Over 21,000 more calves registered in Northern Ireland so far this year

The total number of calves registered in Northern Ireland up until the end of July increased by over 21,000 compared to the same period in 2015, figures release by the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) show.

As of the end of July this year, there was 367,865 calves registered, up from 346,753 last year. Meanwhile, LMC figures showing an increase in the number of beef-sired calves, while dairy-sired calf numbers fell in 2016.

The number of beef sired calves registered in Northern Ireland rose by close to 11% in the first seven months of the year compared to the same period last year, according to the LMC.

Up until the end of July this year, there was 267,904 beef-sired calves registered, an increase of over 26,300 calves on 2015 figures.

The figures show that Limousin and Charolais were the most popular sires used in 2016, with close to 55% of the total number of calves registered attributed to these breeds.

Aberdeen Angus was the next most popular beef sire breed, having a total of 17.5% of the market, according to LMC figures.

Breakdown of beef sired calves in Northern Ireland up until July 2016
Breakdown of beef-sired calves in Northern Ireland up until July 2016

The LMC figures also show that the number of dairy sired calves registered in Northern Ireland has dropped by 5% in the first seven months of this year.

Up until July 2015 dairy-sired calves amounted to 105,231, however in the same period this year numbers fell to just under the 100,000 mark. 

The drop in the number of registrations of dairy-sired calves follows figures released by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) last month confirming that more beef AI bulls were being used in dairy herds.

The number of calves sired by beef AI bulls in dairy herds in 2015 increased by 39%, an increase of over 11,000 births compared to 2014, figures from the ICBF showed.

The top ten beef AI bulls used on dairy herds last year amounted to 38,886 births, compared to just 27,840 in 2014.

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