Almost 40,000 suckler herds have less than 10 cows

There are some 39,605 suckler herds in Ireland of less than 10 cows, according to latest figures released by the Department of Agriculture.

Herds of 10 cows or less account for over 53% of suckler herds in Ireland. In total the Department of Agriculture says there are over 73,000 suckler herds.

The Department figures also show that there are only 236 suckler herds of greater than 100 cows.

suckler herd size

Cattle rearing farm incomes increased by 8% on average in 2014, according to Teagasc’s National Farm Survey estimates.

Total farm gross output increased by 2%, despite a 2% decline in subsidies. Teagasc says market based gross output increased by almost 7%.

Although finished cattle prices fell in 2014, the average price of weanlings, the principal output of cattle rearing farms, increased by 5%.

As with the other livestock farms, cattle rearing farms benefitted from the recovery following the fodder crisis. Expenditure on concentrate and bulky feed fell by 18 and 34% respectively in 2014.

Although cattle rearing farms have the lowest subsidy payment, subsidies comprise the largest proportion of income on this farm system at 151% in 2014.

Significant levels of interest have been expressed by suckler farmers in the scheme and over 12,500 Beef Data Genomics Programme applications have been received to date.

The closing date for receipt of these applications is June 5, 2015 as outlined in the Terms and Conditions.