Agricultural inputs soared over the past year, attendees at the Teagasc Annual Review and Outlook for 2019 event heard.

Giving a presentation on the topic at today’s event (Tuesday,  December 4), Teagasc’s Fiona Thorne explained that inputs across the board recorded hefty increases over the year 2018 to date.

Fertiliser prices saw rises of between 4 and 7%, along with increased volumes over all grassland farms, while electricity costs jumped by 8%.

Fuel saw the biggest increase, however, with a 10% jump at farm gate level over the course of the year.

Feed figures recorded a 5% increase in prices with a larger volume needed on grassland farms also, as farmers struggled to deal with extreme weather conditions at various times over the year.

Looking ahead for the coming year, Thorne outlined predictions for fuel, feed and fertiliser prices.

Brent crude oil should see no change based on current indications, she noted, while feed prices are expected to rise first, and then decline in the second half of 2019.

Feed volume is expected to decrease by 25-30% next year, however.

On the flip side, fertiliser prices will soar by 16% for nitrogen in 2019; volume will be down though on grassland by 5-10%.

In conclusion, Thorne noted that input predictions for 2019 are very sector-specific in terms of total costs, with no great change expected for fuel, electricity or feed costs, with fertiliser the big mover expected for the coming year.