Un­cer­tainty on CAP is hit­ting let­ting mar­ket

Irish Independent - Farming - - News - Jim O'Brien

THE un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of en­ti­tle­ments un­der the new CAP is bring­ing the land-let­ting mar­ket to a halt.

Landown­ers le tting land and farm­ers seek­ing to rent land are hold­ing off mak­ing de­ci­sions in the face of this un­cer­tainty. The old adage, ‘when in doubt, stop' seems to be gov­ern­ing all sides.

Cork-based agric ul­tural con­sul­tant, Michael Brady, sees clear signs of a sharp fall-off in let­tings over the last few weeks.

“Those con­sid­er­ing let­ting or re­tir­ing are hold­ing fire big-time,” Mr Brady said.

“Also those in the know are aware that ex­tra land this year will not af­fect the CAP pay­ment so, all in all, there's noth­ing new in the mar­ket,” he added.

Roy O'Brien of the IFA hosted a meet­ing of farm­ers in Athenr y las t week and said that among the 400 farm­ers, there was a lot of con­fu­sion.

“I found that even farm­ers who are nor­mally on top of ev­ery as­pect of their busi­ness are at a loss as to what to do, they are con­fused and not will­ing to make a move,” Mr O'Brien said.

Kilkenny auc­tion­eer, Joseph Coogan, said it was a sim­i­lar story in the south­east, with farm­ers slow to let go of land with en­ti­tle­ments at­tached.

“I am cer­tainly see­ing a lot of re­luc tance on the par t of landown­ers to let land with en­ti­tle­ments. They are cer­tainly afraid they will lose,” he said.

STRONGER

He pointed out t hat t he landowner was in the stronger po­si­tion, while the prospec­tive ten­ant, who needed the land and needed to know if he can get it, was in no man's land.

“Peo­ple don't know where they stand at the mo­ment, there's a lot of con­fu­sion around the whole ques­tion of let­ting and en­ti­tle­ments and it couldn' t be hap­pen­ing at a worse time of the year,” he said

How­ever, the let­ting mar­ket hasn't come to a com­plete halt. Last week at a let­ting auc­tion, Mr Coogan got €283/ac for a three-year lease on 53ac of graz­ing land.

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