Farmers migrating to other parts of the country in search of opportunity looks set to continue.
Excel sheets, projections and yields are of more immediate concern to young farmers than ownership of land as they strive to become ever more efficient, more intensive and more profitable, according to the latest Agricultural Review & Outlook of IPAV, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers.
The review highlighted the fact that younger farmers coming through were in some instances more interested in potential yields and the quality of the land as opposed to proximity to home.
It says this was seen last year and continues to be the case as farmers strive to become ever more efficient, more intensive thus increasing profitability.
It says the relatively new phenomenon of farmers migrating to other parts of the country in search of opportunity looks set to continue.
This is consistent with a global theme, the world is getting smaller as a result of better technology, accessibility and the role of the internet, it says.
The report, launched by IFA President Joe Healy at IPAV’s Dublin headquarters on Thursday evening (24th May), predicts that while €10,000 per acre has become somewhat of a benchmark for land, once this level is exceeded prices could move forward for some time, although this is unlikely to happen in the short-term.
Forestry continues to be popular with the investor who is increasingly planting on marginal lands traditionally used for grazing. The sector continues to attract new entrants, increasing values.
Welcoming the report and the “snapshot” of Irish agriculture it provides Mr Healy said Brexit was “the biggest threat in our lifetimes to the future of the Irish and European model of agriculture and food production.”
And he warned that if €3 billion was the likely net loss to the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) as a result of Brexit the shortfall would need to be met by the other 27 Member States.
He called on Irish politicians of all hews to capitalise in like manner on the understanding displayed by Michel Barnier, Chief Brexit negotiator, in his recent Dáil appearance when he cited the likely impact of Brexit on the agri-food sector.
Emphasising the urgency of the situation he said: “ €45 billion in agri-food product is being exported to the UK from the EU. In a hard Brexit with WTO rules applying this huge volume of product would likely not be competitive enough to sell in the UK and would end up on the EU market, undermining it crippling price returns to farmers due to major over-supply,” he said.
And commenting on the state of Irish agriculture and the importance of the CAP he said while there is some optimism emerging for 2017 in 2016 commodity prices for most sectors were below the cost of production.
Pat Davitt, IPAV’s Chief Executive thanked Mr Healy and said IPAV auctioneers and valuers looked forward to working closely with Irish farmers