Beef calf registrations down by over 25,500 head on 2017 levels

The decreasing trend in beef calf registrations has continued, recent figures released by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) show.

Looking at registration figures for the week ending May 25, a total of 28,283 beef calves were registered on Irish farms. This is a drop of 2,110 head when compared with the number of registrations for the corresponding week in 2017.

Spring calving has finished on the majority of suckler farms across the country and the current number of beef calves registered – according to the ICBF – so far this year (week ending May 25) sits at 551,218. That’s a total drop of 25,611 head on the number witnessed in 2017.

While this is a significant decrease of 4.4%, it must be noted that the fall experienced – at this time of year – between 2017 and 2016 was 16,484 head or 2.7%.

However, at the end of the second last week in May 2016, a 21,515 head or 3.5% decrease was witnessed on 2015 levels.

On the other hand, during the week ending May 25, the number of calves registered to dairy dams stood at 19,511 – up by 53 head on 2017 figures.

ICBF figures indicate that – up to the week ending May 25 – 1,239,666 dairy calves had been registered. This is an increase of 39,317 head on the corresponding period in 2017.

Looking at overall calf registrations (both beef and dairy) in 2018, some 1,790,884 calves have been registered – an increase of 13,706 on 2017 levels.

Calf birth changes – 2018 versus 2017 (week ending May 25):
  • Beef calf births: 551,218 (-25,611 head);
  • Dairy calf births: 1,239,666 (+39,317 head);
  • Total calf births: 1,790,884 head or (+13,706).