The average dairy farmer spent €14,761 on fertiliser and almost €50,000 on concentrates and feed last year, the Teagasc national farm survey for 2021 shows.

Machinery hire came in at an average of €13,128 for dairy farmers last year, with veterinary and AI livestock costs hitting €14,108.

Conacre renting cost an average of €7,227, while car, electricity and phone costs came in at €8,846 for those in the sector.

Compared with 2020, feed costs were up almost €6,000 last year for dairy farmers, while the average cost of fertiliser remained around the same at €14,052.

Beef farmers

The average suckler farmer spent €2,198 on fertiliser last year, with beef finishers spending €3,419. This was up on spending in 2020, which was €2,103 for suckler farmers and €3,109 for finishers.

Feed costs on suckler farms last year averaged just over €4,000 and on finishing farms were just over €7,000. Again, these were up marginally on 2020 figures.

Machinery hire came in at €3,130 for suckler farmers last year and €3,525 for finishing farms. Livestock services, such as AI and vet costs, on these farms stood at €2,217 and €2,040.

Sheep farmers

Meanwhile, sheep farmers spent close to €9,500 on feed last year, up from the €7,670 they spent in 2020.

Fertiliser costs last year stood at €3,154, an increase from the €2,677 they spent the year previous.

The survey found that sheep farmers spent more than suckler farmers last year on both feed, fertiliser and veterinary and AI costs.

Tillage farmers

Last year, tillage farmers spent €14,066 on fertiliser, up €3,410 on the €10,656 spent in 2020.

Crop protection costs came in at an average of €9,910 last year, up from €7,488 in spending the year previous, while seed costs also increased to €4,866 last year.

On tillage farms, the average cost of machinery hire last year was €11,299, up by over €3,330 on 2020.

It became more expensive for tillage farmers to rent conacre land last year, with the average tillage farmer paying €8,246 last year compared with €5,616 in 2020.