The latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) report on its agricultural input price index shows a 26% reduction in the year up to January 2024.

The largest price reduction in key farm inputs was witnessed in fertilisers, which fell by 47% year on year.

Most of the reduction in fertiliser costs over the past 12 months was seen between January and May 2023, after which costs remained largely static, according to the CSO’s figures.

Feed dropped 15% in price over this timeframe, with the largest cost saving coming from lower straight prices, which saw a fall of one fifth between the two Januarys.

Energy costs also decreased by 7%, but while electricity was back by almost one sixth on January 2023 levels, the reduction in farm fuel costs was only 3%.

Output prices fall

While lower input costs spell good news for farmers, the CSO’s agricultural output price index dropped 14% between January 2023 and January 2024.

Milk prices decreased by 30% and cereals by 32% in the 12 months since January 2023.

Some positivity in dairy prices is shown in the CSO’s reporting of a 5% rise in farmgate milk price between December 2023 and January.

The office’s milk price index put dairy prices back at a similar level to May and June 2023.

Cattle prices fell by 1.4% in the year up to January, but did rise 5% in the month up to January.

The CSO figures point to an increase in potato prices of 76% in the same period, while vegetable prices reportedly rose by 13%.