August suckler births at the lowest point in 3 years

Figures have pointed to a slight reduction in the number of calves registered to beef cows – suckler calvings in other words – during the month of August.

Figures taken from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation’s (ICBF’s) database show that some 35,386 calves were registered to beef dams during the month of August – a fall of 6,235 head when compared to the corresponding period in 2017.

August calf registrations to beef dams:
  • 2018 – 35,386 head;
  • 2017 – 41,621 head;
  • 2016 – 43,909 head;
  • 2015 – 34,696 head;
  • 2014 – 42,778 head;
  • 2013 – 37,532 head.

This year’s August suckler calvings are also running 7,523 head behind the corresponding period in 2016. However, they’re running slightly ahead of the same period in 2015, when 34,696 calves were registered to beef cows.

2018 calvings

Meanwhile, looking at the data provided so far for 2018, figures from the ICBF show that some 798,524 calves were registered to suckler dams up to the period ending October 5. When compared to the corresponding period in 2017, that’s a drop of 39,022 head or 4.7%.

Moving on to dairy registrations, just over 1.36 million calves were registered to dairy dams between January 1 and October 5 – a rise of 40,499 head on the numbers witnessed during 2017.

When the respective fall in suckler and dairy births are accounted for, it brings the total number of calves registered on Irish farms to over 2.16 million – 1,477 head higher than the corresponding period in 2017.

Year-on-year calf birth changes (week ending October 5):
  • Total calf registrations: 2,160,662 head (+1,477 head or +0.07%);
  • Total dairy registrations: 1,362,138 head (+40,499 head or +3.1%);
  • Total beef registrations: 798,524 head (-39,022 head or -4.7%).

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