Over 30% of sheep farms earned less than €5,000 in 2019
Over 30% of sheep farms earned less than €5,000 in 2019, according to the Teagasc National Farm Survey.
Although, according to the survey that was carried out, the average sheep farmer’s income increased by 9% to €14,603 in 2019.
There were just over 14,300 sheep farms represented in the survey.
The proportion of farms earning between €10,000 and €20,000 increased by 2%, while the proportion of farms that earned between €20,000 and €50,000 increased by 4%.
However, only 4% of sheep farms earned above €50,000 in 2019.
The overall gross output on sheep farms decreased marginally (-1%) to €49,669.
The main factor behind the increase in the family farm income (FFI) on sheep farms in 2019 was the fall in production costs. Direct cost fell by 6% to a farm average of €18,209, while purchased concentrate costs fell by 18% to €6,929.
Fertiliser expenditure also decreased by 10% to €2,775, on average. Furthermore, contracting charges, reflecting fodder production costs, were unchanged. Overhead costs fell by 3% to €16,867 in 2019.
On a per-hectare basis, the average gross margin on sheep farms was €669, which is an increase of €44 when compared to the 2018 figure. This included a basic payment of €245 and there was also additional support from the BEAM.
In 2019, the average-sized sheep farm was 47ha, with a flock size of 133 ewes.