The latest figures from APHIS indicate more slaughter-ready beef cattle are to become available in Northern Ireland as we move into the second quarter of 2021.
The LMC (Livestock and Meat Commission), referred to the data as it commented on the decline in throughput of prime cattle during 2021 compared to 2020.
At the end of March 2021, there were 108,755 cattle on local farms for beef production aged between 24-30 months. These numbers include all beef-sired cattle and dairy-sired males.
This was an increase of almost six per cent or over 6,000 head when compared to figures from the end of March 2020.
“However, it should be noted that these figures have declined by three per cent from 2019 levels as outlined. Cattle aged between 18-24 months on Northern Ireland farms for beef production totalled 150,754 head at the end of March 2021.”
“This is a greater increase of 9.6 per cent from 2020 levels and three per cent from 2019 levels. This takes the total number of cattle for beef production aged between 18- 30 months of age on local farms to 259,509 head.”
The majority of these cattle are beef-sired female cattle which account for 53% of this age group.
Beef-sired male cattle account for 40%, while the remaining 7% are dairy-sired males.
These proportions are unchanged when compared to cattle in this age group at the end of March 2020.
Cattle on local farms in the 12-18-month age category totalled just over 203,000 head at the end of March 2021. This is an 8.9 per cent increase in this category from the same period in 2020.
There has been an 8% increase in calf registrations during the last 12 months, leading to an increase in the number of cattle in the 6-12 month and 0-6-month age categories.
At the end of March 2021, the LMC noted that there were 192,522 cattle in the 6-12-month age category, up almost 4,000 head or 2.1 per cent from year-earlier levels.
Similarly, cattle in the 0-6 month age bracket have increased 9.7%when compared to figures from the end of March 2020.
You can find an update on beef prices in Northern Ireland here.