Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Dairy and suckler farmers opt for different beef bulls when breeding

Key differences in the breed of beef bulls being used between the suckler and dairy herds

Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The most popular breed of calf registered to suckler cows in Northern Ireland during the first two months of 2018 was Charolais.

Charolais calves accounted for 33pc of total registrations to suckler cows during 2018 to date, a proportion unchanged from year earlier levels, but figures from the LMC show that there are however key differences in the breed of beef bulls being used between the suckler and dairy herds in Northern Ireland.

It comes as during the first two months of 2018 there were 45,324 beef sired calves registered in Northern Ireland compared to 46,597 head during the corresponding two month period in 2017.

This accounts for a 2.7pc decline year on year. Most of this decline in beef calf registrations year on year has been from the Northern Ireland suckler herd with the number of beef sired registrations to dairy cows holding steady.

During the first two months of 2018 beef cross calves accounted for 51pc of total beef sired calf registrations in Northern Ireland, up marginally from 50pc of total beef sired registrations in the same period in 2017.

Limousin was a close second during the first two months of 2018 and accounted for 31pc of calf registrations to suckler cows, this was back marginally from 32pc of total registrations to suckler cows during the same period in 2017.

Meanwhile 13pc calves registered to suckler cows in 2018 to date were Aberdeen Angus, up from 11pc of registrations during the corresponding period in 2017.

The most popular beef breed of calf registered to a dairy dam was Aberdeen Angus, accounting for 40pc of beef calf registrations to dairy cows during this period, up from 38pc during the same period in 2017.

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Hereford was the second most popular beef sire used on dairy cows and accounted for 15pc of registrations during 2018 to date. This wasback marginally from 16pc during the same period in 2017.

Belgian Blue calves accounted for a further 15pc of beef sired registrations to dairy cows during 2018 to date, also back marginally from the same period in 2017.

Meanwhile, Limousin calf registrations to dairy cows accounted for 14pc of total registrations during the first two months of 2018, back from 16pc during the corresponding period in 2017.


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