Incomes for the sheep sector remain low, despite a 9% increase in 2019 compared with the previous year.

The 9% rise in incomes was due to lower production costs thanks to better weather last year.

The average income according to Teagasc’s National Farm Survey was €14,063. However, over one third of farms earned less than €5,000.

The number of farmers earning between €20,000 and €50,000 rose by 4%. Overall, just 4% of sheep farms earned more than €50,000 last year.

Gross output on the average sheep farm stayed around €49,699.


Direct payments increased slightly year on year and went up to almost €19,320. Teagasc said this was mainly down to the ability of sheep farmers which also have cattle to access the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM).

The average farm was 47ha, with 133 ewes and a basic payment of €245/ha.

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