The incomes of Irish farmers rose by 9 per cent in the last year, despite the pandemic, a new Teagasc study found.
Despite a reduced demand from the food service industry during Covid the annual survey found farmers income increased in 2020. “It had been initially feared that Covid-19 would significantly damage food demand, particularly for beef, due to food service closures and lockdown measures in Ireland and in overseas markets. However, this was effectively offset by growth in the consumption of food at home,” said Teagasc.
Sheep farmers benefitted from lower production costs and higher lamb prices with average incomes increasing by 24 per cent to €18,383.
Average family farm incomes increased to €25,662 in 2020 which was helped by reduced production costs.
The average figures include many small, part-time beef and cattle farmers leading to a low figure in comparison with other sectors.
Incomes of beef finishing farms grew by 8 per cent at €14,813 and incomes from cattle rearing was unchanged. The survey showed dairy farm debt remained similar to 2019 with an average of €112,476, excluding farms with zero debt.