Bygones: Farm incomes 'slashed by a quarter' and Kerry goes public
Images and headline from our archives
Farm incomes are never too far from the headlines and in June 1986, the IFA’s chief economist Con Lucey warned that Irish farmers were set to have their lowest incomes since 1973 when we joined what was then the EEC.
He estimated that incomes had fallen by 25pc since 1984 and the situation was exacerbated by a looming fodder crisis.
And in comments, which will resonate with dairy farmers in 2016, Mr Lucey added that “in recent months many farmers have been able to put ‘bread on the table’ only as a result of borrowing from their co-ops.
“While the co-ops have been doing what they could do to support these farm families, co-op credit tends to be expensive, eg in the range of 1.5 to 2pc per month.”
The IFA estimated that bad weather had reduced milk output by 10pc and increased feed costs by 25pc.
In the same week, Kerry Co-op announced it was going public on the stock exchange.
The firm confirmed it was offering existing shareholders, employees and suppliers shares at a discount rate of 35p.
“The offer marks a milestone in the history of the co-op movement,” reported the Farming Independent.