The adverse weather that blighted agricultural production earlier this year has had a significant negative impact on Irish farm income in 2018, according to Teagasc.
In its Outlook 2019, Teagasc estimates that average farm income in 2018 fell by 15% compared to 2017.
The long winter raised early season production costs this year while the summer drought then led to a collapse in grass, causing a spike in feeding costs.
Despite good autumn weather conditions and some farmers coping better with the dry weather than others, dairy, beef and sheep farms saw a substantial increase in their expenditure on feed in 2018.
On the typical dairy farm, which is said to be the worst hit, feed expenditure is estimated to have increased by about 50%.
Teagasc estimated that, assuming the weather returns to normal in 2019, there should be a major reduction in feed expenditure on grassland farms, which will help to lift margins in the dairy, beef and sheep sectors.
In terms of other inputs, the main concern in 2019 will be an increase in fertiliser prices, with less movement likely for feed and fuel prices.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.