New figures released by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) show the five year declining trend in the Irish suckler herd on a map, giving figures on a county-by-county basis.

According to ICBF figures, as of June 1, 2021, the national beef (or suckler) herd stands at 936,773 cows, as the population continues to decline.

Looking at the past five years, the number of beef cows in Ireland has declined year on year.

From 2017 to 2021, the suckler herd has decreased by a total of 128,837 cows.

The five maps below outline the number of suckler cows in each county in the Republic of Ireland on June 1, over the past five years:

Looking at the map for 2021, Galway is still leading the way in terms of having the highest suckler-cow population, with a total of 95,167 suckler cows.

While it is still the highest, numbers have declined by 4,386 cows from 2020.

Galway has over 20,000 more suckler cows than its neighboring county, Mayo, which is the second most-highly populated suckler cow county with a figure of 71,248.

The third most-highly populated county for suckler cows is Cork with a figure of 69,669 beef cows.

Closely following Cork is Co. Clare which has the fourth-highest number of suckler cows at 69,361 cows.

Unsurprisingly, on the other end of the scale, the least populated county for suckler cows is Co. Dublin with a population of just 3,603 suckler cows.

The second-lowest suckler cow herd is in Louth with a population of 10,013 suckler cows.

Finally, Co. Carlow completes the bottom three counties for suckler cow population with a figure of just 14,115 suckler cows.

The graph below gives an overview of the suckler cow population in Ireland over the past five years.

Source: ICBF

The number of suckler cows in Ireland has been forecast to decline further. Until its eventual bottoming out however, the level that suckler cow numbers bottom out at remains to be seen.