• A Census Atlas of Irish Agriculture

      Commins, Patrick; Lafferty, F.; Walsh, Jim A. (Teagasc, 1999-08-01)
      Computerised mapping systems were developed to analyse agricultural census statistics and data from agricultural policy administration sources. The objective was to identify local geographical variations in the structure and trends in the agricultural economy by mapping the available information, principally at the level of the District Electoral Division (DED) and the Rural District (RD). There were 3,113 DEDs and 156 RDs in the analysis. The main database was the 1991 Census of Agriculture, the latest available. Some statistics are updated annually and where possible these were used in tabular form to trace the 1991- 1997 trends for Regional Authority areas. Conclusions: There are distinctive farming regions in the country whose boundaries span unevenly across county limits. These are undergoing different processes of change depending on their resource base, their responses to economic imperatives, and the policy environment. • Commercial farming has become increasingly associated with areas south and east of a line from Limerick to Dundalk. • It is likely that policies and trends post 2000 will further increase the differences in resource use between commercial farming and other areas.
    • Commercial systems for ultra-rapid chilling of lamb

      Redmond, Grainne; McGeehin, Brian; Henchion, Maeve; Sheridan, James J.; Troy, Declan J.; Cowan, Cathal; Butler, Francis (Teagasc, 2001-08)
      The overall objective was to devise a rapid chilling system for the Irish lamb processing industry. The objective of the first trial was to assess the effect of ultra-rapid chilling in air at - 4ºC, -10ºC and -20ºC and subsequent ageing on the appearance and tenderness of lamb carcasses. The objective of the next trial was to investigate the effect of carcass splitting, which produces faster chilling rates and reduces skeletal constraint of muscles, on the tenderness of rapidly and conventionally chilled lamb. The next task was to compare the effects of immersion chilling and conventional air chilling on meat tenderness and evaporative weight loss in lamb carcasses. The next task was to assess the level of interest in industry. This required costings of the process and a survey of several lamb processors focusing on their perceptions of rapid chilling in general, its advantages and disadvantages, and the implications of adopting the new system. The final objective was to introduce the ultra-rapid chilling process to industry via a factory trial. Lambs were ultra-rapidly chilled and then exported to France for assessment.
    • The competitiveness of the Irish food processing industry

      Pitts, Eamonn; O'Connell, Larry; McCarthy, B. (Teagasc, 2001-07)
      Ways of measuring industrial competitiveness are discussed and an analysis of the competitiveness of the food sector as a whole and of three sub-sectors are presented. The techniques employed were Revealed Comparative Advantage and the Porter Diamond.
    • Consumer attributes of farmhouse cheese and honey

      Cowan, Cathal; Murphy, Maurice; Daly, Eimear; Meehan, Hilary; Henchion, Maeve; Pitts, Eamonn; Delahunty, Conor; O'Reilly, Seamus; European Commission; CT95 -0360 (Teagasc, 2000-12)
      This study determined the ideal combination of attributes of farmhouse cheese (cheddar-type) and farmhouse honey for different consumer segments.
    • Consumer perceptions of meat quality

      Cowan, Cathal; Mannion, Michael; Langan, John; Keane, John B. (Teagasc, 1999-10)
      This study describes the policies in place for meat quality in six EU states, ascertains the consumer perception of quality for beef, pork and chicken and suggests how quality policy can be improved so it better meets the perceived needs of consumers.
    • Contested Ruralities: Housing in the Irish Countryside

      Pitts, Eamonn; Meredith, David; Duffy, Patrick J.; Walsh, Jim; Keaveney, Karen; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Teagasc, 01/01/2007)
      The purpose of the study is to examine housing in the Irish countryside. Housing in the countryside has become an increasingly contested issue in Ireland due to processes of rural change. The realm of debate is around issues such as who has the right to live in the countryside and how traditional settlement patterns can be sustained into the future. The debate, which has many contributors from politics, media and interest groups, has suffered from a lack of large-scale empirical research. The release of a combination of data from the 2002 Census of Population (house type with type sewerage facility used) has allowed this research to establish the spatial extent of single rural dwellings, the most contested and least known about element of living in the Irish countryside. Using this data in conjunction with the study of local level housing processes, a greater understanding of rural housing in Ireland has been established.
    • Costs of cereal production in Ireland and selected EU member states

      Kelly, P.W.; Shanahan, Ultan (Teagasc, 2001-02-01)
      This study investigates the costs of production and producers margins for barley and wheat production in Ireland and some other EU member states. Ireland is compared with Germany, Denmark, France (for wheat only), the UK and Italy. The data used was from the Farm Accounts Data Network (FADN) of the EU and relates to the calendar year 1998. It is derived from specialist producers in the Cereals, Oilseeds and Protein (COP) sector.
    • Crop costs and margins and future cereal prices.

