Livestock Numbers Increase on Irish Farms

IRELAND - The Irish livestock sector saw a strong recovery in both cattle numbers and sheep numbers in June 2012 according to the results of the CSO livestock survey published this week. This reflects a renewed confidence in the sector give the higher prices prevailing since 2011
calendar icon 29 October 2012
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The cattle herd on the 1st June stood at 6.75 million head, an increase of four per cent on the corresponding period last year. The greatest increase in cattle was evident amongst cattle under the age of 12 months with numbers increasing by 10 per cent to 2.03 million head. This reflects the impact of a significant slowdown in calf exports for the first half of 2012, coupled with calf births increasing by five per cent in 2011.

The number of cattle aged between one to two years of age has increased by nine per cent to 1.66 million head reflecting the slowdown in live cattle exports in 2010. Cattle over the age of two years were extremely tight, with numbers back by almost 13 per cent to 732,000 head. This pattern of decline is reflected in the weekly throughput at Irish meat export plants, where supplies are 14 per cent behind last year’s level up to the 20th October.

Cow numbers increased by over per cent to 1.15 million head. Dairy cow numbers were two per cent by two per cent higher at 1.14 million head.

A similar picture is evident for sheep with numbers almost seven per cent ahead of June 2011 at 5.15 million head. The breeding flock increased by almost six per cent to 2.65 million head.

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