A non-residential farm in a superb location in East Cork has the unique quality of being laid out in one single field.
The 101-acre field is situated in the townland of Ballyvatta, Leamlara, within striking distance of the towns of Carrigtuohill (11km) and Watergrasshill (8km), and the Jack Lynch Tunnel (approximately 12km).
According to the selling agent Éamonn O’Brien of CCM Property, the farm is all in pasture and in excellent condition throughout, with no waste.
“The quality of the land here is certainly very good,” says Éamonn.
“There’s no waste, as such, in it. There’s a drain through the middle of it, running from east to west. It’s gently sloping land, and there’s just a small vein of it that’s slightly damp. There are about four acres or so that are like that but even at that, you’d be straining to find a green rush in it.”
The land is all in pasture but, according to the selling agents, grain has been planted on parts of it in the past, demonstrating its fertility and quality:
“One of the owners told me how he used to grow grain on part of it, to help with the breeding stock on his home farm. It’s of that level of quality. There’s very little to be done with it. You could start with a re-seeding programme over the course of time.”
While the entire large farm being contained in just one field will attract all the initial attention, there are many other factors that make it such a unique and sought-after commodity. For a start, the property comes with an excellent set of farm buildings.
This is, as the agents put it, a “walk-in farm”, with select accommodation on offer for 150 head of cattle.
“The buildings are very adaptable,” says Éamonn.
“It would be an ideal situation for someone who would want to farm 100 acres of a dairy operation, in that it would be a fabulous farm in which to go milking 150 cows, and have your breeding stock and some of your fodder outside of that grazing platform. You can easily adapt the buildings for a milking operation at reasonable money.
“You could also have someone that would have, say, 70 acres, and another 30 acres down the road and trying to get cows over and back, building tunnels and so forth to connect up their lands. This is all in the one block, which gives a farmer a great advantage.
“The fact that the farmyard is in the middle of the property means that you can let your cows out north, south, east or west. You’re never too far from the central yard and buildings. It’s a big consideration, because if you’ve a big long rectangular farm, it can be quite a dose to bring the cows back in the evening, for example.”
The farm is very well fenced, the selling agent points out, a big consideration for anyone looking to make an outside farm of the property.
The holding will be sold as one, but the selling agents point out that a situation where a couple of farmers wanted to purchase it together could be facilitated, theoretically speaking, as long as it constituted one purchase from the vendor’s point of view.
The property has been well farmed, Éamonn says. The current owners — two brothers — are taking a step back from farming, hence the sale.
It was used as an outside farm to carry the breeding and fattening stock for a dairy farm closer to Midleton.
They’ve farmed it well, and now they’re at the point of taking it easier and stepping back from it, and it is surplus to requirements now for these two gentlemen that own the property.
The farm comes with a generous single farm payment amounting to €16,500 in 2019, and Éamonn also points out that, following certain enquiries from interested parties, the holding has the proven ability to fetch €300 per acre, if the next owner chose to lease the lands out.
Combined with the Single Farm Payments, this, he says, constitutes the potential for someone to earn €460 per acre on a purely investment basis.
“If an investor were to let the property for a 15-year lease,” says Éamonn, “there is the potential to take €45,000 per year tax free.”
The possibility of this holding being purchased from a purely investment point of view is a real one, particularly with the market for leasing being so strong at present.
However, a rarity such as this offering a very strong package will be more likely to be purchased by a farmer.
The price guide is €1,100,000, or €11,000/acre.