IFA Reacts to Cso Preliminary Estimate of Farm Income 2015

Commenting on the CSO Preliminary Estimate of Farm Income 2015, IFA Farm Business Chairman Tom Doyle said, “While the estimates from the CSO show a marginal rise in 2015 in the order of 4%, they really highlight the significant negative impact falling milk prices have had on dairy farm income.”

IFA Dairy Chairman Sean O’Leary added, “In the spring of 2016 dairy farmers will be hit with lower volumes and poorer constituents. Even without any further negative milk price movements, farmers will come under increased cash flow pressure. Many have invested heavily in their business over recent years and will clearly need the support of both their co-ops and banks in what will be challenging period for producers.”

Mr Doyle added, “The price picture varies significantly across the commodity sectors, with both the pigmeat and the tillage sectors negatively impacted by poor prices. Many tillage farmers have made significant investments and consistently low prices are threatening their viability, whilst pig producers margins are being continually squeezed to unsustainable levels.”

Mr Doyle said, “While aggregate drystock sector income rose in 2015 due to positive price movements, figures published by the Teagasc National Farm Survey last week show average farm level incomes remain low and heavily reliant on direct payments support.”

Mr. Doyle also noted that, “The CSO estimate has been compiled in advance of the current disastrous weather conditions and flooding. Thousands of farm families will experience significant negative income effects particularly those worst effected along the river Shannon. It is only once the final costs have been added up and fully factored in that we will get a clear estimate of the impact on national aggregate farm income.”

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