Volatility in farm incomes represents a major challenge for family farms as IFA’s preliminary estimates for 2012 show that farm income has fallen by 22% for the year. This is a loss of over €500m in national farm income and leaves average farm incomes at an estimated €18,000.
Commenting on the estimates, IFA President John Bryan said, “A combination of dreadful weather conditions, which impacted negatively on production, and increased input costs, resulted in a huge fall in farm incomes in 2012”.
He continued “The experience in farming this year once again clearly shows the critical importance of the Direct Payments in underpinning farm incomes. Direct Payments will account for more than 90% of farm incomes in 2012.
Any cuts to these payments would have a directly negative impact on farm incomes and production. In the negotiations on the overall EU Budget in Brussels this week, it is vital that the CAP budget is maintained. This contributes funding of €1.6b annually to farms in every part of Ireland. In addition, Government must show their commitment to the farming sector in a difficult year in the upcoming national budget, through the maintenance of funding for farm schemes”.