Area under cereals down 3.1% last summer

The final results for June 2017 show that the area under cereals decreased by 8,700ha (-3.1%) to 272,400ha when compared to June 2016, according to the latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

This was mainly due to a decrease of 9,600ha (-12.9%) in the area under winter barley and a decrease of 800ha (-10.2%) in the area under spring wheat, according to the CSO.

Area under cereals 2015 – 2017. Source: Central Statistics Office

Livestock increase

The results also show that the total number of cattle was 7,363,500, an increase of 142,300 (2%) on June 2016.

The number of cattle aged two years and over (excluding cows and bulls) increased by 72,600 (10.1%), cattle aged one-to-two years increased by 60,700 (3.3%) and dairy cows increased by 34,800 (2.5%), the office added.

A comparison with the June 2016 results show that:
  • Sheep numbers increased by 0.3% to 5,197,100. Breeding sheep were up 10,800 (0.4%) and other sheep (non-breeding) were up 7,200 (0.3%);
  • Pig numbers decreased by 37,500 (-2.3%) to 1,556,900. Breeding pigs were down 3.5% and non-breeding pigs down by 2.2%;
  • The area under potatoes increased by 1.5% to 9,200ha.

A regional analysis of the livestock numbers shows that the largest number of cattle (1,464,300) was in the south-west region, the largest number of sheep (1,417,300) was in the west region and the largest number of pigs (430,300) was in the region bordering Northern Ireland.

Total cattle and sheep in each region, June 2017. Source: Central Statistics Office