ICSA President Patrick Kent has said that while he welcomes the slight increase in suckler and sheep farm incomes in last week’s Teagasc National Farm Survey, these continue to compare pitifully with incomes in the dairy sector.
“Even with an increase of 8%, at €10,271 suckler farm income is still below the dole,” pointed out Mr Kent.
“Sheep farmers saw a significant increase of 24%, but this merely went some way towards restoring the huge losses of 2013.
“Beef finishing enterprises, most worryingly, saw a continued drop in their incomes, down 12% to €13,884.” continued the ICSA President.
“Compare these figures to the €68,887 average on dairy farms, and the contrast is stark.
“These figures clearly illustrate how cattle and sheep enterprises have been crucified by rapacious retailers and processors, and highlight yet again the need for an EU regulator with powers to monitor the excessive margins being taken at retail level at the expense of farmers,” he told our reporter following the release of the Teagasc study figures.