Teagasc has predicted that sustained high input costs will continue to ravage farm incomes in 2023.

There are few signs of any relief from record fertiliser, feed and fuel bills seen in 2022 in the Teagasc outlook for next year, written by Teagasc researchers and published on Tuesday.

However, while inputs costs may not fall, there is also no significant increase foreseen.


Dairy farms are set to lead the pack again, with an average income of €104,000 expected in 2023, albeit a 30% drop from a record of €148,000 in 2022.

Dairy farm incomes were €148,000 in 2023, estimates Teagasc.

Dairy farm incomes have become so “increasingly detached” from other farm sectors that Teagasc warned that a cumulative farm sector income average no longer reflects that seen in non-dairy systems.

Teagasc director Frank O’Mara described the drop in dairy farm incomes for 2023 as a return to “more normal” levels. Teagasc economist Emma Dillon said the forecast 30% income drop is based on predictions that average milk prices will fall by some 15% to 49c/l next year.

Dillon said more normal weather and a “slight increase” in cow numbers will see growth in milk production of 4%.

On this milk, dairy farmers will make a net margin of 14.3c/l, 40% down on 2022.

MIlk production costs remaining high in 2023 with an increase of 4%/ha and 2%/l predicted.

The expected average net margin per hectare in 2023 is €1,928, down 35% on 2022.


Beef is the only sector set to see farm income increases next year, albeit only slightly.

Teagasc says suckler farm incomes will rise by 11% to €9,700 in 2023, with beef finisher and other cattle farm incomes increasing by a smaller 2% to €17,300.

The uptick in beef farm incomes will come off the back of higher cattle prices, with finished cattle prices expected to be 4% higher in 2023 and young cattle prices up 5%.

Beef farmers will see fertiliser prices stay the same next year, saysTeagasc.

However, Teagasc beef research officer Jason Loughrey says these prices will likely be impacted by the “seasonality” seen this year.

While fertiliser prices and use are forecast to stay the same for beef farmers next year, Teagasc says meal prices will rise by 10%. Adding the prediction that fuel costs will drop 14%, overall input costs on beef farms are to jump 3%.However, pending normal weather and grazing conditions, Teagasc says the net margin for suckler and beef finishers will be up 11% and see no change, respectively.


Sheep farm incomes are predicted to fall by 2% to €19,500 in 2023 compared to this year, despite an expected 2% increase in lamb prices.

The drop will be mostly down to feed cost increases of 10%. Teagasc economist Anne Kinsella said much will stay the same for the sheep sector, with slaughter numbers, fertiliser costs and use and meal use all forecast to remain at 2022 levels.

Lamb prices are forecast to rise 2% in 2023. \ Claire Nash

However, she suggested that fuel costs will fall 18% and overall, direct costs will rise by 4%.

Despite this, the average lowland mid-season sheep farm should see a gross margin of €800/ha in 2023, down just 1% on 2022 levels.


Tillage farm incomes are set to fall by 48% to €33,000 next year, compared to 2022 levels.

The income fall prediction is down to it being “unlikely” that the high cereal yields in 2022 will be repeated in 2023. Teagasc highlighted that current futures markets indicate that 2023 harvest prices will be down over 20%.

Tillage input costs are set to increase 8% with fertiliser up approximately 10% and seed prices up some 30%.

Tillage farmers are to see their incomes almost halve next year. \ Lorraine O'Sullivan

In some good news, the outlook suggests that green diesel prices for tillage farms will fall by as much as 18% next year, when compared to 2022 levels.

The average gross margins in 2023 for spring barley, winter barley and winter wheat are set to fall by €900/ha, €1,215/ha and €710/ha, respectively, when compared to 2022.

Overall, net margin on the average cereal enterprise next year is forecast to fall to some €65/ha, down €680 on the €745/ha seen in 2022.

Read more

Beef farm incomes on the rise in 2023 – Teagasc

Average dairy farm income hits €148,000 – Teagasc