Strong growth is predicted for the dairy industry for the rest of this year with incomes generally unchanged in the other farming sectors, according to the mid-year commentary by the farm advisory body, Teagasc.
The report points out that costs of production on farms have entered a benign period, with prices for feed, fertiliser and fuel well below the levels seen during the commodity prices boom earlier in the decade.
Aside from fuel prices, which are likely to average higher than in 2016, there are no signs of imminent production cost inflation in the agriculture sector in Ireland, Teagasc predict.
Irish farm milk prices have rebounded strongly over the last 12 months. Having been at their lowest level since 2009, milk prices are now back to 33c/l and are providing the impetus for a continuing increase in milk production, which could be up by 7% nationally in 2017 relative to last year.
With recovering milk prices, higher milk production and a static cost environment, average dairy farm margins could double in 2017. Average dairy farm incomes are forecast to increase to between €75,000 and €80,000 in 2017, which would make it a record year for dairy farm income.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.