Farm Building Madness


Farm building has gone crazy in ireland with 44,000 farmers planning to build sheds and put extra slurry storage in place. Comments by an agriculture consultant on the Irish Independent recently say that farmers are wasting money they don’t have on rolls royce building projects with all the frills, when they would be better off spending their money somewhere else that will make them some money.

The Farm Waste Management Scheme (FWMS) has encouraged farmers to waste money they can ill afford on “Rolls Royce” building projects, a leading agricultural consultant has claimed ….. He said people had been “blinded” by the level of grants available under the FWMS and did not realise that their actual spend on the projects could not be justified by the returns from their farm enterprises.

I have a fit of madness when it comes to this current spate of building craziness. WHat you have is a very generous scheme to make farmers more compliant and stop for once and for all leaky farmyards form destroying the rivers and countryside. But, they have given everyone a year and a half to get all the work done, so what has happened now is that builders are charging what they would like. I would like to see what farm construction inflation is like at the moment. It must be up 50% since last year. The builders know that this is their moment in the sun. They are picking and choosing the projects they want to do. Of course some cowboys have decided to get into the act as well, with the obvious disaster only waiting to happen. Locally there have been two big disasters that I have heard of: One was of the walls of a slatted tank that were not vertical, so there was no way that they would support a few tonnes on top. Everything will have to be dug out, and rebuilt from scratch … while the farmer has to search wide and far for somewhere to put his poor cattle for the winter. The other example was also of a slatted tank … a 12 foot wide tank that is miraculously fourteen foot wide at one end. It is the first of its kind … and is drawing crowds to see it.

But on top of the madness of building everything at the same time, is the fact that most of those people that are putting up these sheds are in beef, and there is little or no money to be made there. So they are investing in something that will not make them any money, but will saddle them with a debt that the farm is unable to service. Crazy, crazy crazy.

It all seemed like a good idea when the grants came out first. It is looking bad now. I have a few questions also. What happens at the end of next year when the rush of building stops? what happens to all those people involved in building the projects? Where do they go? What about all the infrastructure in place to serve these projects (lorries, advisors, engineers, cowboys etc etc). What will replace the tax revenue of such projects? Will there be another mad scheme to whip people into action?

I just don’t know to be honest.

From our own point of view, we are lucky. Most building work was completed here in 1989, and because we have been unable to expand since then … we are fine for most things. I will have to do some minor concreting work, but it will be done by myself. I’m not going to get sucked in this madness if at all possible. But I feel sorry for those people that have not been prepared all along.

The original article from the Irish Independent is here.


2 comments so far

  1. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  2. olliem on

    How e ya rough hands.
    I’ve just stumbled accross your blog, and a mighty fine one it is too. I’ll get to know it a bit better and keep me eye on it. It’s rare enough to get one like this that’s farming rather than foodie-orientated.
    I have one too, and I’ll put a link up to your’s in a mo. It’s not that I don’t like foodie blogs, but there are more recipes in my house already than i will ever use, and there’s more to food that learning how to cook it… I’m at .

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