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Forage & Nutrition
Guide 2018
Farm investment as the
With one in four Irish farms expected to change hands in the coming decade,
the Irish agricultural sector is well positioned to benefit from an influx of
educated, motivated and eager young farmers, who are required to ensure
that the sector continues to meet its potential
The long-term plan for individual farms will depend very
much on personal and business goals, life stage and available
resources. Irrespective of the future business direction, it is
important that there are clear goals and a plan in place. Your
farm plan should outline where you want the farm business
to go and how you are going to get there. This will help ensure
that farm investments are aligned to the long-term goals
of the business and that you are not changing goals/focus
because of the availability of grant-aid support. An interesting
statistic is that businesses that have written goals and plans
are, on average, 10 times more profitable than those that
don't (McCormack, M. 1986. What they don't teach you at
Harvard Business School
. Bantam Books).
When taking over the farm, the temptation can be to invest
in that new tractor you always wanted; build a new shed; or
expand, upgrade or change operations to the way you always
wanted. However, priority should be given to investing in
assets that will deliver most for your farm business. On most
livestock farms these include grass, stock and infrastructure.
The majority of live weight gain and milk produced on Irish
farms stems from grass either grazed grass or conserved
silage. The potential to achieve high levels of productivity
from grazed grass gives Irish farmers a major competitive
advantage over many of their European and global
Author: John Farrell
Agri-sector team, AIB