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Irish farmers will be unable to take in rise in horticultural input costs

Horticulture production input costs have risen significantly in 2021 and, in many cases, will exceed grower margins, according to a new report published this Wednesday. Depending on the enterprise, the increase in costs ranges between 10.5% and 17.7%.

The report concluded that farmers in the sector are under increased pressure with many unable to absorb these input-cost increases unless they receive more for their produce. Valued at €477 million (farm-gate value), horticulture is the fourth largest sector after dairy, beef and pigs in terms of gross agricultural commodity output value.

The report – Horticulture Input Costs 2021 – Impact Assessment – is the result of research carried out by the Teagasc Horticulture Development Department. It recently assessed the key input costs that have seen the biggest increases, gathered and validated data. The information was sourced from a range of businesses and trade suppliers.

Across all enterprises, it found there has been a sharp increase in the cost of: labor, packaging materials, fertilizer, energy and peat-based growing media, as well as a host of other inputs that are key components of production.

The key objective of the report was to “surface facts about specific inputs cost increases and to apportion the relative importance of input costs to the different sectors of horticulture production”.

The report also looks at the current and potential impacts of very high input costs for primary producers now and for the 2022 season.


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