Exclusive: Nearly one-third of farmers are planning on increasing investment in the next year
A new survey has pointed to a broadly positive sentiment among farmers in April 2017. Production expectations were up on August 2016 when the survey was last carried out, with the outlook for market prices also brighter.
The Bank of Ireland Agri Pulse shows that while the majority of farmers expect Brexit to have a negative impact on their business - reflecting the importance of the UK market for agricultural produce - some 29% are planning on increasing investment in the farm in the next 12 months and 45% have ambitions to expand over the next one to three years.
The results also show that younger farmers tend to be more positive, with dairy generally the most optimistic of the sectors.
Discussing the Bank of Ireland Agri Pulse, Dr. Loretta O’Sullivan, Group Chief Economist, Bank of Ireland said: “A sense of cautious optimism comes through in the latest Agri Pulse survey findings, though Brexit is clearly a worry for farmers.
"We’re seeing almost one in three planning to increase investment in their farms over the next year, and almost half have ambitions to expand over the next one to three years.
"While there’s an increase in those expecting market prices to rise, half reported a pickup in input costs over the past 12 months.
“The results also highlight the difference in sentiment between younger and older farmers with the younger generations’ greater optimism contrasting with the cautiousness of those who are closer to retirement age,” she said.
Input costs and market prices