New SFP will hit finishers hardest
Incomes of full-time cattlemen would fall 10pc under flat payment
Full-time farmers finishing cattle have the most to lose if the Single Farm Payment (SFP) moves to a flat area-based system.
Research carried out by Teagasc reveals that drystock farmers stand to suffer a 10pc drop in income -- a total of €37m -- under a new system that's not based on the reference years.
It also shows that a flat area-based system could favour part-time farmers and would result in a shift of €52m from full-time to part-time units.
Tillage farmers stand to lose an estimated €13m in their payments -- the equivalent of a 6pc reduction in farm family incomes.
However, the report by researchers Liam Dunne and Ultan Shanahan indicates that cattle-rearing systems, mainly those producing suckler weanlings, stood to gain €36m, with a consequential increase in income of 16pc.
The other winners are sheep farmers, who would benefit from a €28m boost equal to an 11pc increase in their earnings.
The study, which was based on a random sample of more than 1,100 Irish farms in the Teagasc National Farm Survey, shows that a complete shift to a flat area-based payment would not result in SFP or income gains.
However, there would be "substantial transfers" of SFPs and income between individual farms and farm enterprises.