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2011 Another Good Year for Farm Incomes

20 December 2011, at 9:53am

IRELAND - The latest estimate shows a 33.4 per cent rise in operating surplus for the agriculture sector.

Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has welcomed the CSO’s advance estimate of Output, Input and Income in Agriculture for 2011. The release showed a 33.4 per cent rise in operating surplus for the agriculture sector.

The Minister said that "the increase in income was particularly strong in the cereals sector where improved prices resulted in a 52.5 per cent rise in the output value of the sector."

The milk sector also enjoyed a good year, with output value up €303.9 million or 19.8 per cent on 2010.

Similarly, the livestock picture showed increases in output value with cattle (16.7 per cent or €250.1 million), pigs (16.1 per cent or €52.9 million) and sheep (9.4 per cent or €12.1 million) all showing improvement. The Minister was also pleased to see a 5.6 per cent increase in volume output in the pigmeat sector despite the challenges in the sector early in the year.

Total direct payments to the agriculture sector are expected to amount to circa €1,941 million, which includes payments under the Single Payment Scheme, the Area Based Disadvantaged Compensatory Allowance Scheme, REPS, forestry premia, disease compensation and other smaller schemes.

The Minister noted the increase in input prices, which includes a 22 per cent increase in feedstuff prices. Fertiliser prices also increased by 9.6 per cent, and fertiliser volume was down 8.3 per cent.

"These input costs are likely to remain high given global trends and it is important that such costs are recognised when producer prices are being discussed" he said.

The Minister said that: "2011 has been another excellent year for the sector and the outlook for 2012 is undoubtedly positive, with renewed strength in the sector leaving it well placed to increase its already vital contribution to the country's economic recovery."