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Details on farm performance for 2021

Details on farm performance for 2021

Final results of the 2021 National Farm Survey have been released by Teagasc economists. Enterprise Factsheets providing detailed information on production costs and farm technical performance are also published. Results indicate that the average family farm income rose by 27% in Ireland in 2021

Increase in 2021 income

A combination of factors, were responsible for the increase in income in 2021, which averaged €34,719. The results are representative of almost 85,000 farms nationally. Broadly speaking, higher production costs were offset by a significant increase in farm output prices, which resulted in an increase in incomes in grassland and tillage production.


The average Dairy farm income in 2021 was €98,745, an increase of 25% on the 2020 level, while the corresponding figure for Tillage farms was €57,939, an increase of 74% on the 2020 level.


In Drystock systems, Sheep farms continued to fair better than Cattle Farms in 2021.  The average Sheep farm income in 2021 was €20,794, an increase of 16% on the 2020 level. The average income in the Cattle Rearing and Cattle Other which is mainly Finisher systems in 2021 were €10,865 and €17,223, representing increases of 29% and 11% respectively on the 2020 level.

Half of the income in Irish agriculture in 2021 was produced on just over 15,300 Dairy farms represented in the survey. Just over 48,200 Cattle farms in the survey produced a further 25% of agricultural income, with the remaining 24% split between Tillage, Sheep and Mixed Livestock farms. Download the full report below

Teagasc National Farm Survey 2021 (pdf)

Enterprise Factsheets

Enterprise Factsheets based on the results of the Teagasc National Farm Survey, show significant increases in expenditure in direct costs such as feed, fertiliser and fuel in 2021 and notable increases also in expenditure on fixed costs such as building and machinery depreciation.

While more recently the dramatic production cost increases in 2022 have attracted attention, these Enterprise Factsheets illustrate that the increase in production costs which occurred in 2021 was also considerable. Milk production costs rose by over 10% in 2021 to almost 27 cent per litre. Costs per hectare for two of the main Cattle enterprises, Single Sucking and Cattle Finishing increased by 10% and 13% respectively. Costs per hectare for the Lowland Sheep enterprise rose by 19%. Production costs per hectare for Spring Barley and Winter Wheat rose by 18% and 21% respectively in 2021.

In the latest release, new sustainability related technical performance measures have been added to the Enterprise Factsheets, including metrics relating to environmental performance such as the adoption of low emissions slurry spreading techniques and low emission synthetic fertilisers.  Over the coming years these metrics will provide concrete evidence of the growing percentage of farmers who are using practices which reduce fertiliser and slurry related.

The factsheets can be downloaded below - all pdfs