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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Niall Hurson Twitter

Conacre makes up almost half of all leased land in Ireland, analysis shows

Dublin has the highest level of farmland available for rent/lease, at 50.3pc, followed by Meath and Louth, both with 39.6%.

Over 44pc of leased land in Ireland is in the form of a conacre agreement, the Farming Independent can reveal.

Analysis of figures provided by the Department of Agriculture shows that the remaining 56pc of land is under a long-term lease agreement, which can vary in length but typically is for five or more years.

The level of conacre leasing, which is for 11 months only, varies greatly across the country.

Dublin had the highest level of conacre, at 78pc, followed by Meath and Louth, with 64.9pc and 63pc respectively.

Waterford had the highest level of long-term leasing, at 67.9pc, followed by Kilkenny and Cork, with 66.9pc and 66.3pc respectively.

Farmland rented/leased by county

As seen in the graphic, the overall level of leasing varied greatly from region to region.

The west has the lowest level of leasing, and as you move east across the country, the higher the proportion of farmland is available.

Dublin has the highest level of farmland available for rent/lease, at 50.3pc, followed by Meath and Louth, both with 39.6pc.

Clare has the lowest level, at 18.1pc, followed by Galway and Mayo, with 21.5pc and 21.6pc respectively.

Many anticipate that the letting market is about to take off, with all indications that the prices being paid are substantially up.

In late 2022, the Farming Independent reported that figures of €400 to €500/ac were being quoted as the anticipated cost of letting land.

Prices like this are already being paid and are likely to become established as the letting season gets going.

Across most of the intensive farm regions of the country, a scarcity of land for lease is expected, given the pressure on dairy farmers to extend their acreage in order to comply with the nitrate requirements and stocking levels.

Last month, in a remarkable auction of letting land in Laois, auctioneer Joseph Coogan saw a parcel of 50ac make €570/ac.

About 70 people packed into the auction room at Ballcomey House, Castlecomer for an auction that lasted all of 90 seconds.

The property opened at €300/ac and quickly rose to €400/ac, where it went on the market. The hammer fell at €570/ac when a tillage farmer beat off stiff opposition from substantial dairy operators.

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