June 18, 2018
Dairy now the most profitable agricultural sector in Ireland
With average incomes reaching EUR86,115 (US$99,854) in 2017, Ireland's dairy farming sector is considered to be the most profitable agricultural activity in the country, The Irish Times reported.
The high incomes have been attributed to strong dairy prices worldwide and amounted to more than twice the average Irish farm income, which was estimated at EUR31,374 (US$36,388).
The figures are based on the latest farm income survey conducted by farming agency Teagasc and reveal the income disparity among the various farming sectors in Ireland.
Ireland's dairy industry is just under 16,000 of its 85,000 farms.
Propelled by a vigorous recovery in global dairy prices in 2017, Irish dairy incomes spiked 32% from their 2016 level, Teagasc highlighted. Another contributing factor was a rise in international butter prices which increased to a record EUR7,000/tonne (US$8,116.4) in the same period.
However, Teagasc director Gerry Boyle is cautious about the outlook of Irish dairy. Noting the "natural volatility in farming incomes," he said that dairy prices have started to drop, with the winter and spring seasons expected to impact 2018 incomes.