‘Variation in farm income underlines importance of CAP’

CSO figures for farm income in 2018 confirm the severe impact the adverse weather and external political events had on farming last year, according to the IFA.

In the CSO’s second estimate for 2018’s operating surplus, the data shows that this figure has deceased by 16.1% from 2017’s figure – €3,456 million down to €2,901 million.

Commenting on the figures released today, (Thursday, March 7) the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Joe Healy, said: “The headline figure showing a decrease of 16% was largely driven by a substantial hike of over €350m on feed.

A combination of the late, wet spring, Storm Emma and the summer’s drought added significantly to costs on farms during 2018 and affected the bottom line for farmers.

Healy said the value of cattle farming fell by €100 million last year and stressed that this is “another indicator of the severe pressure on livestock farmers’ incomes, mostly from the uncertainty caused by Brexit.

“There has been no lift in the early part of this year and immediate political action is needed.”

The IFA president said the “significant” fall in farm incomes underlines the importance of strong supports for farmers in the next CAP.

Concluding, the IFA president also drew attention to the fact that the value of pig output fell by 11% last year and said: “Producers found themselves in a loss-making situation.”