Figures revealed in the latest Teagasc National Farm Survey show that in 2021, close to one-quarter of the farms surveyed had a farm income of less than €5,000.

A further 12% earned between €5,000 and €10,000, with an additional 22% reporting a Family Farm Income (FFI) of between €10,000 and €20,000.

Therefore, 57% of farms earned less than €20,000 in 2021.

Teagasc stated that in terms of the 43% of farms with incomes above €20,000 in 2021, 12% earned between €20,000 and €30,000, with a further 11% earning between €30,000 and €50,000.

Image source: Teagasc

Of the remaining farms, 5% earned between €50,000 and €70,000, with 7% earning between €70,000 and €100,000.

In 2021, 9% of farms earned in excess of €100,000.

There was some progression in the proportion of farms that fall into higher income categories in 2021.

This reflects the improvement in average farm income that was observed in 2021, particularly on dairy and tillage enterprises, according to Teagasc.

Farm income

Although dairy farms account for only 18% of the total farm population represented, in 2021 these farms were responsible for over half of the total farm income generated (€1,491 million).

The equivalent portion of farm income accruing to the two cattle farm categories was 23% (€697 million), although cattle farms accounted for 56% of the total farm population represented.

Sheep farms accounted for 16% of the total farm population represented, and 10% of farm income (€286 million) in 2021.

Tillage farms accounted for just 7% of farms overall, but 13% of the total income(€368 million).

Teagasc said that it was noting that 72% of dairy farms reported an average FFI of more than €50,000 in 2021 (up from 65% in 2020), with 39% of these earning more than €100,000.

On the other hand, 59% of cattle rearing farms earned a farm income of €10,000 or less in 2021, on average (down from 65% in 2020).

A total of 41% of “cattle other” farms recorded an average FFI of €10,000 or less in 2021 while a similar figure was reported on sheep farms.