2022 will be a challenging year for farming due to escalating costs, according to the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Tim Cullinan has warned that modest gains made last year by some farmers could be wiped out due to the cost of doing business over the coming 12 months.

He said that family farms could be overwhelmed by the steep increases in costs such as feed, energy and fertiliser.


The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has shown that input costs had risen by 15%during 2021, but the IFA warned that the signs for 2022 are hugely concerning.

Tim Cullinan also said he hoped the new year would bring “a more mature and positive discussion on climate action“.

“As farmers, we continue to produce high-quality, safe and nutritious food. While a vocal minority has been attempting to vilify farmers, the vast majority of people support Irish farming and are proud of our countryside and the food produced by Irish farmers,” he said.

The IFA president said farm families are worried that “their incomes are being sacrificed without a clear plan for the sector at farm level”.

“We need real engagement with the Government to devise a properly-funded climate plan that strikes the right balance between environmental, economic and social sustainability. This will be our focus in 2022.

“Policy makers here and in Brussels have to recognise that while farmers are willing to undertake more environmental actions, their incomes must be protected,” Cullinan said.

CAP Strategic Plan

The IFA president claimed that the Irish strategic plan on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that has been sent to the EU Commission will put more costs on productive farmers.

“Policy makers are not putting sufficient value on food production and our retailers continue to undermine the value of our produce by using it as a loss leader. This is not sustainable and I believe those in power will come to regret this short-sighted move, which encourages farmers to produce less.

“Our global population is increasing and the world will need more food, not less,” Cullinan said.

The IFA president also called on the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, to honour his commitment to bring in the primary legislation for a food regulator to ensure farmers get a fair price for their produce

Tim Cullinan noted that the surge in Covid-19 cases is a cause of concern for the farming sector in terms of both human health and the efficient functioning of the industry.

“Our farmers, and those working in the food sector, have worked hard to keep the food chain operating, but everybody will be very stretched as case numbers soar due to the Omicron variant.

“It’s important that everybody heeds the public health advice and stays safe in the coming weeks,” Cullinan concluded.