In brief: Calf figures fall by 50,000 on 2012
Some 50,000 fewer calves have been born in Ireland in 2013 compared to 2012, as the contraction in the national suckler herd comes home to roost.
The latest statistics from the ICBF show that 2,031,135 calves were registered during the first 11 months of 2013, compared to 2,080,343 for the same period last year. This is despite an increase of almost 24,000hd in the number of dairy-bred calves born. The number of beef calves born in 2013 has fallen by a massive 73,194 so far in 2013 as suckler farmers reduce the number of suckler cows they breed.
WTO deal won't hit Irish interests
A new World Trade Organization deal agreed in Bali at the weekend is unlikely to have any adverse impact on Irish agricultural interests, according to the IFA.
However, the organisation said that future trade talk ambitions on eliminating market supports and trade barriers should still be resisted to ensure key sectors in Irish agriculture are not exposed to unfair competition.
They said equal standards must be centre stage in all future WTO and bi-lateral trade deals.
It is the first WTO multilateral pact in the trade body's 18-year history. The deal was aimed at cutting red tape in customs procedures in its 159 member countries. However, it was also an important stepping stone to revive the flagging Doha round of trade talks and restore legitimacy to the WTO as a rules-making body.
IFA's animal crib officially opened