The difference in sentiment between sectors in Irish agriculture has been laid bare in the latest report from Ifac.

According to an annual Farm Report conducted by the professional services firm, 75% of dairy farmers have a positive outlook for their sector. However, only 40% of farmers have a positive outlook in other farming sectors.

Farmer sentiment

Only 25% of dairy farmers believe that their farm is not providing sufficient income to support their family, Ifac’s Irish Farm Report 2021, titled Growing Your Future, says.

By contrast, nine out of 10 beef farmers believe their farm isn’t providing sufficient income to support their family.

84% will maintain or increase herd numbers over the next three years, the Ifac study noted.

On a broader scale, only 21% of respondents say Covid-19 has negatively impacted their farm income.

Finally, only 5% of farmers feel that Brexit will have no impact on the farming sector.

‘Stark light’

Commenting on the report results, John Donoghue, chief executive of ifac said:

“While less than a quarter of farmers say the pandemic has negatively impacted their farm income, and some have even been able to diversify their revenue streams during Covid, the findings also shine a stark light on the community disengagement and social isolation that many farmers are feeling all across the country.

“The big opportunity for Irish farmers to enhance their profitability and secure their futures is planning.

“From budgeting and succession planning to structure reviews and looking after their farm team – all areas our team of financial experts is well-placed to support and advise on,” the CEO concluded.