Farm Ireland

Thursday 19 July 2018

Number of workers on Irish dairy farms rises by 40pc

Claire Fox

Claire Fox

More than 1,200 extra people were employed on Irish dairy farms between 2010 and 2016, according to new research that will be presented by Teagasc at the International Agricultural Workforce Conference in Cork today.

The total number of employees on Irish dairy farms in 2016 was 4,100 people, up from 2,900 in 2010, an increase of over 40pc.

According to Teagasc Research Officer Paidi Kelly, there were approximately 1,000 new entrant dairy farmers during this period.

“This is a positive news story for rural Ireland as it means that more people are being employed. Dairy farm expansion has meant more jobs on farms and also in supporting industries,” said Mr Kelly.

The figures also showed that the number of family members working on Irish dairy farms has actually ­decreased from 18,400 to 17,800. While Mr Kelly pointed out that this isn’t a significant reduction, he feels it could be a trend for what is coming down the line as family sizes decrease, meaning less family workers on farms.

Another interesting finding from the study shows that while 7pc of farmers were younger than 35 in 2010, this decreased to 5pc in 2016. Meanwhile, 13pc of farmers were over 65 in 2010 but this increased to 16pc in 2016.

“This shows that the number of farmers over the age of 65 is increasing. This means there could be more work for employees on farm in the future as these farmers may be looking to reduce their workload.”

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