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Agriculture; Food and the Marine | Monitoring farming costs

To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the extent to which he and his Department continue to monitor the cost of farm inputs including fuel and fertilisers with a view to identifying how best to meet the challenges of issues arising from the war in Ukraine; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


I am acutely aware of the impact rising input costs has on farmers, their families and businesses. This is a period of challenge and uncertainty for our farm families and I have been working to support them through this period. 

The rise in feed and fertiliser prices in the last year has been significant. There are a number of factors at play in the market including energy prices which remain well above January 2021 levels, increased global demand particularly from the big grain-producing countries, controls of fertiliser exports from large fertiliser producing countries, increased transport costs and EU-imposed tariffs and duties on certain Third Country imports are all impacting on prices for feed and fertiliser here for our farmers.  

Higher production costs have been an unwelcome feature across all sectors in 2022 with price rises for all the main inputs. 

To support farmers in terms of appropriate advice, I set up, earlier this year, a National Fodder and Feed Security Committee to bring all stakeholders together and ensure appropriate guidance to farmers. Teagasc have also been active in providing advice to farmers.

Over the course of the past year, I have announced a series of targeted interventions for farmers including support to increase the production of native grain from the tillage sector as well as a ‘multi-species sward’ and ‘red clover sward’ initiative which thrive with little or no fertiliser application and which combined, had a total budget allocation of over €12 million to support Irish farmers. In addition, I launched a €56 million Fodder Support Scheme in June 2022 to which over 70,000 farmers have applied and which generated payments in the order of €54 million last week. In addition, an advance payment under the 2023 scheme will issue before Christmas to the order of €30 million.

I along with my officials, will continue to actively engage with the animal feed and fertiliser industries, as well as farmers on this issue over the next period.

I will also be raising concerns with my European counterparts and the EU Commission to ensure that there continues to be an adequate supply of fertilisers available.

Ultimately, it is up to each individual farmer to decide the amount of fertiliser that they want to use on their farm and the price that they are willing to pay for it, but I fully appreciate the challenges facing farmers on fertiliser at this time.

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