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Average dairy farm debt over €110,000 in 2019 – Teagasc

Investment on farms in 2019 was highest on dairy enterprises, with an average of €33,091.

This accounted for more than half of total investment in 2019, according to the Teagasc National Farm Survey.

Gross new investment on Irish farms increased by 4% in 2019, totalling almost €980 million nationally.

Dairy investment in 2019 increased by 4% on 2018-levels. Investment on tillage farms increased by 75% on average to €20,312 per farm last year.

Investment on the drystock systems all decreased in 2019, the report adds. The average level of investment on ‘cattle other farms’ decreased by 15% to €4,895.

Lower levels of investment were observed on suckler and sheep farms, decreasing by 13% and 9%.


When farms without debt are excluded, the average dairy farm debt last year was €112,377 – a decrease of 8% on last year’s levels.

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The average debt on suckler farms increased by 7% to €26,627, with the equivalent figures on ‘cattle other’ and sheep farms of €34,362 (down 6%) and €25,907 (down 3%).

Average debt on tillage farms increased year-on-year (up 13%) to €63,661.


39% of farm debt was classified as long term (more than ten years) in 2019 with a further 38 % regards as medium-term (1-10yrs), 14% viewed as being a lease or hire purchase with the remainder being either overdrafts or short-term debts.

On average, long-term debt is the most common form of borrowing with 41% of average dairy farm debt categorised as such, the report adds.

This figure on ‘cattle other’ farms was 40% on average, with the proportion on sheep farms lower at 38%.

23% of average tillage farm debt was classified as long-term, 8% as medium-term with 30% short-term (including overdrafts) and the remaining 39% related to leasing or hired purchase.


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