Beef calf births 2% higher this year

Over 649,000 beef calves have been born so far this year, according to latest figures from the ICBF.

Beef calf births are up some 15,441 head or 2% on figures over the same period in 2014.

According to a recent report by AIB one third of beef farmers in Ireland intend to increase the number of suckler cows on their farms.

Half (48%) of beef farmers in Leinster are planning to increase the number of suckler cows they have, compared to three out of 10 farmers in the rest of the country, the survey found.

Some 26% of farmers aged over 60 years of age intend to increase their suckler herd and also half (49%) of farmers aged under the age of 45 intend to do so, the AIB survey found.

The survey found that farmers who are farming the largest area (over 50ha) are most likely to plan to increase suckler numbers (38%).

However, the AIB survey found that 34% of those farming less than 30ha intend to do so also.

Dairy calf births up by 94,000 head

Year to date dairy calf births are some 9% higher at over 1.1m head.

A recent Teagasc report showed that two thirds of dairy farmers, or 11,000, plan on expanding their production levels in 2015. Teagasc also forecasts that Irish milk production will increase by 10% in 2015.

Teagasc estimates that 1.499m cows will be needed to achieve the 50% expansion target, which would see an additional 450,000 cows from the 2007-2009 numbers.