Major calf exporter moves to buying bulk of its calves direct from farmers
Angus Woods said weekly calf exports are exceeding 10,000 head per week
One of the country's major calf exporters has moved to buy the bulk of its calves direct from farmers.
The Wicklow Calf Company's decision comes as calf registrations for the first three months of 2018 are up by 15,000 compared to last year.
Registrations to spring calving herds are running at a ratio of almost 4:1 in favour of dairy breeds in 2018.
So far registrations show 1,265,976 calves have been recorded with the dairy registrations up by 31,000 head to 986,289, while beef births are down by 15,000 to under 280,000.
David Scallan, manager with Wicklow Calf Company, confirmed they were bringing about a fundamental change to the operation of their business which is aiming for a major expansion.
"All our calves are now being bought directly from farmers and that is the direction we are expanding into for the future which will benefit both farmers and the export market for Irish calves," said Mr Scallan.
He said that currently the company is purchasing their calves directly from farmers at 10 collection points across the country stretching from Cork to Monaghan with the intention to double the number of collection points within a year.