Latest CSO figures on agricultural input prices show farmers are caught in a classic cost-price squeeze, IFA president Tim Cullinan has said.

On an annual basis, the agricultural input price index increased by 1.8% in February 2021 compared with February 2020.

In the same period, the agricultural output price index increased by 1.3%, resulting in the terms of trade being down 0.5% over the last year.

“The price farmers get is not keeping pace with the marked increase in agricultural inputs,” Cullinan said.

The agricultural input price indices for feeding stuffs increased by 6.7%, while straight feeding stuffs increased by 13.8%.

The price index for fertilisers increased by 4.1%, while straight fertilisers increased by 5.4% in the same period.

IFA farm business chair Rose Mary McDonagh said that the rise in input prices without an increase in output prices means the difference is coming out of farmers’ pockets and affecting their bottom line.