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Saturday 16 February 2019

Eight out of every 10 tillage farm deemed economically viable – Teagasc

John Spink, Teagasc; Steven Kildea, Teagasc; Guy Smith, Deputy President of National Farmers Union; Fiona Thorne, Teagasc; John Cullen, Tillage Farmer; Ewen Mullins Teagasc and Andy Doyle, Irish Farmers Journal pictured the Teagasc National Tillage Conference 2019 at the Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny.
Picture Dylan Vaughan.
John Spink, Teagasc; Steven Kildea, Teagasc; Guy Smith, Deputy President of National Farmers Union; Fiona Thorne, Teagasc; John Cullen, Tillage Farmer; Ewen Mullins Teagasc and Andy Doyle, Irish Farmers Journal pictured the Teagasc National Tillage Conference 2019 at the Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny. Picture Dylan Vaughan.
Catherine Hurley

Catherine Hurley

Some eight out of 10 tillage farmers are deemed economically viable according to data presented by Teagasc Research Officer, Fiona Thorne at the recent National Tillage conference held in Lyrath, Co Kilkenny.

Despite tillage farms being reliant on subsidies and consistently collecting the highest direct payments of all sectors, some 80pc of farms were seen to be economically viable according to the Ashtown-based Researcher.

The tillage sector comes with a family farm income of €37,158, second of the farming sectors only after the average dairy farm income of €86,115 according to Teagasc’s 2017 National Farm Survey figures, which she outlined at the conference. Data also showed 11pc of tillage farms were classed as vulnerable according to 2017 statistics.

“What we see from the statistics is that specialist tillage farms come in after dairy farms in terms of family farm income. With family farm income on dairy farms just shy of €90,000 in 2017 and our specialist tillage farms struggling to have a family farm income of €40,000,” she said.

“When we talk about family farm income what we’re talking about is the income that’s left over at the farm gate, to remunerate all the owned resources that are on the farm.”

However, direct payments accounted for 63pc of specialist tillage farm income in 2017 according to the data recorded, she explained adding that it was the second lowest reliance of all the sectors, again after the dairy man.

“Specialist tillage farms, I don’t think it comes as any new news to you all, have the highest reliance of direct payments on a euro per hectare basis.

“We’re talking about 63pc of our income coming from direct payments in 2017, and that moves up and down depending on the year that we’re dealing with but it’s always a hefty portion of our income. Even though it’s not as bad as the drystock sectors, six out of every €10 still comes in the form of direct payments for the specialist tillage sector.

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