Irish point to rising feed costs

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cost Meat Beef Lamb Livestock

Economists in Ireland have said the cost of feeding livestock is going to increase, which will have an impact on farm incomes.

Agri-food industry representatives were told at briefing that many Irish farmers would experience a drop in income in 2012, according to the Agriculture and Food Development Authority Teagasc.

The drop is said to be down to the drought in the US and poor weather conditions in Europe, which have reduced grain harvest potential. According to Teagasc, the reduction in grain will cause an increase in grain and animal feed prices.

However, a 15% rise in beef and lamb prices is said to help Irish meat farmers fare better this year than they did last year. Teagasc said the 15% increase will be caused by the continued fall in the supply of beef in the EU.

The weaker euro, Teagasc explained, has also aided competitiveness of Irish beef exports to the UK and overall, despite the rise in feed expenditure, incomes should rise on Irish beef farms this year. Sheep and pig prices, Teagasc has predicted, should also remain strong and profits should be in line with last year.

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