Based on the latest figures from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF), some 8,495 herds have completed at least one milk recording in 2022 so far.

When compared with the number of herds that completed a recording in the same period in 2021, this is an increase of 809, up from 7,686.

From these 8,495 herds, some 960,899 cows have been recorded. For the same period in 2021 this figure stood at 880,303, meaning there has been a 9.2% increase.

This shows that the number of herds that are completing at least one recording/year is still on the rise.


Milk recording over the last number of years has experienced a steady growth, with around 50% of dairy farms now recording cows.

2021 saw a significant increase in recording and some may think that the pandemic contributed to this rise, with some farms not completing a recording in 2020.

However, according to ICBF figures, only 48 fewer farms completed a recording in 2020, compared to 2019.

Milk recording

Milk recording is a key technology on farms, and will have a particularly important role on dairy farms in 2022 and onwards.

2022 has seen the introduction of new regulations around antibiotic usage on farms, with the blanket use of antibiotics at drying off no longer possible.

It is because of this change that milk recording will play a key role on farms ahead of drying off later in the year.

Milk recording is an extremely valuable tool on dairy farms, that is used not only to monitor cell counts, but to give information on production from individual cows.

And with the new regulation changes, the data that can be obtained on cell counts in herds and on individual cows is going to be very important; the information collected plays a key role in deciding on potential treatment for a cow at drying off.