The Teagasc report highlights that costs associated with food production will increase substantially over the course of 2022. Output prices are also rising but not at the same rate as the costs of inputs. Fertiliser prices are in excess of 200 per cent higher than the same time in 2021 while there has been an increase in green diesel costs of over 60 per cent in the past number of months.
The major finding of the report, however, is the likely negative impact on farm incomes. The report outlines that beef farmers, in particular, are at risk of income drop, while forecasting that cattle rearing farms can expect a drop of 25 per cent in income with other cattle enterprises potential facing a drop of 16 per cent.
“It is clear that action is needed to ensure that beef farmers can continue to farm. Macra na Feirme has been clear, that a substantial beef finisher scheme is needed providing €200 per head,” said John Keane, Macra na Feirme National President.
“A silage conservation support is also needed to address the costs of fertiliser and fuel. Farmers across all enterprises are deciding on areas that are to be closed for first cut silage this week and what application rates of fertiliser they will apply.
“In order to ensure a strong trade for cattle in marts across the country in the late summer and early autumn certainty needs to be created now for beef farmers, in particular, who are most at risk of reduced income”.