A knowledge report from Genfitt, in partnership with Agriland highlights that 61% of farmers are affected by weather; 48% fertiliser costs; and 44% by cost of living concerns this year.

The Genfitt Knowledge Report 2023 was based on a survey, ran through Agriland, which received 3,648 respondents, including farmers, resellers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM).

Genfitt, which employs over 60 people, was established in 1973 in Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo to supply spare parts and accessory products to re-sellers and retailers in the farming, engineering and hardware trades.

In order to identify macro trends affecting the agricultural industry, the online surveys asked participants for comments on the following topics: The state of the market in 2023; Factors affecting the agricultural sector; and other factors, such as environmental, political, and technical influences.

Other concerns such as the price of beef, energy, and milk fell around a similar level, with 39%, 32% and 28% respectively.

Coming in towards the bottom of the chart, 14% mentioned the price of grain/crops, 13% are affected by labour, 12% by the price of lamb, and 11% by the cost of borrowing.

The report states that these concerns are in line with the number of tillage and sheep farmers, who made up a lower percentage of the overall respondents.

A total of 45% of respondents rated the future for the Irish farming marketplace a five and six out of 10 (zero being terrible, 10 being excellent).

The same result was seen for the state of the market in 2023.

The report stated that this information suggests that although those surveyed don’t see the industry getting any easier, they also don’t see it getting worse in the coming year.

Genfitt Knowledge Report

Respondents highlighted the challenges faced by the younger generation in taking up farming due to land cost and availability, as well as the increasing complexity of farming in general, due to more stringent rules and regulations.

Those completing the survey that were over the age of 60, which represented 27%, were asked if they had a successor in place.

A total of 68% answered that this was not applicable to them. Of the remainder, 20% have successors in place and 12% do not.

More specific to the OEM respondents, skilled labour was highlighted as an ongoing concern.

The report states that fewer people are attracted to the sector compared to previous decades.

A focus group of experts for the report stated that young Irish people go to New Zealand and Australia, but with no working visas for people to come from those areas of the world to Ireland.

The group added that if young people are not travelling, they’re going elsewhere to upskill.