Just one in two dairy farmers are in profit
Less than half of dairy farmers expect to make a profit this year, according to a Farming Independent survey of 1,000 farmers at last week's Ploughing.
It compares sharply with the highs of last year when three-quarters of dairy farmers surveyed reported their farm enterprises were profitable.
The expectations are even lower in the grain sector with only a third of tillage farmers reporting they'll make a profit when EU payments and subsidies are excluded.
After a buoyant year for cattle prices, 41pc of beef finishers expect to make a profit, but 53pc stated they would be running at a loss without EU payments.
Just 30pc of suckler farmers expect to make a profit and the figure is 37pc for sheep farmers.
When asked how much pressure they faced on borrowings, a third of dairy farmers reported higher borrowings this year.
After three years of poor prices for grain, concerns were understandably highest amongst tillage farmers with 59pc either 'very or fairly concerned' about their finances.
The IFA's president Eddie Downey said income volatility is threatening the viability of many farm families and said the Government and the EU will have to take decisive action to deliver equity in the food supply chain.