It is hardly surprising that incomes on tillage farms are estimated to be up considerably in 2021.

The sector showed the single biggest income improvement on last year, through a combination of higher yields and better prices, to produce a 21% increase in cereal output compared to 2020.

The higher yields and prices were further helped by low grain moistures, favourable weather, good straw prices and low rejection in premium markets.

Gross and net margins for all cereal crops were higher, with an average net margin of €630/ha versus €105/ha in 2020.

Looking towards 2022, higher direct costs (especially fertiliser) seem set to eat into crop margins yet again. Grain price is forecast to be 2% higher, but with costs up by 35%, margins are expected to fall by 34% or €350/ha across all cereals for 2022.