The total amount of money that NI farmers spent on concentrates during a calendar year has surged past the £1bn mark for the first time.

New figures published by DAERA, show that feedstuffs cost NI farmers £1.18bn during 2022, marking a 22% rise on the £966m spent the year before.

The jump is due to a 24% increase in the average cost of concentrates per tonne, with the figure standing at £405/t last year, up from £327/t in 2021.

The total volume of feed purchased fell slightly last year, by 1.3%, and stood at 2.9m tonnes.

Breaking the total NI feed bill down across sectors, poultry accounted for 36% of total spend, with dairy sitting at 32% and pigs at 16%.

The beef sector has 13% of the NI feed bill and the sheep sector is at only 2%.

The DAERA figures show that concentrates make up 43% of total farm expenses in NI, although across the UK as a whole, feedstuffs equate to just 27% of total farm costs.

Costs associated with fertiliser and lime made up 7% of NI farm expenses during 2022; with the total spend more than doubling from £96m in 2021 to £194m last year.

Again, this is down to higher prices per tonne, as the total volume of fertiliser sold in NI last year fell by 16%, to 257,410t. The average price jumped by almost 150% to stand at £715/t.

Lime usage hit another record high during 2022, with 250,373t purchased by NI farmers, up 3% year-on-year.

The average cost of lime also increased by 20% last year and stood at £39/t.