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HomeBeefMap: Suckler cow numbers down nearly 130,000 over past 5 years
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a fifth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the company in 2015.
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Map: Suckler cow numbers down nearly 130,000 over past 5 years

According to data from ICBF, beef cow numbers in Ireland declined by 128,837 head from 2017-2021.

Last week, the federation published data on the national beef herd, showing how the population has continued to decrease yearly.

It published the following national beef population figures:

  • 2017: 1,065,610;
  • 2018: 1,035,054;
  • 2019: 991,550;
  • 2020: 981,526;
  • 2021: 936,773.
Beef cow numbers in Ireland

In addition, the federation has released a county-by-county breakdown.

Galway has the highest number of suckler cows, with its population standing at 95,167. This is down 4,386 from the previous year.

County Mayo is the second most highly populated county with a figure of 71,248. This figure is over 20,000 behind Co Galway.

The third most highly populated county for beef cows is county Cork, with 69,669 beef cows.

Clare follows narrowly behind with its beef cow population consisting of 69,361 head.

On the other end of the scale, the least populated county for beef cows is county Dublin with a population of just 3,603 beef cows.

The second least populated county is county Louth with a population of 10,013 beef cows.

County Carlow completes the bottom three counties for beef cow population, recording 14,115.

According to data from ICBF, beef cow numbers in Ireland declined by 128,837 head from 2017-2021. Last week, the federation published data on the national beef herd, showing how the population has continued to decrease yearly.
Image: ICBF
Suckler cow numbers continue to decline

According to a release from the CSO (Central Statistics Office), suckler cow numbers fell by over 40,000 from June 2020 to June 2021.

Suckler cow numbers decreased by 4.4% or 43,000 head in the respective period.

Meanwhile, the number of dairy cows has increased by 36,800, up 2.4% on the same period last year.

According to the CSO, the national suckler herd stood at 940,300 compared to 983,800 the previous June and 999,700 cows in 2019.

Meanwhile, dairy cow numbers stood at 1.604.5m this June, compared to 1.567.7m the previous year and 1,504.8m in June 2019.

Overall, total cattle numbers increased 44,500 (+0.6%) to 7,358,900.

The total number of cattle less than two years increased by 132,700 (+3.4%). In contrast, the number of cattle two years and over decreased by 80,300 (-10.1%).

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