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National Farm Income in 2010

The CSO's advance estimate of output, input and income in agriculture for 2010 shows that operating surplus increased by 31.5% to €2,070.8 million. This followed a decrease of 31.1% in 2009. The overall value of goods output by the sector increased by 13.1%, or €619.6 million, while expenditure on intermediate consumption increased slightly, by 0.8% or €33.7m.

  • It was a particularly positive year for the cereals sector, with a dramatic increase of 88.8% or €95m in output value. Output volume increased by 7.6%
  • There was a significant increase in the output value of the milk sector in 2010, up €435.3m million or 39.6% on 2009. There was a 7.3% increase in the volume of milk produced during the year.
  • The beef sector showed a modest increase in output value of 1.8%, up €27m.  
  • The output value of the pig sector increased by 8.6% or €26.4 million.
  • There was an increase in the output value of the sheep sector of 6% or €9.5m

In 2010, direct payments to farmers totalled €1,729 million[1]. For the purposes of comparison with the annual operating surplus, the CSO estimated net subsidies figure, from its 2010 Preliminary Estimates, of €1,727.4 million equated to 83% of the year's operating surplus.

[1] This figure excludes afforestation grants and premia, all on farm investment grants and payments to retired farmers under the early retirement scheme.



Like Ireland, most European countries experienced an increase in operating surplus or agricultural incomes in 2010.  Across the EU-27 real income per agricultural worker increased by 12.3% in 2010, reversing the decrease of 12.2% in 2009.  This rise resulted from a growth of 9.9% in real agricultural income, together with a fall in agricultural labour input of 2.2%. The former was the result of a 4.3% increase in the value of agricultural output at producer prices in real terms, combined with a low (0.4%) rise in input costs in real terms.

Real agricultural income per worker in 2009 is estimated to have risen in 21 Member States and to have dropped in just five, with changes ranging from +54.8% to -8.2%.

The value of livestock production increased as a result of an increase in both producer prices (2.%) and volume (0.4%). Prices increased for milk (9.4%), sheep and goats (7%) and cattle (0.4%). The output volume increased for milk (1.4%), was stable for pigs and decreased for cattle (0.8%).