Third of farmers are over retirement age, while the number of young farmers declines
Almost a third of farmers are at retirement age or above, while more than half are over 55.
The ageing profile of Irish farm holders represents an ongoing trend which has prompted fresh supports for young farmers in recent years. However, compared to 2013 the number of people farming under the age of 35 has fallen from 8,200 to 7,100, according to CSO figures.
The Farm Structure Survey shows there were 137,500 farms in Ireland in 2016, of which 137,100 were family farms. This represents a fall in farm numbers of 2,100 since 2013. One in eight (11.7pc) of the 137,100 family farm holders was female.
However, the average farm size increased marginally over the period to 32.4 hectares.
The average standard output per farm surged 29pc over the period 2013 to 2016 to €45,945.
Three out of every 10 farms had a standard output of less than €8,000, while one in five had €50,000 or more.
On 30pc of farms, the holder was aged 65 or older while more than half (55pc) of all farm holders were 55 years or older.
Just over half of farmers (53pc) viewed farming as a sole occupation, a quarter as a major occupation and the remainder as a subsidiary occupation.