Northern Irish farm incomes soar in 2022

High cereal prices and rising farmgate milk values have combined to push up farm incomes in Northern Ireland during the past year.

Total income from farming (Tiff) in Northern Ireland rose by 17.4% during 2022, according to provisional figures from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera).

Agricultural outputs totalled £3.1bn during 2022, while inputs came to £2.2bn – with both rising by more than 20% on the year.

See also: Scottish farm incomes reach 10-year high

Dairy accounted for more than one-third (£1.1bn) of NI total output and increased by 40% year-on-year. This was driven by a 41% increase in the value of milk, with an average farmgate price of 44.5p/litre.

The number and value of NI cattle increased in 2022, with clean cattle values up 9% to average 417p/kg deadweight, and cull animals rose in value by 17% to average 315p/kg deadweight.

For sheep, the total number of slaughterings were up by 6% in 2022, however farmgate prices actually dropped back slightly to 535p/kg deadweight.

Prices paid to pig producers increased by 19% in 2022 compared to year-earlier levels, and production volumes also increased marginally.

Cereals and potatoes increased in value by 35% and 37%, respectively, during the calendar year.

Input costs

Average feed costs for NI farmers increased by 24%, driven by fertiliser values which shot up by 148%. Machinery expenses also increased due to higher fuel prices.

2022-23 forecast

Farm business income measured across all farm types in 2022-23 is forecast to rise by 10% to £47,300 a farm, according to the Northern Ireland Farm Business Survey.

Dairy, pigs and mixed farms are forecast to have increased business incomes, while cereal, beef and sheep farms are all predicted to see incomes decline.

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