Dairy sector drives average farm incomes higher in 2017
An increase in average incomes on farms last year was almost completely driven by the very large increase in income observed on dairy farms, according to new figures from Teagasc.
It released preliminary results from its National Farm Survey (NFS) for 2017, detailing the performance of various farm types and the associated level of farm income.
The survey indicates that average farm income rose to over €31,300 in 2017, an increase of over €7,500 on the 2016 average farm income.
However, it remains the case that more than two thirds of the farms represented by the survey saw little change in their income in 2017 in comparison with 2016.
Strong Dairy Performance
The 2017 NFS showed a dramatic increase in income on dairy farms. This was driven by a very substantial jump in the farm price of milk and continuing growth in the volume of milk produced. In particular, the sharp recovery in milk prices in 2017, led to much higher profitability in dairy farming than was the case in 2016.
The average income on dairy farms is estimated to have increased from just over €52,000 in 2016, to over €86,000 in 2017. Over 70pc of dairy farms achieved an income in excess of €50,000 in 2017.
While 2017 was a relatively benign year for expenditure on purchased inputs on dairy farms, the results of the Teagasc NFS for 2017 show evidence of increased farm investment and a higher level of expenditure on hired labour compared with 2016.