      Kelly, P.W. (Teagasc, 1999-09-01)
      This report summarises two pieces of research, one on Irish crop gross margins and the structure of direct costs for the period 1994-97 and the other on trends in world cereal prices to 2008 and their influence on the price of cereals in Ireland.
    • Development of a Strategic Approach for a Single EU Beef Market

      Dunne, Liam; O'Connell, John J. (Teagasc, 2004-12-31)
      The MacSharry reforms of the CAP in 1992 initiated a major EU policy shift from product price support to a mix of lower prices and increased direct payments (DPs) as the primary method of supporting the income of cattle farmers. The reduction in the support price for beef and the introduction of new and increased DPs were phased in over a three year period up to 1995. In working paper No. 4 it was shown that cattle farmers in Ireland obtain the lowest beef prices in the EU but they also obtain the highest DPs per kilo of beef produced. The DPs are now a major source of revenue for cattle farmers in Ireland. Under the current system of administering DPs for beef, the value of DPs accruing to the individual cattle farmer is dependent on the possession of certain types of animals that are farmed within defined stocking densities. This paper evaluates how the changes have impacted on the margins for the cattle enterprise on the farms in the Teagasc, National Farm Survey (NFS) over the five year period 1993 to 1997. In particular the evaluation focused on: • the trends in the size of gross and net margins for a range of cattle systems • the trends in market based margins • the contribution of DPs to gross and net margins • the distribution of DPs among different types and size of cattle
    • Development of a Strategic Approach for a Single EU Beef Market. Extensification. An Analysis of National and Competitive Issues

      Dunne, Liam; Shanahan, Ultan; O'Connell, John J. (Teagasc, 31/12/2008)
      The economic merits of the two Options for extensification under Agenda 2000 were evaluated in relation to their ability to generate revenue and their impact on the competitiveness of Irish cattle farming.
    • Development of a Strategic Approach for a Single EU Beef Market: An Evaluation of Changes in the EU Intervention system and Labelling Regulations in Relation to Irish Cattle Prices.

      O'Connell, John J.; Dunne, Liam; Shanahan, Ultan (Teagasc, 01/01/2003)
      The intervention system for beef in the EU has undergone major changes since its inception. These changes were introduced because of changing circumstances in the EU beef market and because of cost factors and inefficiencies associated with and arising from the intervention system itself. While justified from these perspectives it can be said that from the perspective of beef producers the system has changed from being a mechanism which aimed at and operated to achieve a producer Guide Price which in turn was defined as “……..the price which it is hoped to attain on average on the Community market for all the quantities marketed during a given marketing year” (Com 370, July 1976) to one which has abandoned all efforts at achieving a desirable producer price and which provides at best very short term stabilisation of price at its market level. The aim of this paper is to trace the major changes which have occurred to the intervention system and the concomitant price achievement of beef in general in the EU and especially that of Irish beef. These changes together with other market and policy factors occurring on and since 1996 have combined to give a historically poor price performance for Irish beef which despite the growing importance of direct payments is still of major significance in the incomes and welfare of beef producers.
    • Development Programmes and Policy Measures in the Western Countries

      McDonagh, Perpetua; Commins, Patrick; Leavy, Anthony (Teagasc, 1999-08-01)
      This report compares the 11 western counties (Connacht, Ulster, and counties Longford, Clare and Kerry) with the 15 other counties, in aggregate, as regards the effectiveness of various policies and programme measures in reaching their target populations.
    • Direct Payment Measures, competitiveness, farm and rural area viability.

