The Department of Agriculture has published its annual review and outlook for the rest of 2016.
The main Irish farming sectors will face many challenges for the rest of the year along with some opportunities. Below is a snapshot of what is covered in a full forecast published by the Department of Agriculture.
While this year will remain challenging for dairy farmers, the Department predicts, “the medium term outlook for dairy markets continues to be very bright, with growing global demand among fast-growing developing countries”.
More protein-focused diets are also expected to support prices in the years ahead.
For the rest of 2016, an EU oversupply of milk will continue to put pressure on milk prices.
Following price rises in the first half of 2016, the second half of the year is predicted to be harder for beef producer prices. On the export side, shipments to Spain and Italy are showing signs of recovery.
Sheep meat production in the EU is set to remain stable. New Zealand and Australian exports will tighten. The forecast is for an increase in global prices, suggests the Department.
The future of the pig sector remains challenging due to many factors. Rising feed and energy costs and threats from African swine fever are not helping matters. Indications are there will be a reduction in supply across the EU for the rest of 2016, says the Department.
The poultry sector remains stable and will continue to be solid for the rest of the year. However, rising feed prices will influence how much poultry farmers produce.
There will be a bigger EU harvest this year with a slight decrease in worldwide production.
Irish mushrooms are under pressure from Polish mushrooms in the key UK market. While the mushroom sector continues to invest in optimising production costs, it is an industry that faces headwinds, including a shortage of labour.
The vegetable sector and the salad sector face challenges from weather and retail prices respectively while the soft fruit sector has a bright future, says the Department.