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Irish Beef, Sheep Incomes Still “Below Dole”

27 May 2015

IRELAND – Ireland’s sheep and beef farmers are earning more now but would still be better off on benefits, says a farm spokesman reacting to an industry survey.

Sheep and suckler herd earnings remain incredibly tight despite a rise in incomes, says Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association President, Patrick Kent.

He said drystock earnings “continue to compare pitifully with incomes in the dairy sector”.

Responding to the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority National Farm Survey 2014, he said that while he welcomed an eight per cent lift in beef earnings, supermarkets were too powerful.

"Sheep farmers saw a significant increase of 24 per cent, but this merely went some way towards restoring the huge losses of 2013,” said Mr Kent.

“Beef finishing enterprises, most worryingly, saw a continued drop in their incomes, down 12 per cent to €13,884. Compare these figures to the €68,887 average on dairy farms, and the contrast is stark."

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