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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Average dairy farmer’s income just under €100,000

2021 Farm Incomes

Higher output prices across most farm enterprises were the main driver of increased farm incomes in 2021.

That is one of the key findings of the Teagasc National Farm Survey 2021, which the state agency published last week.

Researchers noted that the scale of the increase in income varied “considerably” across farm systems.

In general, farms experienced an increase in production costs, as key farm input prices for fuel, feed and fertiliser all increased in 2021.

The report also cites emerging from slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, electricity and goods and services price hikes.

Rising international agricultural commodity prices were a feature of 2021. These price increases led to higher farm-level output prices in Ireland.

The report looked at average farm incomes across cattle rearing, dairy, cattle other, sheep, tillage, and mixed livestock in 2020 and 2021.

Taking account of the income developments across various farm systems, the report notes that the average family farm income rose by 26% in Ireland in 2021 to just over €34,300.


While pig farm incomes are not reported in the Teagasc National Farm Survey report, data shows that incomes fell due to higher feed prices and other increases in input costs, combined with a significant fall in pig prices.

According to Teagasc, these price movements meant that pig producers “moved into loss-making territory as 2021 progressed”.

Key farm output categories that the report highlighted;

  • Prices for cereal crops were up by over 30% in some instances in 2021 compared to 2020;
  • 13% increase in average milk price;
  • Almost a 30% increase in lamb prices;
  • 8% jump in beef prices for young cattle and 12% for prime cattle.

Other key take-home messages from the report:

  • 35% earn less than €10,000;
  • 9% of farms earn in excess of €100,000;
  • “Major” differences across farming systems.

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