Calf numbers surge by 100k as dairy herd powers ahead

Calf registrations continue to power ahead of last year's levels with more than 100,000 extra calves registered in the first two months of the year.

The figures, which are compiled by the Department of Agriculture's AIM system, show the majority of the additional calves are coming from dairy herds, with many milk suppliers calving heifers and cows earlier this year.

The increased numbers confirms the expansion of the dairy herd ahead of 2015. Numbers of suck calves sold through the marts have also been well up in the last fortnight.

Meanwhile, Animal Health Ireland's BVD eradication programme has surpassed targets with more than 500,000 tissue test tags sold since the scheme started in January. So far, 110,000 samples have been analysed, with a lower than expected persistently infected rate of 0.58pc.

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