IFA President Tim Cullinan said the outlook for farm incomes for 2023 is very challenging with all sectors now struggling because of a combination of static or falling output prices and ever-increasing costs of production.
This follows the release of the 2022 Teagasc National Farm Survey today, which showed significant and welcome increases for some sectors, but hug income challenges in others.
The results show that the drystock sectors remain under massive pressure financially. 65% of suckler farmers earned less than €10,000 in 2022 while 53% of sheep farmers are in the same position, up from 42% in 2021.
“These results show why we need continued Government support for the vulnerable sectors; otherwise, they will disappear in the medium-term with massive consequences for the economic and social fabric of rural Ireland,” he said
“2022 proved to be very much a year of contrasts. Dairy and tillage farmers had a strong year on the back of increased farmgate prices which has driven an increase in overall average incomes. However, both sectors have seen massive falls in output prices in the last few months. Milk price is down almost a third and there are similar indications for the grain price for harvest 2023.”
The National Farm Survey results also illustrate the ongoing contribution farmers make to the Irish economy, with another strong year of farm investment evident.
“On-farm investment in 2022 amounted to €1.35 billion on aggregate across all sectors. It is worth bearing in mind that this investment takes place across every parish in rural Ireland where there is little else by way of economic activity. Members of the Government parties should bear this in mind before they consider running down agriculture and its value to the Irish economy,” concluded Mr Cullinan.