The average income on family farms went up by 6% despite a considerable fall in milk prices last year, according to the National Farm Survey conducted by Teagasc for 2015.

The survey, which is in its 44th year, found that good weather, lower fuel prices, as well as an increase in the prices paid for cattle drove average farm income to just over €26,500.

However, the survey found that dairy farmers had to increase their output by at least 20% to maintain their incomes at 2014 levels.

Teagasc said this will be another difficult year for dairy farmers with incomes expected to fall by between 20% and 25% in 2016.