Finding markets for the anticipated increase in Irish beef cattle supplies in two years time could be difficult, Bord Bia’s, Mark Zeig, has said.

However, when speaking to farmers at a recent Irish Grassland Association beef tour, he added that more markets were opening up to Irish beef.

Zeig said Bord Bia is tracking very closely calf registrations and numbers potentially coming forward.

“To date registrations of calves have been up 110,000 head.

“So from the end of 2016 onwards and into 2017 we are going to have more cattle and we are going to have to find more homes for those cattle,” he said.

According to Zieg the situation is a difficult one to plan for.

He said if in two years time, Irish beef is coming onto a market were not only Ireland is producing more but other countries are also.

“That spells difficulty,” he warned.

However on the positive side, he highlighted that Ireland does have more markets opening up to it and Bord Bia are working very hard to get the most out of those.

Zieg confirmed that live exports will play a key role in absorbing increased supplies.

“We don’t give any second tier priority to it. It’s a very important part of the mix in this country,” he said.

Zieg added that the live export option is particularly important in taking some of those lower-grade animals that wouldn’t be in demand in Ireland.

“We are looking to try to expand those live export markets while also retain our markets in Holland for the Holstein type calf.

“Looking for new live markets is something we are very active at,” he said.