TEAGASC expects the numbers of dairy farmers will continue to decline at the recent historical rate of 3% per annum, but national milk production is likely to increase.
These are just two of the predictions in a set of recently published Teagasc road maps for various agri-sectors.
The road maps also outline the likely implications that changes in land use will have on the environment and on other farming enterprises.
A serious threat faces the beef sector from the WTO and from increased imports into the European market, with a subsequent impact on the number of beef cows, according to the analysis.
Teagasc expects that most beef farmers will join the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS).
The area devoted to tillage and energy crops is expected to increase by 40% between now and 2015.
But the national pig herd of 1.7 million head is likely to remain unchanged.
The target for the sheep sector is to increase output to over 17 lambs per hectare by exploiting available genetic resources and increasing the stocking rate on farms.
In the forestry sector the target is for 30% of new plantings to be broadleaf trees.
With climate change a huge policy issue facing society, the forestry road map supports a policy of continued afforestation to maximise carbon storage.
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