Subsidies now account for half of farm incomes
Subsidies accounted for 47.3pc of agricultural incomes in 2017, a CSO study has found.
The publication highlights the continuing importance of subsidies to Irish farmers, and particularly to the regions associated with beef and sheep production.
The importance of direct payments to farm incomes - or what the report terms "the operating surplus of holdings" - varied across the country, the CSO analysis showed, ranging from a low of 33.8pc in the south-west (Kerry and Cork) to a high of 71pc in the midlands (Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath).
The report illustrates the extent to which dairying has reduced farmers' dependence on direct payments.
Along with the south-west, the other dairy heartlands of the southeast (Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Carlow) and the mid-west (Limerick, Clare and Tipperary) had the lowest dependence on direct payments at 40.5pc and 41.5pc of income respectively.
These regions have also seen an overall decrease in their dependence on subsidies since 2015 - although this trend is likely to rebound in 2018 due to the collapse in dairy farmer incomes.
For example, in the southwest subsidies accounted for 38.5pc of operating surplus on farms in 2015, but this fell to 33.8pc in 2017.
A similar trend was seen in Dublin and the mid-east (Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow), with subsidies accounting for almost 46pc of farm incomes in 2015, but just 42.3pc last year.