Dairy farms worst hit as incomes are cut by 12pc
Farm incomes are down by 12pc this year, but dairy farmers have been worst hit.
Despite farm output setting new records at almost €6.9bn, milk men saw their incomes slashed by 27pc on average, with those in the south and southeast suffering even bigger hits, according to new figures from Teagasc.
It leaves the family farm income on specialist dairy farms at close to €50,000 this year, but there are better prospects in 2013, when 5pc higher forecasted milk prices will add 20pc back to the bottom line.
Cereal farmers fared little better, with incomes back 19pc and only a 4pc improvement projected for 2013.
Sheep incomes dropped by 10pc, and no improvement is expected in 2013.
Pig margins improved 10pc in 2012 but the viability of many units remains precarious ,according to Teagasc.
In contrast, beef farmers had a much better year compared to 2011, with incomes up by 10-13pc on the back of a 16pc bounce in cattle prices.
And healthier returns in the cattle sector are predicted to continue into 2013 with steady cattle price forecasts and only a marginal drop in profit.