35,000 extra cows to come on stream but they won’t flood the market – Bord Bia

An extra 35,000 cows will be slaughtered in Ireland by the end of 2016, but the additional numbers will not flood the market, according to Bord Bia’s Joe Burke.

Speaking to Agriland, the Beef and Livestock Manager said that cull cow slaughterings have increased over the past three weeks.

Burke said that the number of cows slaughtered in Ireland so far this year is 2-3% higher than the same time in 2015.

He also expects the weekly cow kill between now and the end of the year to be 1,000 head higher each week than the corresponding time last year.

However, Burke said that these extra cow numbers will not flood the market with cow beef.

According to Burke, dairy culling rates vary from year-to-year and they have been quite low in Ireland over the past two years.

This was mainly due to a relatively young national herd, he said, as many farmers used the abolition of quotas as an opportunity to increase their cow numbers.

However, Burke said that some dairy farmers are starting to cull cows on the back of lower milk prices and are culling the older and unproductive cows from their herds.

Burke also said that some dairy farmers are now selling cull cows as a means to improve the cash flow situation on farm.

But, he said that the expected 35,000 head increase in cow will bring back to total cow kill to similar levels to 2013.

This still wouldn’t be a historically high level of culling. If we compare it to two years ago it would be back at more normal levels.

And despite an increase in cow disposals, Burke said that these extra cow carcasses will not flood the market.

He said that the majority of the beef produced will be sold into manufacturing beef markets, but a proportion will also be sold into the high value French and Swedish cow beef market.

Burke also said that the manufacturing beef market in Europe may experience some pressure this year, as cow culling rates are set to increase in both the UK and France.