The agricultural operating surplus for 2020 shows an annual increase of 11.6%, final estimates from the Central Statistics Office show today.

The CSO said the agricultural operating operating surplus rose from €2.925 billion in 2019 to €3.263 billion in 2020.

Today's figures show that the value of agricultural output at basic prices rose by €391.8m (4.6%), with cattle and pigs accounting for €146.6m and €58.9m respectively of this growth.

Despite the value of cereals contracting substantially, the overall value of crops increased by €49.3m (2.6%).

The CSO said the value of cattle production increased by €146.6m (6.8%) on the back of both higher prices and a 1.4% rise in output volumes.

A 6.9% expansion in volume combined with price increases resulted in the value of pig production growing by 10.8% from €543m to €601.9m.

Sheep production rose in value by 16.3%, increasing from €260.8m in 2019 to €303.3m in 2020. Larger volumes accounted for 4.9% of this growth, the CSO noted.

Meanwhile, milk prices increased in 2020 and with output expanding by 3.9%, the value of milk production grew by 5.5% from €2.608 billion to €2.752 billion.

The volume of cereal production fell by 16.5% but higher prices helped to offset some of this reduction and as a result, the value of cereal production contracted by 11.5%.

The CSO said that while overall, the volume of crops produced by Irish farmers decreased by 2.7%, stronger prices resulted in the value of crop production increasing by 2.6% from €1.893 billion to €1.943 billion.

Today's figures also show that the volume of feedingstuffs consumed on Irish farms increased by 4%.

The CSO said the full impact of this growth in volume was offset by lower prices, resulting in the overall cost of feedingstuffs rising by €35.3m (2.4%) to €1.525 billion.

While the volume of fertilisers consumed by farmers here rose by 1.9% in 2020, lower prices resulted in the cost of these fertilisers decreasing by 8%, from €578.3m to €532.3m, it added.