Video: Farm inheritance to take centre stage on Ear to the Ground

The question of who gets the family farm is set to be discussed on tonight’s episode of Ear to the Ground.

Protecting ancient Irish heritage sites and the recent FTMTA Farm Machinery Show are also set to feature on this week’s episode.

In recent weeks the role of women in farming has been a hot topic of discussion.

Helen Carroll will travel to Kilbeg in Co. Waterford to meet Geraldine Power, who now runs a farm that was passed on to her by her bachelor uncle.

Tonight’s episode will examine whether it is really that unrealistic for women to run a farm and what happens in an instance when there isn’t an immediate ‘next generation’ to pass the farm on to.

Some 15 years ago Power’s bachelor uncle passed his farm onto her, a decision that was regarded as being remarkably advanced at that time.

Now Power, who is farming full time and also doesn’t have children, is considering whom, in time, will take over from her.

She spoke with Helen about the need for farmers to have the hard conversations about inheritance and making wills.

Meanwhile, Ella Mc Sweeney will make the trip to a bog in Co. Westmeath to ask why nothing has been done to protect an ancient wooden bog road.

These bog roads were stretches of wood laid down across bogs to be used as roads for Iron Age people.

The bogs in time consumed them and preserved them, but what happens when one of these roads is unearthed as part of a commercial peat harvesting operation?

In the case of a 3,000-year-old road on a bog in Co. Westmeath, discovered over 10 years ago, the outcome is looking bleak.

Darragh McCullough was in Punchestown to report from the FTMTA Farm Machinery Show and to see what machines were attracting the most interest from farmers.

New tractors hold a fascination for farmers big or small, and the Farm Machinery Show in Punchestown is Ireland’s biggest ever-indoor display of agricultural equipment and technology.

Despite several years of poor returns, tillage farmers appetite for newer, bigger more sophisticated tractors remains undimmed.

At the moment Irish farm machinery manufacturers are battling the headwinds of Brexit and currency swings to claim a share of export markets around the world.

Darragh will speak with the inventors of a new product that could save lives on Irish farms, replacing the traditional PTO system with a hydraulic one on vacuum tankers.

Ear to the Ground will be aired on RTE 1 at 8.30pm tonight and will also be repeated on Sunday.