As many as 18% of farmers would consider rewetting some of their farmland if high enough compensation payments were made, according to the latest Irish Farmers Journal readers survey.

The survey found that around half of the 210 farmers who said they would consider rewetting their farmland would only do so if they received over €500/ha.

Only 6% of farmers open to rewetting some of their farm suggested that they would still remain open to the idea if payments were at a rate of €200/ha.


Sheep farmers were the group most open to the option with 26% saying they would consider rewetting some of their farm in return for payments.

One in five cattle finishers reported that they would consider the option, as well as 18% of both tillage and suckler farmers surveyed.

Dairy farmers were the least likely to suggest they would rewet their land, with only one in 10 reporting that they are open to the option.

The rewetting and restoration of peatlands is one of the key EU Nature Restoration Law targets which would impact Ireland if the law comes to pass.

The Nature Restoration Law is scheduled to come onto member states’ agenda next month for a final vote on whether the proposals will become law as the plans have already been approved by the European Parliament.

Irish Farmers Journal analysis shows that a lowering of targets from those originally put forward by the European Commission should allow for these targets to be met entirely on State lands.

Government ministers have repeatedly raised farmland rewetting as being a possibility for future farm schemes.

The recently published Climate Action Plan for 2024 also sets a target of 80,000 of farmland on peaty soils to be farmed under a reduced management intensity by 2030 as part of the State’s bid to cut agriculture’s emissions by a quarter by 2030.