Agricultural income per worker was up marginally in 2013, recovering some of the ground lost in 2012 where incomes were down 10 per cent.

According to European Union statistics body Eurostat real incomes per worker in the sector was up 1.2 per cent this year. This compares to a decrease on average across Europe by 1.3 per cent in 2013.

Eurostat says this decrease across Europe results from a fall in real agricultural income (-2.1%), together with a reduction in agricultural labour input (-0.9%).

Whilst incomes are down on average around Europe real agricultural income per worker in 2013 is estimated to have risen in fifteen Member States. The highest increases are expected in the Netherlands (+11.4%), Romania (+10.4%), Spain (+10.0%) and Italy (+8.9%).

It also found that incomes have fallen in thirteen countries with the steepest decreases in Estonia (-17.2%), France (-16.4%), Croatia (-16.2%) and Germany (-10.0%).

Of note from the annual statistics for Ireland is incomes per worker have been hit harder here between the period 2005-2013 than in most other EU countries. Statistics show that in that period incomes per worker have fallen 16.6 per cent. This compares to a 29 per cent increase on average in the EU.

The Eurostat figures also show that in 2013, the value of EU28 agricultural output at producer prices is estimated to have increased by 0.1%, mainly due to an increase in real terms in the value of animal output (+1.5%) and a decrease in the value of crop production (-1.1%).

Of interest to Ireland form the figures on the value of animal production are results showing that Volumes of production in the EU fell for sheep & goats (-2.2%), cattle (-0.9%) and pigs (-0.7%), but rose for milk (+0.1%), poultry (+0.9%).

Prices also rose for animal producers in the EU in 2013. The statistics show that prices were up 1.6 per cent on average. Prices fell for eggs (-17.2%) and sheep & goats (-2.7%), while they rose for cattle (+0.8%), pigs (+1.7%), poultry (+2.7%) and milk (+5.8%)

On the input side the figures show that EU28 agricultural input costs are estimated to have risen by 0.8% in real terms, mainly due to an increase in value for feedingstuffs (+1.0%), maintenance of materials (+2.0%) and seeds & planting stocks (+2.5%).