Increased Calf Registrations Mean Growth in Herd

UK - EBLEX analysis of recent data from the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) indicates that the trend towards increased calf registrations which became apparent in the last quarter of 2011 has continued through the first three months of this year.
calendar icon 20 June 2012
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During January to March 2012, calf registrations in Great Britain increased by nine per cent, or 55,000 head, compared with the same period in 2011. The total number of registrations over this time was almost 700,000 head, two thirds of which were registered as non-dairy animals.

The overall increase was driven by higher numbers of registrations across all categories of cattle. There was an eight per cent increase in female non-dairy calf registrations, which suggests there may potentially be longer-term growth in the beef breeding herd if some heifers are retained. Non-dairy male registration also increased by eight per cent, indicating that we are likely to see an eventual upturn in male cattle slaughterings.

Dairy-bred female registrations were up five per cent on the year while dairy-bred male registrations were up 16 per cent, representing a significant turnaround from the early part of last year. The firm beef prices and some easing in feed costs may have encouraged producers to retain these animals for finishing.

Limousin genetics remain the dominant type for non-dairy breeds with over 140,000 registrations in the first three months of the year, representing 20 per cent of the total. The next most popular breeds were Aberdeen Angus and Charolais making up 11 and nine per cent of registrations respectively. In terms of native beef breeds, Aberdeen Angus continues to dominate, with almost 75,000 registrations in the first quarter of the year.

The sustained increase in registrations since October 2011 means that a total of 75,000 more calves have been registered than in the equivalent six month period in 2010/11.

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