Farm incomes down 10.4% this year, CSO estimates show


Farm incomes have dropped by 10.4 per cent this year, according to preliminary estimates from the Central Statistics Office. Farmers have blamed the prolonged wet weather and increases in the price of feed and other inputs for the fall in income.

Farm groups had been bracing themselves for a larger fall in income but the CSO stressed the data was just an advance estimate and was subject to revision.

The fall in incomes follows a bumper year in 2011 when CSO figures showed that farm incomes had increased by more than 30 per cent.

This year’s estimates show the value of milk output fell by 13 per cent or €238 million. Cereals output fell by almost 5 per cent or €14.2 million while the cost of feedstuffs increased by more than 15 per cent or almost €178 million. The cost of intermediate consumption, which includes costs such as fertilisers, energy, feed and contract work rose by almost 7 per cent, or more than €335 million.

On the other hand, farm gate prices increased by 3.6 per cent or almost €227 million.

IFA president John Bryan said the figures highlighted the difficult financial situation on farms this year. “Cash flow is going to dry up on many farms this winter, as the full impact of fodder shortages and increased costs hit home,” he said.