Young Farmer expanding in Tillage & Cattle

Young Farmer Expanding in Tillage & Cattle

“Economically, it didn’t make sense to buy land in the area around my home farm but without more land I wouldn’t be able to farm full-time which was my dream, so I had to look at other options.” This is the view of Donal Phelan, Kilkenny an experienced young trained farmer with limited owned land.

The 30 acres of land he owned wasn’t sufficient for him to be able to farm full time and while some advised him just to lease it out, he wanted to farm. This led him to The Land Mobility Service, of whom he was aware from Macra. He wanted help in finding a landowner looking to step back and give an opportunity to a young person.

As it happened The Land Mobility Service had been engaging and exploring options with a landowner who knew Donal and was his second cousin. The Service initiated discussions, they spoke and explored options. Plans became more concrete and when both were happy to move ahead with an arrangement the Service facilitated and formalised same.

The Landowner Paddy ran a beef and tillage enterprise and was looking to take a step back from full-time farming but still wanted to be involved in some casual way and wanted the farm to be properly cared for. The Farmer, Donal on the grass side is operating a dairy calf to beef system and some contract rearing. He has expanded the tillage adopting newer technologies and a more environmental focus. Donal also does some hedge cutting and tractor work for hire for income security.

Paddy and Donal have respect for each other, Donal appreciates his opinions and advice while Paddy admires Donal’s can-do attitude and how clued in he is with new technologies and ideas. There are particular jobs Paddy likes for example combining, which Donal is happy to let him do.