Farmers seeking tax reliefs as agricultural prices take a tumble
AMID the bustle of this year's Ploughing Championships, latest figures show dairy farmers are feeling the pinch.
Farmers are likely to use this week's ploughing championship to urge the Government to commit to further tax reliefs given what they say are increasingly difficult times for the sector.
Figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) last week showed that dairy farmers are enduring a particularly tough year, with the price of milk down 9.3pc since July 2015. Egg prices are also down 4.4pc, while the sums fetched for wool have fallen by 32.2pc.
Poultry farmers have received a modest 0.4pc more for their output this year, while pig farmers are receiving just 1.3pc more in 2016. The price for sheep increased by 6.4pc.
The situation for crops has been mixed, with cereal prices up 4.5pc and vegetables up by 0.8pc. However, the prices received for potatoes has come down by 23.1pc compared to a year previously. The price of feedstuffs declined by an overall 2.1, with feed for calves 4.7pc lower in the year to July. Pig feed was 3.7pc cheaper while poultry feed was down 6.5pc.
Losses in overall income for farmers was offset by a decline in energy prices, with the price of electricity down 2.3pc, while motor fuel costs declined by a more significant 11.9pc.
The cost of lubricants increased by 1.1pc.
Overall, the cost of fertilisers came down by 17pc. PK fertilisers fell by 7.2pc, with (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium fertilisers (NPKs) dropping 17.9pc. Veterinary expenses across the country rose by 1.7pc, while plant protection products showed a rise of 2.5pc.