Two in three farmers expect Brexit will have a negative impact on their business in the next 12 months. However, one in three (33%) are planning to increase investment in the farm over the coming year and half (55%) have ambitions to expand over the medium term.
This is according to research conducted for Bank of Ireland’s ‘Agri Pulse’, which is part of the Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse series. The research surveyed farmers on a range of topics including farm output, input costs, market prices, investment plans and business ambitions.
Despite concerns around Brexit, the Agri Pulse points to more positive sentiment among farmers compared to April when the survey was last carried out.
Two in five (39%) farmers expect to increase output over the next 12 months, with 52% intending to produce the same amount. Factors identified as having an impact on production include land shortages, cash flow and price volatility. These were common to most sectors, while labour shortages appear to be an issue for dairy and sheep farmers in particular.
Commenting on the findings, Group Chief Economist at Bank of Ireland, Dr. Loretta O’Sullivan said, "While Brexit is a cloud on the horizon, improving farm profitability has helped brighten the mood. 39% indicated that the financial position of their farm is better now than a year ago, which is up from 24% in the April survey and 11% last August."
She added, "The results also point to some easing in input cost pressures and a better outlook for market prices, which bodes well for further improvements in profitability. Still, one in three main farmers is involved in outside activities to supplement the family farm income."