Irish cattle numbers rise in 2022 - AHDB

Irish cattle herd increased 0.5%
calendar icon 5 October 2022
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Provisional results from the Irish June Livestock Survey show that the total number of cattle in Ireland increased in 2022 compared to a year ago, Hannah Clarke, AHDB analyst, said in a recent report.

The total number of cattle in Ireland increased by 0.5% (37,300 head) to 7.4 million. Within this, the number of dairy cows rose by 1.4% (22,800 head) to 1.6 million, while the number of beef cows fell by 2.9% (27,100 head) to 913,000. This brought the total cow herd to 2.5 million, largely stable year-on-year (-0.2%).

These movements continue the longer-term trend in Irish cow numbers; the dairy herd expanding, and the suckler herd contracting. Since 2017, the Irish dairy herd has increased by 14% (194,600 head), while the suckler herd has shrunk by 16% (167,800 head).

Looking at other cattle, the total number of animals aged 2 years and over rose by 2.4% (17,100 head), with those aged 1-2yrs old up 2% (38,100 head). Meanwhile, the number of cattle aged 1 year and under fell by 0.5% (11,500 head), with a decline in male cattle the main driver.

Ireland’s cattle slaughter levels have risen so far in 2022 as supplies have increased; Bord Bia note that for the year to 17 September, Irish prime cattle slaughter is 6% ahead of where it was for the same period a year ago.

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