30% of the acreage of tillage farmers is rented – new report

‘Specialist’ tillage farmers (i.e. farmers that generate more than two‐thirds of their farm revenue from crop production) are much more reliant on rented land than other farmers, according to a new report.

On average, rented land accounts for almost 30% of their farmed acreage. Moreover, 20% of ‘specialist’ tillage farmers rent more than half of their farmed area.

The findings were published in a report by Tillage Industry Ireland this week – an Economic Impact Assessment of the Tillage Sector in Ireland. The document was compiled by Prof. Michael Wallace of University College Dublin (UCD).

In the study, it was found that the average land area of ‘specialist’ tillage farms is approximately 59ha – almost double the average for all farm types, which is just 32.4ha.

For mixed enterprises, producing both crops and livestock, the average area farmed is also approximately 59ha.

14.9% of ‘specialist’ tillage farms have more than 100ha of land (including rented ground). 14.3% of mixed enterprises (crops and livestock) fell into this category. Just 3.6% of all types of farms have more than 100ha.

Interestingly, looking across all farm types, rented land accounts for an average of just 18.6% of each holding. The figure for mixed enterprises (crops and livestock) is 19.6%.

Rented ground accounts for more than half the farmed area on just over 14% of all types of farms.

4th highest land rental costs in Europe

Meanwhile, Ireland has the fourth highest average land rental costs in Europe; coming after the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria. That’s according to the same Tillage Industry Ireland report (using Eurostat data).

Also Read: Ireland has 4th highest land rental costs in Europe

According to the report, these high land rental costs “inhibit farm expansion and reduce the scope for tillage farmers to spread increasing machinery and labour overheads over larger acreages”.