Teagasc have posted the results of their National Farm survey for 2018, which has shown the impact weather has had on incomes.
The results presented has shown that farmers farmers struggled to cope with the difficulties presented by severe weather and challenging conditions on farms. A long winter, followed by an extremely dry summer seriously affected grass growth in 2018.
As a result, on grassland farms, there was a substantial increase in the volume of purchased feed and fodder, with average feed expenditure up 34%. The need for fodder also led to an increase in spending on machinery contracting, fuel and fertilisers.
The average family farm income on cattle rearing enterprises fell to an estimated €8,318, down 22% from the average of €10,642 in 2017. The average income for other cattle based systems also fell fby 11% to €14,40-8, down from€16,115 in 2017.
The average dairy income also fell by 31% to €61,273, compared to the average income of €88,829 in 2017. Average Sheep farm income fell from €17,357 in 2017 to €13,769 in 2018, a reduction of 21%.
The average income in tillage farms in 2018, which was €42,678, represents an increase of 18% on the 2017 figure of €36,048. Across the farm sector as a whole, the average family farm income in 2018 declined by 21%, dropping from €29,774 in 2017 to €23,483.