Teagasc

  • Average farm incomes rose to over 31,300 euro last year, according to the preliminary results of the 2017 Teagasc National Farm Survey.

    The survey shows a 65% increase in average income for dairy farmers, a 20% increase for tillage, 8% increase for sheep farmers, while incomes are unchanged for cattle farmers.

    Teagasc says the rise in average farm income is almost completely driven by the very large increase in income observed on dairy farms, however, the results also show that 35% of farms earned less than 10,000 euro in 2017.

    More than two-thirds of the farms represented by the survey saw little change in their income last year, compared to 2016.

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    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 .

  • Castlebar based Professor Michael Diskin is the winner of the 2018 Teagasc Gold Medal.

    Professor Diskin is head of the Teagasc Animal and Bioscience Research dept and is also the sheep enterprise leader.

    He is the man at the helm of Teagasc Mellows Campus in Athenry for the last 14 years.

    The Teagasc Gold Medal is awarded annually to a member of staff who has made an exceptional contribution to the organisation and to agriculture and food sectors.

    He s a native of Corr na Móna in county Galway.

  • Department of Agriculture officials are meeting with the main farmers co-ops later today to discuss the ongoing fodder crisis.

    Yesterday evening, the Agriculture Minister Michael Creed announced a national review of fodder supplies.

    It follows months of wet weather, that have left farmers in many areas low on animal feed.

    Minister Creed says his department may consider importing fodder if required.

    The Minister said officials from his Department met with Teagasc and the main co-ops last week, and will meet again today following a difficult weekend.

    He said significant rainfall over the weekend in many areas of the country has created additional challenges for Irish farmers dealing with what has already been a difficult spring.

    A register is also being established by Teagasc for farmers who may have additional fodder, with the agency saying they want to mobilise any fodder reserves to help farmers in need.

  • The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) is calling for an extra 10 euros per ewe for hill flocks ahead of the Teagasc National Hill Sheep conference due to take place in Westport on Wednesday.

    Speaking in advance of the conference, INHFA Vice President Brendan Joyce said that "with savings of €5 million of the €25 million welfare package in year one of the scheme and a similar level of saving likely in year two, the Government must now increase the available budget and target it towards the hill sheep sector.

    He claims hill flock owners need as much support as possible to sustain hill farming in the absence of a market for light hill lamb.

  • Any environmental changes which will be required in the agricultural sector will cost money – and the bulk of the adjustments will have to be made by the dairy sector, according to director of Teagasc Professor Gerry Boyle.

    Professor Boyle was speaking after Teagasc’s report yesterday which found that dairy farms produce three times more greenhouse gas emissions than beef enterprises.

    The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association has been reacting to the report and Professor Boyle’s comments.

    Gerry Loftus, who is also a member of the association’s committee on forestry and climate change, says that not all farmers are equal and it would not fair to penalise all farmers in the same manner when it comes to combating climate change.

    He said they are happy to see that Teagasc has recognised this in this report and that rural Ireland is at a disadvantage when it comes to agriculture and profit margins in farming.

    It is believed the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Climate Change’s report of recommendations, due to be published tomorrow will recommend a “fundamental redirection of Irish agriculture” away from a reliance on dairy and beef and move towards horticulture.

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    A pilot scheme to bring wireless broadband to rural farms is being launched by Teacgasc today.

    It's hoped Airband will help tackle the last mile of connectivity, a common problem in rural areas.

    The project, in partnership with Microsoft, will first be trialled at its 220 hectare agri-college campus in Ballyhaise Co. Cavan.

    Teagasc Directo,r Gerry Boyl,e says farming technology is constantly evolving so it's important farmers are keep up to speed.

  • Average farm incomes dropped by 15 percent over the past year, according to economists at Teagasc.

    Its annual review and outlook says adverse weather conditions negatively impacted on agricultural production over the course of the past year.

    Dairy farms were the worst affected, where the average income decreased by an average of 22 percent, however, dairy incomes remains considerably higher than other sectors averaging €67,000.

    Gross margins on suckler farms are estimated to be down 19pc this year at €11,670, while tillage incomes were up on average by 6% this year.

     Overall, Teagasc is predicting that the average farm income will recover by 8 percent in 2019, with the assumption that weather returns to normal.