Dairy calvings continue to lead the way in 2016

Dairy calvings have continued to lead the way in 2016, with the total number of dairy calf registrations up 5.6% or 67,647 head during the first nine months of the year on the same time in 2015.

Figures from the ICBF show that just over 1.27m dairy calves were born on Irish farms this year, a considerable jump from the 1.2m between January and September of 2015.

Official figures also show that the combined number of beef and dairy calf registrations are up 2.3% to the week ending September 30, putting Irish calf births 46,855 head ahead of the corresponding nine month period in 2015.

Source: ICBF


The majority of this increase is in the form of dairy births which have jumped by 69,270 head (5.9%) during the first eight months of 2016 on last year.

The rise in dairy calf births coincides with the abolition of milk quotas in Ireland.

Figures from Teagasc show that both cow numbers and milk production jumped on Irish farms between 2014 and 2015 due to ceasing of milk production under a quota regime and this is expected to increase in the coming years.

In 2015, Irish dairy farmers produced 748m more litres of milk than the year before, while dairy cow numbers increased by 13%.

Recently released figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) also show that there were 103,000 (+7.9%) more dairy cows in Ireland in June 2016 compared to the same time last year.

However, despite the increase in beef cow numbers, births from the suckler herd have declined this year.

Figures from the ICBF show that the number of beef calves registered has dropped by 20,792 head or 2.4 on last year’s levels.