The total number of calves registered by Irish farmers in 2015 has increased by 6% compared to the same period in 2014, a recent report from the ICBF shows.

Total calf registrations during this period have increased by 119,719 head, the ICBF report says.

The biggest increase has occurred in dairy calf registrations which have jumped by 99,417 head on 2014 levels, it says.

This means that the number of dairy sired calves born during this period have risen by 8% compared to 2014 levels.

The report also shows that there has been a small hike in the number of beef registered calves born, as total beef registrations rose by 2% in 2015.

According to data from the ICBF, there were 20,302 extra beef sired calves registered in 2015 compared to the previous year.

The Department of Agriculture’s most recent cattle count also shows that the number of cattle aged between 6-18 months was higher in September 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.

The Department’s figures show that the total number of cattle on Irish farms aged between 6-12 months during this period was 70,403 head higher than 2014 levels.

It also shows that the number of cattle aged between 12-18 months was up by 87,423 head compared to the same period in 2014.

Some industry commentators have said that finding markets for these additional cattle will be a major problem for the Irish beef industry going forward.

However, Bord Bia recently announced details of its Statement of Strategy 2016-2018 which plans to successfully develop the reputation of Irish food and drink exports.

Its strategy aims to develop viable alternative markets for the prime cattle arising from dairy herd expansion.

The strategy also says it hopes to develop markets for fifth quarter products through enhanced marketing capabilities and market access.