‘Surging input costs are keeping farmers awake at night’: Ifac Irish Farm Report 2022

Evelyn (aged 5) and Liam (aged 3) Alcorn with their mum Caroline Alcorn, audit manager at Ifac, on their farm in Co. Kilkenny (Nore Valley) for the spring launch of Ifac’s Farm Report 2022

60% of Irish farmers say their biggest concern for 2022 is increased input costs

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26 April 2022 | 0

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Rising costs are the biggest challenge facing farmers according to an annual Farm Report conducted by Ifac, Ireland’s farming, food and agribusiness specialist professional services firm.

Given that 51% have already seen costs increase due to Brexit, 60% of Irish farmers say the biggest concern for their business for 2022 is increased input costs that are currently impacting all the primary farm inputs including fertiliser, feed and energy.

Ifac’s fourth annual Irish farm survey, contained in the report, reveals what is really on the minds of Irish farmers – the opportunities and the challenges they are facing across rural Ireland.

This includes the positive role of technology in increasing farm efficiencies and reducing the physical demands for employees, the universal challenge of reducing greenhouse gases, and farmers being able to find the time to tackle financial planning to protect their families and farms for the future.

Finding and retaining employees has become a challenge for many – 21% say it’s a big concern, particularly in the dairy sector. One in three beef farmers are struggling to balance farming with their off-farm job and, across the board, 77% of farmers say they would hire non-EU people with the right skills.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has welcomed the report.

“Input costs, as outlined in this report, are undoubtedly impacting most farmers this year and will be a major challenge to profitability,” Minister McConalogue said.

“While we are closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine, both I and my Department, just like ifac, are working to support farm families and their businesses,” he added. “This includes two separate support packages for the pig sector; a direct aid for the horticulture sector and the Tillage Incentive Scheme with a €12 million budget.”

Ifac’s Irish Farm Report 2022, titled ‘The Innovators – farmers embracing change’, features analysis and tips for each sector (including dairy, beef, sheep, tillage, poultry, pigs and forestry), as well as informative case studies and helpful articles for Irish farmers on topics such as technology, climate action, succession, farm structures, pensions, hiring, etc. For the full report, visit: www.ifac.ie/irish-farm-report.

 

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