Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Emma Dillon

Research Officer

Research Interests

As an Economist with the Teagasc National Farm Survey (FADN) team Emma has a multi-faceted role in terms of survey design, data analysis and reporting of key trends in contemporary Irish agriculture.  Her research interests include agricultural policy modelling at the farm-level particularly in the area of sustainability and animal health management; most recently with regard to farmer behaviour and technology adoption. Current research also includes an assessment of labour input and efficiency on Irish dairy farms.  She has also been previously involved in research in the area of consumer behaviour, specifically with regard to acceptance of novel food technologies and research relating to employment trends in rural areas.

Current Projects

  • FADN –Farm Accountancy Data Network, representative for Ireland (2016-present).
  • Examining labour input and the uptake of on-farm technologies using the Teagasc National Farm Survey (2018-present).
  • FLINT – Farm level indicators for new topics in policy evaluation. Framework funded project (2014-2017).
  • Benchmarking sustainable nutrient management on Irish farms. EPA funded research (2015-2017). https://agribenchmark.ucd.ie
  • PRIDES: Proofing Relevant Indicator Data to Evaluate the Sustainability of Irish Food (2015-2017). Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Research Stimulus Fund.
  • A DEA Model of Economic Efficiency of European Dairy Farms. EU Commission funded research (2015-2016).
  • ADOPT-TECH: An economic analysis of the barriers to achievement of improved economic performance of the dairy farm sector (2012-2015). Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Research Stimulus Fund.
  • A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of a Johne’s Disease Control Programme for the Irish Dairy sector (2015). Animal Health Ireland.
  • Irish Consumer and Industry Acceptance of Novel Food Technologies (2009-2012). Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Research Stimulus Fund.
  • DATASUS: Funded by Irish Department of Agriculture and Food. Assessing data needs to measure farm level sustainability (2007-2009). Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Research Stimulus Fund.

PhD supervision

  • Developing indicators of the social sustainability of farming using the Teagasc National Farm Survey.
  • Measuring the impact of extension services on farm-level sustainability and innovation.
  • Labour input and economic efficiency on Irish dairy farms.
  • Economic modelling of agricultural land markets.


Ph.D. Economics, Trinity College Dublin.
B.A. Single Hons. Economics, Trinity College Dublin.


Associate Editor International Journal of Agricultural Management

Honorary Secretary Agricultural Economics Society of Ireland (2009-2016).

Academic Awards

Government of Ireland Research Scholarship for the Humanities and Social Sciences (2005-2007).

Teagasc Walsh Fellowship (2005-2008).

Agricultural Economics Society (UK) travel bursary to the IAAE conference, Beijing, China (2009).

Peer reviewed journal articles

  • Lynch, J., Donnellan, T., Finn, John. A., Dillon, E. and Ryan, M. (2019).  Potential development of Irish agricultural sustainability indicators for current and future policy evaluation needs.  Journal of Environmental Management 230:434-445.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.09.070
  • Dillon, E.J., Hennessy, T., Howley, P., Cullinan, J., Heanue, K. and Cawley, A. (2018). Routine inertia and reactionary response in animal health best practice.  Agriculture and Human Values, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 207–221. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-017-9817-5
  • Howley P, Dillon E, Heanue K, Meredith D. Worth the Risk? The Behavioural Path to Well-Being (2017). Journal of Agricultural Economics 68(2):534-552. https://doi.org/10.1111/1477-9552.12202
  • Micha E, Heanue K, Hyland JJ, Hennessy T, Dillon EJ, Buckley C. (2017). Sustainability levels in Irish dairy farming: a farm typology according to sustainable performance indicators Studies in Agricultural Economics 119(2):62-69; https://doi.org/10.7896/j.1706
  • Kelly, E., Latruffe, L., Finn, J., Ryan, M. and Dillon, E. (2018) Sustainability indicators for accurate agricultural policy evaluation across the EU: Is FADN the answer? Ecological Indicators, Vol. 89, pp 903-911. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.12.053
  • Dillon, E.J, Hennessy, T, and Cullinan, J. (2016). The role of agricultural education and extension in influencing best practice for managing mastitis in dairy cattle. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension. 22(3). https://doi.org/10.1080/1389224X.2015.1063518
  • Dillon, E.J., Hennessy, T., Buckley, C., Donnellan, T., Hanrahan, K., Moran, B. and Ryan, M. (2016). Measuring progress in agricultural sustainability to support policy making. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/14735903.2015.1012413
  • Brennan, N., Ryan, M., Hennessy, T., Cullen, P. and Dillon, E.J. (2016). Going beyond FADN: The use of additional data to gain insights into extension service use across European Union Member States. Studies in Agricultural Economics, 118(3). http://dx.doi.org/10.7896/j.1630
  • Ryan, M., Hennessy, T., Buckley, C., Dillon, E, Donnellan, T., Hanrahan, K., and Moran, B. (2016). Developing farm-level sustainability indicators for Ireland using the Teagasc National Farm Survey. Irish Journal of Agriculture and Food Research, Vol. 55(2). https://doi.org/10.1515/ijafr-2016-0011
  • Dillon, E.J, Hennessy, T, and Cullinan, J. (2015) Measuring the economic impact of improved control of sub-clinical mastitis in Irish dairy herds. Journal of Agricultural Science 153(4). https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021859614001178
  • Ryan, M, Buckley, C., Dillon, E., Donnellan, T., Hanrahan, K., Hennessy, T., Moran, B. and Kelly, E. (2015). The most economically efficient farms produce lowest GHG emissions per kg of product. Eurochoices 14(1). https://doi.org/1111/1746-692X.12078
  • Howley, P., Dillon, E. and Hennessy, T. (2014). It's not all about the money: understanding farmers' labor allocation choices. Agriculture and Human Values 31(2). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-013-9474-2
  • Hennessy, T., Kinsella, A. and Dillon, E. (2014). Forty years of common agricultural policy: The Irish farming experience. Administration 62(2).
  • Greehy, G., McCarthy, M., Henchion, M., Dillon, E. and McCarthy, S. (2013). Complexity and Conundrums. Citizen’s evaluations of potentially contentious novel food technologies using a deliberative discourse approach. Appetite https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2013.06.083
  • Howley, P. and Dillon, E. (2012). Modelling the effect of farming attitudes on farm credit use: a case study from Ireland, Agricultural Finance Review 72(3). https://doi.org/10.1108/00021461211277286
  • Dillon, E.J., Hennessy, T. and Hynes, S. (2010). Assessing the Sustainability of Irish Agriculture. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 8(3). https://doi.org//10.3763/ijas.2009.0044
  • Dillon, E.J., Hennessy, T. and Hynes, S. (2009). Towards measurement of farm sustainability. Eurochoices 8(2). https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-692X.2009.00128.x
  • Hynes, S., Cahill, B. and Dillon, E. (2007). Estimating the amenity value of Irish woodlands. Irish Forestry.