The highly informative Teagasc review and outlook conference this week painted a bleak picture for prices in 2022. The extent to which increased fertiliser, feed and energy costs will erode farm margins is almost unprecedented. Although costs increased in 2021, they were more than offset by increased prices in most sectors, giving rise to increased incomes across all the main production sectors.

While average national farm income increased significantly in 2021 (+20%), the dairy and tillage sectors were the main drivers of the increase. However, the margin pressure forecast for 2022 will see incomes fall by 19% on 2021 levels, with all sectors forecast to experience sharp falls.