Today ifac published our Irish Farm Report 2019 which includes the views of over 2,133 Irish farmers and a detailed analysis of trends from 21,755 sets of on-farm financial accounts.
Key Findings ifac Irish Farm Report 2019
· The average ifac dairy profit dropped by 25% from €1,077/ha (2017) to €804/ha excluding EU subsidies in 2018. Output amongst the ifac top 10% of dairy farms is 40% greater than the “average” dairy farm. The ifac top 10% of dairy farms are achieving an extra €1,000/ha in net profit above the “average” performance dairy farm
· The ifac average beef farm lost €116/ha excluding EU Subsidies in 2018. The top performing 10% of beef farms made a profit before EU subsidies of €475/ha. Higher output and tight management of spending were the keys to making profits for the ifac top 10%.
· Feed costs were 30% higher for dairy farms and 40% higher for beef farms in 2018 due to the adverse weather conditions in that year.
· The ifac average tillage farm generated a profit of €252/ha excluding EU subsidies in 2018 and the ifac top 10% €466.
· 38% of beef farmers are uncertain if they will be farming in 5 years
· 86% of all farmers surveyed do not have a clear succession plan in place
· 70% of farmers aged 65 or older surveyed do not have a clear succession plan in place. This is a high risk category for succession issues.
· 43% of farmers say their business is not viable enough to encourage the next generation to take it on
· Over 80% of farmers surveyed have an off farm source of income coming into the household.
· While concerned about impact of any new environmental legislation, well over half surveyed were willing to do more with renewable energy on their farms
· Over 95% of farmers surveyed depend exclusively on family members to help on the farm. Only 6% have full time on farm employees.
· A quarter of farm households have no pension plan for the farmer or their spouse in place.
· 95% of farmers surveyed said that broadband is essential or important to the daily running of their farms
· 68% of farmers surveyed use online banking tools.
At an event today to mark the launch of ifac’s Irish Farm Report 2019 in Killenard, in Co. Laois, John Donoghue, Chief Executive of ifac said, “Our first ever Irish Farm Report contains some fascinating insights into life as a farmer in Ireland today. The Report combines the results of our comprehensive farmer survey carried out earlier this year together with a detailed analysis of emerging trends from the data of 21,755 sets of farm accounts. We found that while Irish farmers remain largely optimistic about the future, there are many challenges in the sector. 38% of farmers are uncertain if they will be farming five years from now, and 86% of farmers have no clear succession plan in place. On a positive note our Irish Farm Report clearly shows that farmers are ready and willing to embrace environment friendly initiatives, and there are profits to be made in farming subject to the right supports, market stability, financial structure and advice being in place. At ifac we are working hard to make sure that our people are ready with the kind of advice and supports that farm families need to make good financial decisions and thrive into the future. ”