IFA President John Bryan said that the preliminary results of the CSO Census of Agriculture 2010 show clearly that agriculture remains an important economic sector across the country.
He said, “The information provided by farmers and analysed by the CSO gives a valuable picture of farming in Ireland today. The figures show an improvement in the overall farm structure over the last decade with larger herd sizes for dairy and beef and a significant increase in the area of cereals planted per farm. However, in the context of the targets in Food Harvest 2020, land mobility continues to be a challenge.”
He continued, “The difficulties experienced over the last decade in the sheep sector are reflected in the fall in flock numbers. However, the improved price environment for sheep of 2010 and 2011 has reversed this trend, with an increase in output recorded in 2011.”
Commenting on the results, IFA Chief Economist, Rowena Dwyer said, “Further Census releases from the CSO will be provided in 2012 with greater detail on farm structures, age profile, output and labour inputs. This data is critical to support policymaking both here in Ireland and as part of the CAP post-2013 negotiations.”