Cereals prices increase most, but poor yields hit incomes
Cereals prices paid to farmers rose by 16.5pc this year, compared to 2011, according to provisional figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
Cereals were the best performing farm output during the year, with cattle prices rising by 11.6pc and milk prices increasing by 9.8pc.
However, the rise in output prices was exceeded by a corresponding increase in the cost of farm inputs such as feed, fertiliser and chemical sprays.
The survey found that output prices rose by 3.6pc on average during 2012 but farm input costs rose by 4.2pc during the same period.
While the CSO figures might indicate that the year 2012 was not as bad income-wise as many farmers perceived, the findings have been challenged by IFA.
The association's chief economist Rowena Dwyer pointed out that while dairy and tillage prices might have increased during the year, farmers suffered reductions in the volume of milk and tonnage of grain that they sold.
She explained that milk output and cereal yields had been seriously hit by the atrocious weather during the summer.
"The CSO figures take no account of the volume of milk, grain or beef that was sold," she explained.