The land in the vicinity of Mallow has been more associated with tillage, dry cattle and equestrian activity rather than dairying.
This is not to say that there aren’t farms that are perfectly suited to milk production; it’s just been a traditional trend associated with the often heavy soil that’s found in the area.
A 113-acre residential holding with Ballinhassig-based auctioneer Christy Buckley is a prime example of such a farm.
Located at Caherduggan, Doneraile, just 8km from the busy market town of Mallow, the property is described as a drystock/tillage farm, but the agent points out that it would easily lend itself to a wide variety of farming practices.
“It’s in an ideal location,” says Mr Buckley.
“It has road frontage on one side… It could lend itself to dairying too or any number of activities really, including equestrian.”
The Doneraile area where this farm is located is characterised by a lot of undulating ground.
Historically, the place used to have a level of political prominence that might not be so evident today unless you dig a bit under the surface.
Its name means the fort on the cliff, and it was a major crossing point when routes were somewhat different than they are now.
The other significant association with this area is equine.
The original steeplechase race was held between here and Buttevant (about 7km to the west) in 1752.
Equine activity, therefore, is also in the DNA of the area and there will surely be those from the horse-breeding world interested in taking a look at this holding, as well as people in the tillage and dairying sectors.
“There’s a bungalow residence in need of refurbishment,” adds Mr Buckley.
The house in question has three bedrooms, a kitchen and utility room, as well as a dining room, living room and bathroom.
Behind it is a spacious, well-laid-out farmyard with a number of outbuildings.
These are also in need of a certain amount of modernisation, but are being used as is, and certainly add value to the overall package.
“There is a good range of buildings in the yard. Some are in need of refurbishment, but there’s a good deal of coverage in that yard with the buildings that are there.”
The buildings consist of two four-column sheds with one lean-to, one five-column shed with a lean-to and concrete floor, as well as a number of other ancillary outbuildings.
There is a central roadway running through the farm, and the land is laid out in a long strip, with easily-accessed fields, which are currently all in grass.
The selling agent points out that the farm contains a number of good-quality portions and part of the farm is on gently sloping ground.
The bidding hasn’t had a chance to start yet on this holding but, according to Mr Buckley, there is already strong interest building:
“There’s good interest there so far,” he says, “from a number of potential buyers in both Cork and Kerry.”
The guide price on this property seems, therefore, a little bit conservative, at €10,000 per acre.
It’s certainly an established pattern that per-acre prices tend to be higher amongst the smaller holdings — the ones that are within the reach of a wider group of buyers.
On the other hand, larger holdings have also been sought after and, while this particular one may not have land that’s in the uppermost league overall, portions of it are of very high quality and the rarity of such a large holding in such a good location should mean a strong level of interest.
The farm has just gone on the market, so it’s early days yet. The latest agricultural price surveys are suggesting a small decrease in land prices, but don’t be too surprised if this one bucks that trend.
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