      Frawley, J.P.; Keeney, Mary (Teagasc, 1999-08-01)
      Direct payments are recurring non-market transfers to farmers whether they are production related or not. There are three main types: (a) compensatory allowances (headage), (b) premia and (c) agri-environmental payments. In 1998 total payments amounted to £967.3 million, up from £158.4 million in 1992. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effectiveness of these payments in maintaining farm units, their implications for farm efficiency and competitiveness and their impact on sustaining viable farm units and rural areas. Data from the National Farm Survey shows the average level of payment was £6,670 in 1997 but varied substantially by farm size. For instance, farms over 100 ha on average received £28,207 in contrast with £3,305 for farms between 10 and 20 ha. Similarly, the distribution of payments by different farm systems shows considerable variation with tillage farmers receiving £15,760 and cattle farms receiving less than £6,000. The most significant feature, however, is the extent of the dependency of farm incomes on direct payments. For instance, on tillage and drystock farms these payments represented close to, or even exceeded the family farm income earned. This means that the income from sales are just about sufficient to cover the costs of production; the cheque in the post being the farm income. Without direct payments large segments of the farm population would operate at a loss; a situation which obviously could not be sustained. The impact of direct payments on farm efficiency and competitiveness is not so clear cut. Analysis of 1996 NFS data shows that the response on cattle farms to increased levels of direct payments was to reduce farm output. However, in terms of farm practice the dominant response was to increase stock numbers and farm inputs, such as feed and fertiliser. This latter response can be taken as adjustments to ensure sufficient stock numbers to maximise the level of payments and not necessarily a contradiction of reduced output responses. For instance the dominant anticipated response to a decoupled payment system is a reduction in farm inputs and stock numbers, a response associated with the more progressive sector of farmers. Notwithstanding the present level of these payments it is clear that the viability of farm units on most small to medium-sized drystock farms can not be assured in a farm context only. Increasingly farmers and their spouses are opting for off-farm employment to supplement their household incomes and to sustain the viability of the family farm unit. Ultimately the optimum use of family labour which is marginal or surplus to farm activities, is deployment off the farm; this clearly has a positive influence on the viability of rural areas.
    • Diversifying Marine-Based Employment Opportunities in Peripheral Communities

      Heanue, Kevin; European Commission (Teagasc, 01/01/2009)
      This project was a development project connected to an INTERREG sub-programme called the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP). More specifically, this project was funded as an NPP Preparatory Project. The aim of such NPP Preparatory Projects is to facilitate the development of a transnational consortium that may produce an application to the NPP for a main project. Such a main project application will not directly ensue from this Preparatory Project, although it may do so in the future. Nevertheless, there are tangible immediate returns to Teagasc from this Preparatory Project that include 1) the opportunity, if considered appropriate, for Teagasc to join an existing NPP main project in 2011 that promotes a new mechanism to support rural enterprise such as food and tourism in the form of the Economusuem® concept and 2) the establishment of new international and national academic and agency contacts working in the area of local development.
    • An Econometric Model of Irish Beef Exports

      Hanrahan, Kevin (Teagasc, 2001-01-01)
      This report summarizes research that the author undertook as part of his doctoral studies in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri- Columbia.† The policy environment within which the Irish beef sector operates is changing such that the demand for Irish beef will increasingly be of a market rather than a policy determined nature. This changing environment makes knowledge concerning the demand for Irish beef important to understanding the economic prospects of the sector. The objectives of this research were thus two fold. The first objective was to investigate the demand for Irish beef in the UK. The second objective relates to how such consumer demand models are econometrically estimated. The empirical results show that the demand for beef in general in the UK is not price elastic and that the demand for Irish beef in the UK is price inelastic. The expenditure elasticity of demand for beef in the UK is also inelastic. The implications of this result for the Irish beef industry are as follows Decreases in the price of beef in the UK will not lead to large increases in British demand for beef. Increases in expenditure on meats will see expenditure on beef increase but to a lesser extent than other meats. Increases in the price of Irish beef relative to the prices of other beef products on the UK market will not lead to a large decrease in the market share of Irish beef. The relative insensitivity of demand for Irish beef in the UK to changes in its relative price also implies that attempts to increase the Irish share of the UK beef market will require very large reductions in the price of Irish beef. Given the current dependence of the Irish beef industry on subsidized exports to non-EU markets, the results of this research imply that attempts to re-orientate the Irish industry more towards servicing EU beef markets will require either large price decreases, with the consequent impacts on the market based revenue of the Irish beef industry and farmers, or alternatively, a movement towards the production of beef products that appeal to the non-price concerns of EU consumers and away from the production of a commodity product.
    • Econometric modelling of the EU agri-food sector through co-operation with partners in the EU-AG-MEMOD Project

