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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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21 key findings from report on farmers

ifac publishes findings from farm survey

ifac has released some of the key findings arising from its annual farm survey.

It has published its Irish Farm Report 2022, titled ‘The Innovators – farmers embracing change’ today (Thursday, April 21st, 2022).

The publication features tips and analysis for each sector, including beef, dairy, sheep, poultry, pigs, forestry, and tillage.

It also has informative case studies and articles for Irish farmers on climate action, technology, succession, farm structures, pensions, hiring, etc.

Ireland’s farming, food and agri-business specialist professional service firm conducts the annual farmer survey across all sectors and aspects of the farming.

860 farmers – 90% of which were male – participated in its most recent survey.

43% were between 51-and 65 years, while a further 37% of those surveyed fell into the 36-50 age bracket.

Beef was the sector with the strongest representation, followed by dairy.

What are some of the key take-away messages?
  • 60% say input costs are the biggest challenge for their farms in 2022;
  • 58% have a positive outlook on farming coming not 2022;
  • 47% of farmers do not have a will;
  • 2/3 do not have a succession plan in place;
  • 1 in 5 say the biggest succession challenge is the lifestyle not appealing to the next generation;
  • 42% of farmers would consider organics. The barriers include: a lack of markets for selling (29%) and insufficient financial support (23%);
  • 32% use technology to increase farm efficiencies;
  • 21% use technology to reduce labour;
  • 52% say cost is the biggest barrier to technology;
  • 42% of employers on-farm agree a net salary with their team;
  • 77% of farmers would hire non-EU employees;
  • 1 in 3 beef farmers struggle to balance farming with their off-farm job;
  • 94% believe GHG reductions on farms are “important”;
  • 40% think other sectors need to play their part;
  • 36% are of the view that educating consumers on how food is produced would help;
  • 38% worry about the cost burden;
  • 40% are of the opinion that changing how people value food would help tackle climate change;
  • 97% of farmers would sell energy back to the national grid;
  • 1 in 5 farmers have no life cover in place;
  • 1/3 are concerned about saving for retirement;
  • 25% worry about saving for education.
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