Cross-sector farm incomes hit with substantial slump in 2018

Grim projections that average farm incomes – across all the various production systems – declined by at least 15% throughout 2018 are expected to be confirmed tomorrow, Thursday, May 30.

The full extent of the income fall, which is widely attributed to last year’s long, hard winter and extreme summer drought conditions, will be revealed under Teagasc’s National Farm Survey 2018 results – due to be published tomorrow morning in Dublin.

Last December, as part of its Outlook 2019 report, Teagasc economists forecast that average cross-sector incomes would be down by “approximately 15%” – with dairy incomes suffering the biggest loss at “22%” on 2017 levels.

That report also estimated that feed costs for an average dairy farm jumped by up to “50%”; while it was also forecast that beef and sheep farmers experienced a sharp rise in feed costs last year.

Sources have told AgriLand that these previous estimations “will be confirmed” in tomorrow’s results.

Another message expected to emerge through tomorrow’s findings is that while tillage farmers had serious difficulty with spring sown crops in 2018 – with yields well down on normal – yields of winter crops were not affected to the same extent.

Also Read: Drought conditions at ‘crisis point’ in sunny south-east

As for pig farmers, while they did not have to face the challenges presented by the poor weather in 2018, tomorrow’s report is expected to show that pig farms saw margins squeezed by a severe drop in pig prices at a time of rising feed costs.

Stay tuned to AgriLand for the latest on how incomes in each individual sector were impacted following a turbulent 12-month period in 2018.

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