Agricultural input prices set to decrease for 2020 – Teagasc

Prices for agricultural inputs such as feeding stuffs, fertiliser and fuel are set to decrease or remain steady in 2020, according to analysis by Teagasc.

The Teagasc Annual Review and Outlook 2020 was released yesterday, Tuesday, November 26, which found that the price increases for feeding stuffs and fertiliser seen in 2019 will be reversed next year.

On a sector-by-sector basis, input price is expected to decrease across the board – except where pigs are concerned, where it is expected to remain unchanged from 2019.


In the dairy sector, feed prices are expected to be around 10% lower at the the start of 2020, compared to the start of 2019. Despite a projected increase in feed prices in the second half of 2020 – due to increases in cereal prices – the total average input costs for feed in the next year is expected to be 5% lower then in 2019.

Also, fertiliser prices will decrease by 7% (applicable across other grass-based systems) according to Teagasc, while fertiliser use will remain unchanged. Meanwhile, fuel prices are also set to remain unchanged (which is also applicable across sectors).

However, other direct costs will increase by 2% in 2020. Notwithstanding this though, the total cost of production per litre of milk will be down 4% on 2019 levels, according to Teagasc.


Looking at the inputs for the cattle farming sector, fertiliser use will decrease, though at a lower rate than for dairy, falling by just 1%.

Feed prices will be down 5%, while feed use will also fall by 1%. Other direct costs are expected not to see a change in 2020 in this sector, with the same also being true of fuel costs.

All in all, the total input costs for cattle farming in 2020 are expected to be lower then in 2019.


Accompanying the decrease in fertiliser costs, there will be a 1% decrease in its use among sheep farmers for 2020 compared to 2019.

Feed price will fall by 5% on the 2019 level, while feed use in the sheep sector is predicted to remain unchanged.

Other direct costs are expected to increase by 1%, while fuel prices will remain unchanged.

All in all, this should, according to Teagasc’s forecast, equate to a decrease in total input costs for sheep farmers by 4% in 2020 compared to this year.


Fertiliser use in the cereal sector is not expected to change significantly, while seed prices are expected to see a 7% decrease.

No significant change is expected for other direct costs and, with the unchanged fuel prices, Teagasc is envisaging decreased total direct costs compared to 2019.


Feed inputs for the pig sector are forecasted to increase by between 1% and 3%.

Overall, as stated above, inputs in the pig sector are expected to remain largely unchanged going forward into 2020.

However, Teagasc says that, if Ireland should remain free of African swine fever, 2020 will see the pig sector’s highest level of profitability in 40 years.