Despite cattle output increasing in 2019 by 1.9%, lower prices on 2018 resulted in the value of cattle decreasing by almost 5% last year.

New figures from the CSO show that €111.1m was wiped off the value of Irish cattle in 2019, dropping the overall value of cattle from €2,262.2m to €2,151.1m.

Despite an increase of 3.6% in the volume of agricultural goods produced, falling prices resulted in the value of goods output for the farmer decreasing by €258.0m (-3.1%), from €8,218.9m in 2018 to €7,960.9m in 2019.

While the volume of crops produced by Irish farmers increased by 7.8%, once again lower prices resulted in the value of crops falling by €228.9m (-10.8%), from €2,126.0m to €1,897.1m.

The main crops contributing to this decline in production were forage plants which, because of falling prices, decreased in value by €276.3m (-20.6%), according to the CSO.

Dairy and pigs

Despite the volume of milk production increasing by 5.1%, the CSO found that lower prices resulted in the value of milk increasing by just €45.2m (+1.8%), from €2,556.7m to €2,601.9m.

Meanwhile, there was very little change in the volume of pigs produced in 2019 (+0.4%), but large price increases resulted in the value of pig production increasing by over 18%.

The value of pig production in 2019 increased to €543.0m.


The volume of feed consumed by stock on Irish farms decreased by 13.8% and, as a result, expenditure on feed fell by €184.6m (-11.0%) to €1,489.9m, according to the CSO.

It found that the volume of fertiliser used by Irish farmers fell by 7.6% in 2019 but price increases resulted in the cost of these fertilisers decreasing by just €3.8m (-0.7%), from €582.1m to €578.3m.

Expenditure on other goods and services increased by €37.6m (+7.3%), rising from €514.9m to €552.5m.

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