The ICMSA has said surging fertiliser costs are “burning through” better output prices.
Its president, Pat McCormack, acknowledged that output prices for most farm commodities have increased during 2021.
However, he said an “across-the-board surge” in farm input is “completely wiping out” these “long-overdue” price increases.
He believes “by far” the most concerning rise in price is fertiliser, which “seems to be increasing by multiples”.
He called for immediate action at EU Commission level to reduce the cost of fertiliser.
“It’s very clear now that the cost of fertiliser in 2022 is going not alone to wipe out any gains made through better output prices received by family farms this year, but will actually burn all the way through those gains and out the ‘other side’ into net losses.”
“Fertiliser is the most alarming. However, we are also looking at cost surges in feed, energy, and diesel as well. This is all due to factors completely outside the control of farmers.”
The farm leader said issues and uncertainty around gas prices are impacting all sectors of society. However, he stressed it has a particular inflationary effect on fertiliser production costs and that must be recognised and rectified very quickly.
“In addition, the EU must remove all trade barriers that are adding additional costs to fertiliser customers. It must support measures to recognise the increased costs on the primary producer.”
“There is really no point in highlighting the high output prices and citing the CSO reports if we are going to ignore the fact that the costs of producing the food is now overtaking the prices farmers are receiving.”
“It’s no good getting a milk price of 37cpl up from 32cpl if the costs of producing that litre have gone by a greater margin.”
Concluding, he called for immediate action at EU level.
He said either of the following must occur or else, he warned, the whole economics of farming will fall:
- Either output prices increase further to reflect increased production costs or:
- Input costs have got to be halted and reversed.