Labour shortages now the biggest threat to farming’s growth targets (Independent)

Why are farmers finding it difficult to get people to work on farms?

Labour has become the new milk quota on dairy farms and it is a growing burden for agricultural contractors, tillage, pig, poultry and horticulture enterprises.

Running a successful farm business has and will always be about managing people.

However, in today’s world the concepts of a permanent pensionable job or a job for life are long gone.

This makes the job of employing and retaining staff a significant challenge for today’s farm businesses.

In a modern first world economy it is generally accepted that an unemployment rate of less than 5pc is considered full employment.

In Ireland we recorded a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.4pc in May 2019, therefore we are at full employment whether we like it or not.

This low rate of unemployment inevitably leads to wage inflation and to labour movement by employees who otherwise would not move on to another job.