UP to 30,000 farms are classed as economically vulnerable and at risk of poverty with the north west being singled out as one of the worst affected areas.
The twin problems of low incomes and isolation have been highlighted as a serious concern in the farm sector by Teagasc, with dry stock farmers in the north-west being identified as most at risk.
The Teagasc National Farm Survey last week, has shown the average farm income in 2018 dropped 20% to €23,483.
The survey found that dairy farmers again enjoyed the highest earnings at an average of more than €61,000, with dry stock farmers earning just €10,642.
Economist with Teagasc is Emma Dillion: