31 MAY 2019
ICSA Leinster vice president Jimmy Cosgrave has said the sharp drop in income figures for drystock farmers revealed in the Teagasc Farm Survey for 2018 demonstrates how both Brexit and adverse weather have had a massive impact on farm incomes. “When you see the abysmal incomes for cattle systems it demonstrates how badly they need the €100m Brexit package delivered as quickly as possible. It must be targeted at farmers that lost a significant amount on cattle sales and fully focused on those farmers in low income systems,” he said.
“Annual incomes averaging as low as €8,318 for suckler farmers down (22% on 2017), €13,769 for sheep farmers, (down 21% on 2017) and €14,408 for beef farmers (down 11% on 2017) reveal the stark reality for most our cattle and sheep farmers. The reality is hitting home that primary producers do not benefit whatsoever as our agri-food exports grow by hundreds of millions year on year. Beef and sheep farmers really are doing more and more for less and less. It’s obvious the margins from the food chain are skewed with beef and lamb producers faring the worst and this will have to be addressed.”
Concluding Mr Cosgrave said, “These figures once again illustrate that CAP payments will have to be re-jigged to target the low-income sectors and this must be central to any CAP reforms.”