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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘I would like to see more young farmers getting access to land’ – property auctioneer

Record milk and beef prices will drive confidence in farmers who intend to purchase or lease land in 2023, according to IPAV’s president, Gerry Coffey.

The part-time farmer, auctioneer, valuer and estate agent addressed the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers’ recent webinar, which marked the launch of its publication entitled ‘Farming Report January 2023’.

Attendees of the virtual session heard how land values remained high in 2022, as strong demand continued to drive price increases, with returns of €7,000-€25,000/acre recorded.

Property market in Ireland

According to the body, demand for both purchasing and leasing land continues to “be very strong”. On the back of this, the market has seen averages rise from €8,750/acre in 2016 to a current value of €12,231/acre.

Coffey commented: “Going on the average prices we see in our farm report and, indeed, the property market in general, it looks like we are in for another bumper year.”

“The agricultural sector represents the foundation stone in which economic activity and employment in many towns and villages throughout Ireland.”

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He stressed how Irish farmers across all sectors are facing into an increasingly uncertain future, with increasing input prices and regulations, the pressure to meet climate change ambitions and changes to farm payments in the next CAP period.

Price of land

During the virtual session, Coffey remarked: “With almost 57% of farm families earning less than €20,000 in 2021, a good Single Farm Payment [now known as BISS] and some off-farm income are essential to keep parts of rural Ireland in farming, as opposed to forestry.”

He outlined how the report will see “some” remarkable increases in the price of land and said that land prices are always a “good indicator” of how farms performed that year.

“Despite that, no more land is being made, in Ireland, there are still some notable disparities in some prices quoted,” he added.

“On a personal level, I would like to see more young farmers getting access to land, and we welcome if the government introduced a farmer retirement scheme, similar to what was available some years ago.”


Coffey called on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to grant all ACRES applicants access to the scheme, which is “an important income stream to many farmers in the face of increased meal, fertiliser and fuel costs”.

He commented that the high volume of ACRES applications proves that farmers are willing to play their part in farming in a more environmentally-friendly way, provided they are awarded payments for same.

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