Fertiliser accounted for 42% of direct costs on tillage farms in 2022, according to the Teagasc national farm survey. Final figures from that survey were released by Teagasc last week.

Crop protection accounted for 16.6% of direct costs, while the hire of machinery was 19.6% and seed accounted for 9.7% of direct costs.

These figures were average figures for all farm sizes.

They showed that direct and overhead costs were almost evenly split, with direct costs accounting for 51% (€67,727) of total costs (€131,540) and overhead costs accounting for 49% (€63,800) of total costs.

When put as a percentage of total costs, fertiliser accounted for 22% of total costs. Plant protection costs were diluted to 9% of the total spend. Hire of machinery was 10% of the total costs.

Rent of conacre accounted for 8% of total costs and machinery operation accounted for 10% of total costs. Fuel and lubrication took just over half of machinery costs.

Interest charges were placed at 1.2% of total costs.


Fertiliser prices moved down in 2023, but many tillage farms had purchased fertiliser before the drop in prices.

Some would have purchased in autumn 2022, while more purchased in spring 2023 ahead of sowing and before prices started to drop. Fertiliser prices should drop significantly in the 2023/2024 growing season.