Bumper year raises dairy farmers' income to €90,000 record high
Dairy family farm incomes have hit a phenomenal average record high of more than €90,000, new figures reveal.
The significant increase was helped by payments for a litre of milk surging by 30pc to 36c a litre. The average dairy farm income is now up by €40,000 over the last year. The boon followed a volatile 2016 that saw milk prices in the doldrums.
Yet the Teagasc Annual Review and Outlook for 2018 warned of headwinds on the horizon with Brexit concerns hanging over the export-dependent agri-industry and overall income likely to fall next year as fuel and input costs rise.
Teagasc economist Trevor Donnellan said he was "not in the speculation game", but major uncertainty remained over the post-Brexit Europe and trade relations with the UK where economic growth is on a downward trajectory.
"Apart from concerns we've been having about exchange rate issues, a slow-growing UK economy is not a particularly positive thing for Irish agri-food exports," warned Mr Donnellan.
Farmers will also face fuel rises in 2018, while electricity prices are expected to go up by 4pc and overall production costs are expected to rise.
Mainly driven by dairy farm incomes, the overall average farm income this year increased by around 30pc to €31,900, compared with €23,500 in 2016.
Teagasc estimated average farm income at just over €29,800 next year, down 6pc.