Membership Benefits

Exclusive Discounts for ICSA Members 

Join ICSA Today

An Association of Farmers for Farmers

Teagasc Figures Re-Emphasise Difficulties in Drystock Sector

Jul 23, 2014 | Press Releases | 0 comments

July 23rd 2014

ICSA President Patrick Kent says that final figures from the Teagasc National Farm Survey 2013 highlight yet again the serious difficulties facing suckler farmers and beef finishers.

“The Teagasc figures confirm that, on average, net losses on suckling enterprises were 167% higher in 2013 than in 2012,” said Mr. Kent. “Suckler farmers lost an average of €123 per hectare, which is more than twice the level of the average negative net margin in 2012. In terms of loss per cow, the figure was €171, more than twice the 2012 figure and clearly representing an unsustainable level of losses.”

“Cattle finishers also fared badly, generating on average a net loss of €133 per hectare in 2013. This loss per hectare is 166% higher than that incurred in 2012. Of even greater concern  is the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any end to this crisis in sight, with the Teagasc Mid-Year Outlook predicting a further decline in margins for cattle finishers  this year despite lower costs of production.”

“While the sheep figures do at least show a profit, the drop of 75% in net margin per hectare, from €165 in 2012 to €41 last year is cause for concern,” continued Mr. Kent, noting that this decline in profitability was driven by large increases in direct and overhead costs.

“All the above figures compare very unfavourably with the dairy sector, where net margin per hectare was up from €783 to €1,290, an increase of 64%. Unless action is taken to restore profitability to the drystock sector, what is the future for these farm systems?”

Share Socially




ICSA Beef chair Edmund Graham has called on the new Food Regulator to pay special attention to the takeover of Kildare Chilling by Dawn Meats which he said has devastating implications for competition for both beef and lamb. “Farmers have lost all faith in the CCPC which has nodded through this takeover. The reality is that a factory that many farmers depended on to sell cattle and lambs at a fair price is now under the control of one of the big two. This will not be a good outcome for farmers.”

Livestock Prices