Farmers’ incomes to fall this year because of falling prices
FARMERS’ incomes will drop this year thanks to falling prices and increased costs of production, farm research body Teagasc said today.
Dairy farmers will fare the worst with a 30pc drop in incomes.
High rainfall means farmers will have to buy extra feed for their livestock this year as animals have to be kept indoors longer, according to a Teagasc Agri Food Sector Market Review for 2012.
World milk prices are likely to be 15pc lower than in 2011 as many dairy exporting nations have upped production in response to last year’s higher prices.
Coupled with higher production cost this means Irish dairy incomes will fall back by up to 30pc.
Cattle and sheep farms will fare better in 2012 however with beef prices expected to be 15pc higher than last year, offsetting the higher costs of feed.
Lamb prices are also expected to remain strong so profit margins should be on a par with 2011.
Meanwhile, cereal farmers will benefit from higher grain prices thanks to lower harvests in Europe and the US, but lower yields thanks to the poor weather in Ireland mean the volumes produced here will fall leaving incomes more or less the same as 2011.