The Irish agriculture & development authority is forecasting a mixed year ahead in terms of farming incomes.

At a briefing for those working in agri-food sector this afternoon, Teagasc economists predicted that dairy farmers would experience a drop in their incomes of up to 30% this year bringing it back to 2010 levels.

However, it should be noted that dairy incomes last year reached unprecedentedly high levels.

Beef prices are expected to rise by 15% in 2012 because of a shortage of supply across Europe and weaker euro aiding competitiveness.

However, the poor weather here and abroad is pushing up grain and animal feed costs so that will impact on the general income of beef farmers.

Sheep farming incomes are expected to remain strong & will be on a par with last year.

While the price of pig meat is on the rise, when high food costs are taken into consideration profitability in this sector is expected to remain low in 2012.