supply is tight. Good prices last year saw more land come out. Land is making from €280 to €400 but we’re finding a lot is going for €300 to €350.”