IFA President Tim Cullinan said the latest CSO figures on agricultural input prices show farmers are caught in a classic cost-price squeeze.
“The price farmers get is not keeping pace with the marked increase in agricultural inputs,” he said.
“On an annual basis, the agricultural input price index increased by 1.8% in February 2021 compared with February 2020. In the same period, the agricultural output price index increased by 1.3%. Therefore, the resulting terms of trade index was down 0.5% over the last year,” he said.
Further analysis of the February 2021 input sub-indices with the same time last year shows that the agricultural input price indices for feeding stuffs increased by 6.7% while straight feeding stuffs increased by 13.8%.
The price index for fertilisers increased by 4.1% in February 2021 compared with January 2021, while straight fertilisers increased by 5.4% in the same period.
IFA Farm Business Chairperson Rose Mary McDonagh said that the rise in input prices without a corresponding increase in output prices means that the difference is coming out of farmers’ pockets, and impacting on their bottom line.