Dairy calf registrations surpass the 800,000 head mark

There has been a marked increase in the number of calves registered to dairy cows this year, new figures show.

Just over 800,000 dairy births have been registered in 2020, according to the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF). This is an increase of 58,449 head or 7% on the corresponding period in 2019.

The jump in dairy calf registrations can be largely attributed to the additional number of dairy dams found on Irish farms; the national herd currently sits somewhere in the region of 1.5 million head.

Moving on to beef registrations, some 155,710 calves have been registered to beef dams this year – an increase by 16,480 head or 11% on 2019 levels.

Looking at these figures on a weekly basis – up to week ending March 13, 2020 – some 97,266 head had been registered; interestingly, this is a fall by 8,183 head or by 8% when compared to the same period in 2019.

Turning to beef registrations, during the same week 27,858 head of calves were registered to beef dams – an increase by 2,070 head or by 7%.

Year-on-year calf birth changes (week ending March 13, 2020):
  • Total calf registrations: 962,455 head (74,929 head or +8%);
  • Dairy registrations: 806,745 head (58,449 head or +7%);
  • Beef registrations: 155,710 head (16,480 head or +11 %).

When both dairy and beef calf registrations are considered, there has been a 74,929 head (+8%) jump in the total number of calves registered on Irish farms this year.

In total, some 962,455 calves have been registered up to the week ending March 13. Registrations stood at 887,526 head during the corresponding period in 2019.