Demand for leased land remains strong in the southeast, according to auctioneer Joe Coogan. Speaking after the auction of three separate five-year leases in Co Kilkenny last Friday,which saw prices of up to €540/ac achieved, he said concerns around nitrates stocking rates from dairy farmers was the driver behind the current demand for leased land in the area.

All three holdings were grazing only, with no entitlements or buildings included.

A15.5ac parcel near Castlecomer opened at €300/ac and made €540/ac, 5ac at Kilmanagh opened at €350/ac and made €510/ac, while 20ac near Ballyragget opened at €200/ac and was withdrawn from auction at €430/ac before a private agreement was reached.

An upcoming auction the Castlecomer auctioneer is hosting, 156ac to lease at Raheennahown, Stradbally, on Friday 3 February, is also attracting considerable dairy farmer interest to-date, he said.