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Irish farmers: more production and volume but barely more income

Ireland's agricultural sector produced well over all industries in 2019, but barely made any money due to increased costs.

The definitive estimate of the operational surplus in agriculture of the Irish Central Bureau of Statistics (CSO) shows an increase of € 110.7 million, representing an increase of 3.81 TP1. However, agricultural prices have declined over the same period.

Total production volume increased from EUR 2.94 billion in 2018 to EUR 3.055 billion. This increase is in line with previous predictions in Irish agriculture, reports the Irish newspaper Agriland.

An analysis of the results showed that, despite an increase of 3.6% in the volume of goods produced, falling prices led to the value of goods production at producer prices falling by € 258 million (-3.1%) from € 8 22 billion in 2018 to € 7.96 billion in 2019.

While the volume of crops produced by Irish farmers increased by 7.8%, lower prices caused the value of crops to decrease by € 228.9 million (-10.8%), from € 2.13 billion to € 1.8 billion . The main crops contributing to this drop in production were fodder crops, which fell in value by € 276.3 million due to falling prices (-20.6%)

Despite the volume of milk production increasing by 5.1%, lower prices meant that the value of milk increased by only € 45.2 million (+ 1.8%) from € 2.56 billion to € 2.6 billion.

Although the volume of livestock produced increased by 1.9%, lower prices caused the value of the livestock to decrease by € 111.1 million (-4.9%), from € 2.26 billion to € 2.15 billion.

Although the volume of pigs produced in 2019 changed very little (+ 0.4%), large price increases led to the value of pig production increasing by € 84.0 million (+ 18.3%), from € 459.1 million to € 543 million.

The costs of fodder purchased by Irish farmers decreased by € 273.4 million (-20.5%) in 2019, from € 1.33 billion to € 1.06 billion.

The volume of feed used on Irish farms decreased by 13.8% and as a result, feed expenditure decreased by € 184.6 million (-11.0%) to € 1.49 billion.

The volume of fertilizers consumed by Irish farmers decreased by 7.6% in 2019, but due to price increases, the cost of these fertilizers decreased by only € 3.8 million (-0.7%), from € 582.1 million to € 578. 3 million.

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