Dairy farm incomes see a 9% increase in 2019

The average family farm income on dairy farms in 2019 amounted to €66,570, which is an increase of 9% when compared to the 2018 figure, according to the Teagasc National Farm Survey.

A number of factors including more favourable weather conditions in comparison to 2018, a fall in feed expenditure and an increase in milk production were enough to see incomes rise, despite the 3% fall in milk prices last year.

There were just over 16,100 dairy farms represented in the survey.

The overall gross output on dairy farms increased marginally (1%) to €215,279. Production costs decreased by 2%. Direct costs decreased by 6%, due to lower volumes of feed and fertiliser used in comparison to 2018. 

Purchased concentrate expenditure decreased by 14%, with feed volumes averaging 1,122kg/cow.

Overhead costs increased on dairy farms in 2019. This was due, for the most part, to depreciation costs for buildings and machinery. Increases ranged from 4% up to 14%.

Hired labour costs continued to increase on dairy farms in 2019. On average, expenditure increased by 3% to €5,504.

In terms of key indicators for dairy farms, on a per-hectare basis, milk production increased by 6% to 11,799L. Average gross input per hectare was unchanged at €4,163. However, the 8% reduction in direct costs, resulted in gross margins increasing by 5% to €2,504.

Over 55% of dairy farms reported a farm income above €50,000 in 2019, which is up slightly from 2018. Of that 55%, 20% earned more than €100,000. 

In terms of farm size, approximately 42% of dairy farms fell into the 50-100ha bracket, while 32% fell into the 30-50ha area.

Smaller farms represented 16% of the dairy farm population, while the remaining 10% represented farms above 100ha.