‘Average Roscommon farmer’ sees income fall to €24,000
According to a National Farm Survey conducted by Teagasc, the average farm income fell by 9% in 2016.
According to the report, the average farmer is now earning €24,060, with low prices being paid in the last year or so.
Reacting, IFA President Joe Healy said that the report highlights the critical importance of both price returns and direct supports for farm enterprises.
Mr. Healy said there is now an urgent need for a continued focus on both of these issues by the Minister for Agriculture and Irish Government.
According to the report, dairy farmers experienced a drop of €10,000, or 17% in income, due to low milk prices in 2016.
Mr. Healy commented: “The Teagasc figures highlight the critical importance of the industry returning a strong price to farmers when the market can support it. Based on the current positive market outlook, IFA is clear that co-ops now have scope to increase the May milk price by up to 2c/l.”
The IFA President also highlighted the very difficult year that farmers had experienced in the tillage sector, with reduced prices and yields, and an increase in production costs. Overall, tillage farmers experienced a 10% drop in incomes.
He said: “The figures show clearly the need for an urgent focus in the Department of Agriculture on a scheme for tillage farmers who lost crops in the 2016 harvest. The Minister indicated he would introduce a scheme for these farmers months ago, and he must instruct his officials to make it happen immediately.”
Incomes in the drystock sectors were relatively stable in 2016, with increases in direct payments largely offsetting lower price returns, as measures in the Rural Development Programme have been fully implemented.