Teagasc’s Small Farm Survey found that over half of all small farmers have already identified their successor.

A further 39% of these farmers have not yet decided who should take over their farm and 7% surveyed said that it was too early to make the decision.

Only 3% of small farmers who have already identified a successor expect that they will transfer the farm over within the next five years.

Just under half of these farmers expect the transfer to take place between five and 10 years, with another 39% unsure of when the farm will be transferred.

Some 58% of small farmers report to have been the main operator on their farm for more than 20 years, while a further 21% say they have held this role for between 10 and 20 years.