Concerns over rising cost of farm inputs

Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association president, Gabriel Gilmartin, says the latest statistics on agricultural prices released by the CSO underline the need to address the continued rise in farm input costs.

Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association president, Gabriel Gilmartin, says the latest statistics on agricultural prices released by the CSO underline the need to address the continued rise in farm input costs.

The preliminary estimates for the Agricultural Price Indices 2012 indicate an input price increase of 4.2% compared to 2011 costs - mainly due to increases in energy costs and feedstuffs (8.6% and 5.5% respectively).

Mr Gilmartin said, “The most worrying thing about these figures is that outputs increased by 3.6% - which is clearly well behind the increase in production costs. It is also important to note that on many farms this year, extra inputs such as feed were needed to make up for the effects of the bad weather this summer, such as a shortage of good quality silage.

“There are steps the Government can take to address the issue of steadily increasing input prices. For example, ICSA has argued that the taxes and duties on fuel in particular are not only a huge burden on farmers and other diesel-reliant businesses, but are damaging the Exchequer also by causing those who can, to purchase their fuel outside of the jurisdiction. ICSA’s pre-Budget 2013 submission calls for a suspension of the carbon tax, which is coming in at over 6 cent per litre on green diesel (or ?20/tonne - up from ?15/ tonne before May 1st, 2012) and seriously hinders the ability to produce at competitive prices.”