family farm incomes

  • Average family farm incomes in Ireland rose by about 7% last year, according to a new Teagasc survey.

    Economists say a key driver of the increase has been a reduction in animal feed use on dairy, beef and sheep farms, as well as additional subsidy supports for cattle producers, to alleviate the effects of falling beef prices.

    The Teagasc study shows the volume of milk and cereals produced in Ireland increased in 2019, while the production of beef and sheep was disrupted by the recent blockades of meat factories.

    Prices for milk, beef and sheep were all lower this year compared to 2018, while the ASF outbreak in China resulted in a sharp increase in international pig prices, returning the Irish pig industry to profitability this year.

    Teagasc is predicting a further improvement in average farm family incomes in 2020 on dairy, tillage and sheep farms, with minor changes in income forecast for cattle farms.




    Average family farm incomes fell by 21% last year -according to the Teagasc National Farm Survey.

    It shows that farmers across the board struggled to cope with the difficulties presented by severe weather conditions in 2018.

    The average farm family income dropped by 21% to €23,483, but as low as €8,000 on suckler farms.

    A long winter, followed by an extremely dry Summer, seriously affected grass growth in 2018.

    As a result, there was a substantial increase in the volume of purchased feed and fodder needed on grassland farmers, with average feed expenditure up 34% .

    Dairy farms incurred the largest income fall last year, with a 31% drop in incomes to an average of just over €61,000 - down from almost €89,000 the previous year.

    Sheep farmers also saw an income reduction last year, with higher than normal levels of feed and fertiliser use - average sheep farm income fell by 21% to €13,769.

    The results expose the fragility of farm incomes, and should serve as a wake-up call at Government and EU level, according to the IFA President Joe Healy .