Ireland had the fourth highest farmland rental rates, and the fifth highest purchase prices, in a survey of 22 EU member states.
In 2016, only in the Netherlands, Italy, Luxembourg, and the UK was arable land more expensive to buy, in the survey by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical service.
Only in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Austria was farmland more expensive to rent, compared to Ireland.
The Netherlands had the highest priced arable land in the EU in 2016, at €63,000 per hectare (€25,500 per acre).
The price of arable land in every sub-region of the Netherlands was above all other available national averages in the EU.
The Eurostat figure for Ireland was just over €20,000 per hectare (€8,100 per acre).
Among the EU sub-regions for which data was available to Eurostat, the most expensive price for arable land was in the Liguria sub-region of Italy, with an average of €108,000 per hectare (€43,700 per acre).
Arable land was cheapest in Romania, with a hectare averaging only €1,958 in 2016 (€800 per acre).
At the sub-regional level, a hectare of arable land was cheapest in the Yugozapaden region of Bulgaria (averaging €1,165, or €470 per acre).
The Eurostat analysis included land rental, and annual rental prices of arable land or permanent grassland also varied starkly between Member States and sub- regions within member states.
Renting was most expensive in the Netherlands, averaging €791 per year per hectare (€320 per acre), with the highest sub-regional average in the country’s Flevoland area, reaching €1,536 (€620 per acre).
Renting agricultural land was cheapest on average in Latvia (€46 per hectare per year, or €19 per acre), and in the sub-regions of Mellersta Norrland and Övre Norrland in Sweden (both €28 per hectare per year, or €11 per acre).
The Eurostat land rental figure for Ireland was about €300 per hectare (€121 per acre)..
Data for Belgium, Germany, Cyprus, Malta, Austria and Portugal was not available for the Eurostat analysis.
The data indicated the strongest growth in purchase prices of arable land between 2011 and 2016 was a three-fold increase in the Czech Republic; and a two-fold increase in Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Hungary.
Prices rose in other Member States too, but at much lower rates.
In almost all regions, buying arable land was more expensive than buying permanent grassland (as much as 20 times more expensive in the Greek islands of Voreio Aigaio).
Buying irrigable arable land was more expensive than non-irrigable arable land (as much as six times more expensive in the Spanish region de Murcia).
Renting permanent grassland was cheaper than renting arable land.