Declan O’Brien: Global market the deciding factor for future of farming
THINGS are certainly looking good for farmers. Incomes are up, there is confidence in the sector and some of the best and brightest of our young people once again see a future for themselves either on the land or in food processing.
But there are dark clouds on the horizon and the highs and lows of operating at global commodity prices were rarely brought into as sharp focus as they were over the last few days.
In a week in which the nation's farmers were told that their incomes for 2011 had grown by 32pc to an average of almost €25,000, the country's dairy processors pulled milk prices back by 10pc and warned that cuts of as much as 24pc could be on the way this summer.