The land running to the shores of Lough Derg at Coolbawn that was sold by Nenagh auctioneer Eoin Dillon.

Land sales take off

An imminent change to nitrate usage rules on farms is being reflected in brisk sales of land as farmers in the dairy heartlands of north Tipperary bid to increase their holdings to ward off significant cuts to their incomes.

Farmers in Ireland have a derogation on nitrate use under the EU Nitrates Directive, but it is being reduced from 250kg to 220kg per hectare from next year.

The dairy sector in Tipperary is set to be one of the most impacted because of the high concentration of dairy farms. The dairy cow population in the county is one of the highest in the State, second highest after Cork.

A lowering in the amount of nitrates that can be used due to the changes being implemented under the Directive means farmers will have to reduce their herd size or find additional land.

Efforts by farmers to acquire additional land before the new regulations are implemented were in evidence last week when Nenagh auctioneer Eoin Dillon completed the sale of three separate land holdings.

Speaking after the auctions, Mr Dillon of REA Eoin Dillon said: “It was evident that there was still very strong interest in farmlands despite recent interest rate rises and the reduced price of milk, with nitrates being the main driver for farmers looking to expand their land holding.”

The “hattrick” of sales completed by Mr Dillon includes the sale of 34 acres of lands on the shores of Lough Derg at Brookfield, Coolbawn.  It comprised of 13.75 ha (34 acres) of lands extending to the lakeshore.  The lands were offered for sale by online auction. Three bidders battled it out from €250,000 before the hammer fell some 51 bids later at €426,000. The purchaser was Borrisokane-based solicitor Michael Collins acting in trust for a client.

Next up was a residential farm at Lisduff, Kilcolman, Birr, which comprised of a three-bed residence on 40.55 ha (100 acres), which again was offered for sale by online auction.

The opening bid was €700,000 and seven online bidders battled it out before the hammer fell after a whopping 131 bids at €1,400,000 to a local farmer.


Last up was the sale of 17.96 hectares (44.4 acres) at Toomevara.  This was offered for sale by way of a hybrid auction combining live in-room bids and online bids.

The property opened at €420,000 and was bid to €540,000 after 13 online bids from three bidders before being withdrawn at €540,000. 

Negotiation with the highest bidder followed with the property later being knocked down to the highest bidder. The purchaser was a local farmer and the price paid was undisclosed.

Mr Dillon said it was also evident from the auctions held that online bidding is now being fully embraced by the public “and particularly farmers as it provides a very efficient and transparent sales process”.