      Donnellan, Trevor; Hanrahan, Kevin; Riordan, Brendan (Teagasc, 2005-04-01)
      This research project set out to build an EU agricultural policy modelling system involving participants from right across the enlarged EU. Policy Analysis is conducted at an aggregate commodity level for the main sectors of EU agriculture. The work summarised here took place over the period 2001 to 2004. The implementation of the Luxembourg Agreement and the Enlargement of the EU will lead to significant changes to the way in which agriculture operates in the EU25. Under the reform, direct payments that have been linked to production are to be decoupled to varying degrees across the Union. Enlargement will mean that agriculture in several New Member States (NMS) will come under the EU system of payments, supply constraints and market price supports for the first time. In light of the above, the most common current approach to agriculture commodity modelling and policy analysis - that which treats the entire EU as a single entity - faces a considerable challenge. Given the heterogeneity of EU agriculture and agricultural policy across the enlarged EU, it is increasingly the case that ‘the devil is in the detail’. From a scientific perspective, country level policy analysis is important in order to capture the consequences of this heterogeneity. Moreover, at a political level, policy makers realise that policy proposals either sink or swim on the basis of the perception of their expected future impact at a national level. Hence, it is important to be able to inform and facilitate a debate on the relative merits of particular reform proposals by having national (or even sub-national) level analysis to hand. The case for national level modelling across the EU is easily made, but few practitioners have taken up the challenge it presents.i Key problems include funding constraints, the absence of reliable national data sources, difficulties in agreeing and co-ordinating a consistent modelling approach and, perhaps most importantly, the absence of an integrated network of economists with knowledge of local level agriculture and agricultural policy across the enlarged EU.
    • Economic Analysis of Policy Changes in the Beef and Sheep Sectors.

      Binfield, Julian; Hanrahan, Kevin; Henchion, Maeve (Teagasc, 2001-06-01)
      The work reported in this document commenced in 1997 under the auspices of the FAPRI-Ireland Partnership. It documents the development of aggregate commodity level models for the beef and sheep sectors, and their subsequent simulation under different policy and macroeconomic environments. Companion reports document the development of similar models for other commodities, and of farm level models.
    • Economic Analysis of Policy Changes in the Dairy Sector

      Donnellan, Trevor; Fingelton, William (Teagasc, 2001-04-01)
      This study examines the effect of changes in agricultural policy and other important economic factors on the outlook for milk production in Ireland in future years. The analysis is conducted at an aggregate milk and dairy commodity level. A companion report provides similar detail on related farm level work. Following an initial period of development, the analysis summarised here took place over a period of three years. The potential effect of the European Commission’s proposed changes to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) under Agenda 2000 are examined, as is the eventual Agenda 2000 Agreement produced in Berlin in March of 1999. The implications for the dairy sector of differing future euro/dollar exchange rate paths are also analysed. A series of interlinked economic models capable of projecting key price and output variables were built for the main Irish agricultural commodities, including the dairy sector, and these in turn were linked with models for the EU and the World. It was thus possible to estimate the implications for the Irish dairy sector of supply, demand and policy changes at a world and EU level. It was found that the reform of the CAP in the dairy sector would lead to a reduction in the Irish milk price of 11 per cent relative to the outcome if the reforms were not introduced. However, increases in quota and the availability of compensation following from the Berlin Agreement should offset much of this decline. The effect of the future exchange rate between the euro and the US dollar was of significant importance. Other things being equal, a weaker euro made EU dairy exports more competitive outside of the EU, resulted in less pressure on the CAP budget and ultimately would produce more favourable milk prices than would be the case under a stronger euro. The analysis shows that a difference of 20 per cent in the euro/dollar exchange rate would result in a 7 per cent difference in milk price.
    • Economic aspects of the production and marketing of hardy nursery stock

