Livestock changes see farm profits rise 31.5pc
Published 08/03/2011 | 05:00
The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that profits increased by 31.5pc on average last year when compared with 2009.
This is a huge change on the previous estimate published in December that put the increase at 46pc. The main reason for the difference is a re-evaluation of the total number of livestock in the national herd.
Previously, the CSO had been relying on survey data from a sample of farmers. In the latest figures, the CSO used data from the Department of Agriculture's Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) system for the first time.
This resulted in a massive 284,000 reduction in the overall number of cattle included in the figures; 181,000 of these were male.
This is reflected in last year's €135m decrease in total output for the livestock sector in the latest estimates. In addition, EU farm payments for last year were also reduced by €56m, due to the delays in payments that have only been fully paid out in the last number of weeks.
The final significant factor in the revision was the hike in feed costs in the second half of last year.
Despite the fact that the CSO estimate was out by just 0.5pc, this accounted for another €20m reduction in the overall profitability of the livestock sector.
The alterations wiped €207m off the profitability of farming last year. This equates to a €1,500 drop in farm income on average. The figures show that more than 80pc of the profit of the entire farm sector is derived from the €1.73bn of EU farm subsidies.