Reacting to today’s CSO figures for 2011, IFA President John Bryan said the recovery that was evident in the last two years will not be sustained in 2012 as farm incomes suffer from a combination of price drops, reduced output due to poor weather and rapidly rising input costs.
John Bryan said, “The contrast between the 2011 figures, and the likely outturn for 2012, is a stark illustration of the impact of volatility on farm families. For example, the combined price cuts of the last few months for milk producers total up to a massive 6c/l. This represents a loss of up to €13,000 in the income of the average 300,000 litre supplier over their 2012 supplies.”
He said the prolonged wet weather of recent weeks will have a negative impact on output, and will also add to feed costs next winter. “Silage harvesting has fallen far behind where it should be at the end of June. Inevitably, the quality will suffer and additional feed will be needed later in the year.”
The IFA President re-iterated the importance of farm schemes to counteract the negative effect of volatility on farm income. He said, “Low-income farmers, in particular, have suffered severe cuts across a range of schemes and cannot afford any further drop in income. In this context, a new AEOS scheme must be a priority for all farmers leaving REPS.”
Concluding, John Bryan said, “A positive outcome to the CAP negotiations will also be crucial to underpin production and the development of the sector.”