      Maher, M.J.; Roe, G.; Twohig, D.; Kelly, P.W. (Teagasc, 1999-01-01)
      A census of the Nursery Stock industry, carried out in autumn 1997, valued the sales of plants produced by the industry in 1996 at £18.8m. In the period since a previous census in 1994 field production of nursery stock expanded by 17% while the production of container plants shifted towards the greater use of protected cultivation. Employment in the industry rose by 28% to 912 full time equivalent jobs. Kildare was predominant in the production of containerised plants while Tipperary was the most important county for field production. Together, these two counties produced nearly half the value of the industry. Together with Cork, Dublin, Kilkenny and Wicklow they accounted for three quarters of the value of the industry. The industry was concentrated in that the largest 10% of the nurseries produced 59% of the value of the industry. As nursery size increased, the value of sales output per person rose sharply. Larger nurseries were also more productive per unit area. Exports were valued at £3.45m and imports at £2.22m. The main lines exported were ornamental shrubs followed by liners and deciduous trees. Two thirds of the exports were destined for Great Britain with the remainder going to Northern Ireland. Exporting was even more concentrated than production with the largest 10% of the nurseries providing 83% of the exports. The main imports were deciduous trees and liners. Two thirds of the imports originated from the continent and the remainder were from Great Britain. Small nurseries reported that capital and profitability were the principal factors limiting expansion of their nurseries. Larger nurseries however placed the availability of suitable staff as the main limiting factor. The most common difficulty reported by exporters was the cost of transport and a number of problems relating to the difficulties that individual nurseries or small groups have in supplying a large, discerning and relatively distant market. This underlined the need for increased co-ordination and co-operation in the future.
    • Economic Impact on Irish Dairy Farms of Strategies To Reduce Nitrogen Applications

      Lally, Breda; Riordan, Brendan (Teagasc, 2001-11-01)
      Economic research reported here analysed the likely impact on farm incomes of policies aimed at reducing nitrogen (N) applications on farms. Three types of policy were considered. First was a restriction of the intensity of livestock production to control amounts of organic nitrogenous material going on the land. That in the EU Nitrates Directive of 170 kg N per hectare was used (equivalent to 2 dairy cows per hectare). To this was added a restriction on the total amount of nitrogen applied of 260kg N/ha reflecting rules in the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS). The third measure considered was a 10 percent tax on sales of manufactured nitrogenous fertilisers. These measures to address nitrate pollution are under discussion in Ireland as the concentration of nitrates in waters in some areas has increased significantly. Particular attention was paid to estimating the impact of the three constraints on specialist dairy farms, as they were most likely to have to restrict applications of N to comply. Many of these farms were in the five Munster counties selected for the study, namely Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford. In these counties 39 percent of specialist dairy farms would have been affected both by Nitrates Directive restrictions on applications of nitrogen as organic material (animal wastes) and REPS rules on the total amount of nitrogenous material spread on farm land. A further 30 percent of these farms would be affected only by the restriction on total applications of N, as in the REPS rules. The remaining 31 percent of the specialist dairy farms would not have been affected by restrictions on N use under either the Nitrates Directive or REPS rules. The potential economic impact of policies to constrain nitrogen use was simulated for a sample of specialist dairy farms in Munster. All of these farms started with levels of N applications in excess of one or both of the restrictions being considered. This policy simulation was carried out using individual farm Positive Mathematical Programming (PMP) models. The results showed that compliance with restrictions on N use would reduce income on all of the selected farms. The results also indicate that these farms could partly or wholly offset the loss by increasing the efficiency of N use, or by increasing milk production per cow. However, the more a farm was above the regulation 2 Livestock Units (dairy cows) per hectare the larger the potential loss of income and the more difficult it would be to make good this loss. Farms starting with fewer than 2 LU/ha but applying in total more than 260 kgN/ha (REPS rule) would find that meeting this target would cause a lesser reduction in income. This loss would also be easier to offset by efficiency increasing measures. With regard to the third scenario of imposing a 10% tax on sales of manufactured N fertilizers, the results showed this to be very ineffective in reducing the amounts used. In some cases the imposition of a tax would have no effect whatsoever on the amount of N used yet would slightly reduce incomes on all of the nation's farms