Beef-sired calf registrations have rebounded in May across the island of Ireland, closing to some extent the gap between 2013 and 2014 figures which had opened significantly over the spring period.

In the Republic ICBF figures show that suckler origin calf registrations have shown a recovery during May 2014. Total beef calf registrations were 553,207 head up to the w/e 23 May 2014, a fall of six per cent or 33,538 head from the same period in 2013. However, at the end of March 2014 the deficit in beef calf registrations with the corresponding period in 2013 was much higher at 60,000 head.

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission NI beef sired calf registrations during May 2014 totalled 52,584 head. This is a 3% increase on the 51,053 beef-sired calves registered in May 2013.

It says this increase has been welcomed after four consecutive months of beef sired calf registrations being below the corresponding month in 2013.

Similar to the Republic the increase in calf registrations in May 2014 has helped to stem the decline in beef calf registrations during 2014 to date. For the year up until the end of April 2014 calf registrations were running 8.7 per cent behind the corresponding period in 2013 and this was narrowed to five per cent when considering the first five months of 2014 and the corresponding period in 2013.

The LMC says the increase in registrations in May 2014 brings total beef sired calf registrations for the year to date to 150,804 head. In the corresponding period in 2013 158,580 beef sired calves were registered accounting for 7,776 fewer beef sired calves year on year.

It says the later calving recorded in the NI suckler herd during 2014 can be attributed to the fodder crisis in Spring 2013 and the drop in cow fertility as a result of cows being in sub optimal condition for breeding.