Average family farm incomes in Ireland rose by about 7% last year, according to a new Teagasc survey.
Economists say a key driver of the increase has been a reduction in animal feed use on dairy, beef and sheep farms, as well as additional subsidy supports for cattle producers, to alleviate the effects of falling beef prices.
The Teagasc study shows the volume of milk and cereals produced in Ireland increased in 2019, while the production of beef and sheep was disrupted by the recent blockades of meat factories.
Prices for milk, beef and sheep were all lower this year compared to 2018, while the ASF outbreak in China resulted in a sharp increase in international pig prices, returning the Irish pig industry to profitability this year.
Teagasc is predicting a further improvement in average farm family incomes in 2020 on dairy, tillage and sheep farms, with minor changes in income forecast for cattle farms.