The average dairy farm income in 2022 was €148,598, an increase of 50% on the 2021 level, the final results of Teagasc’s national farm survey (NFS) have confirmed.

The results, which are representative of over 85,000 farms nationally, show that on dairy, tillage and some cattle farms, higher production costs were offset by an increase in farm output prices.

However, the net impact, which these output and input price changes had on farm incomes, varied across the various grassland and tillage farm systems in 2022.

Meanwhile, the average income on tillage farms was €76,013, an increase of 31% on the 2021 level.

Cattle rearing

The average income in the cattle rearing and cattle finishing systems in 2022 were €8,324 and €18,554, representing a decrease of 23% and an increase of 8% respectively on the 2021 level.

In contrast with recent years, 2022 was a more difficult year on sheep farms.

The average sheep farm income in 2022 was €16,324, a decrease of 21% on the 2021 level.

Almost 60% of the income in Irish agriculture in 2022 was produced on just over 15,300 dairy farms represented in the survey.

Just over 48,200 cattle farms in the survey produced a further 19% of agricultural income, with the remaining 22% split between tillage, sheep and mixed livestock farms.

Enterprise fact sheets

Enterprise fact sheets, which are based on the results of the Teagasc NFS, show the dramatic production cost increases in 2022.

Significant increases occurred in direct costs such as feed, fertiliser and fuel in 2022 and notable increases also in expenditure on fixed costs, such as building and machinery depreciation.

Milk production costs rose by over 37% in 2022 to almost 37c/l. Costs per hectare for two of the main cattle enterprises - single suckling and cattle finishing - increased by 16% and 18% respectively in 2022.

Costs per hectare for the lowland sheep enterprise rose by 13% in 2022.

Production costs per hectare for spring barley and winter wheat in 2022 rose by 44% and 22% respectively.

As well as summarising the outcome for 2023, the forthcoming Teagasc outlook conference on Tuesday 28 November will take a look at income prospects for 2024.