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HomeFarming NewsAngus ‘remains the largest beef sire’ in north
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-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 firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Angus ‘remains the largest beef sire’ in north

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), the number of calf registrations in Northern Ireland during May 2021 has “remained relatively steady” compared to last year’s figures.

Registrations in Northern Ireland during May of this year totalled 61,580 head, which is up marginally from the previous year.

However, calf registrations have declined by just over 7% relative to May 2019, when registrations totalled 66,352 head.

Calf registrations Northern Ireland

Beef-sired calf registrations increased marginally from the relative period in 2020, totalling 52,177 head. This accounted for 85 per cent of total registrations in NI.

This brings the total number of beef-sired calf registrations to 190,656 head during 2021, up 2.6% year-on-year.

Beef calves registered during May 2021 to suckler cows accounted for 78% of all beef sired calf registrations. The remaining 22% of beef calves were registered to dairy cows.

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These proportions are unchanged from May 2020. However, they have changed slightly from May 2019 figures when 20% of beef-sired calves were registered to dairy cows, and the remaining 80% were registered to suckler cows.

The LMC added that the number of beef-sired calves registered to suckler cows has remained “relatively steady” during May 2021 relative to the same period in 2020.

However, when compared to 2019, there has been a decline of almost 10%. Meanwhile, beef-sired calves registered to dairy cows have increased by almost 3% relative to 2020 and just over 1% relative to 2019.

Breed popularity

Aberdeen Angus “remains the largest beef sire” in NI during the first five months of 2021, accounting for 26% of calves registered. This is similar to 2020 figures when Aberdeen Angus sire accounted for 25% of calf registrations.

Limousin and Charolais are the next most popular beef sires accounting for 24% and 21% of calves registered in Northern Ireland, respectively.

Beef-sired calf registrations in NI during January-May 2021: [Data source: DAERA]

  • Aberdeen Angus – 26.3%;
  • Charolais – 21.3%;
  • Limousin – 24.2%;
  • Hereford – 7.5%;
  • Belgian Blue – 6.5%;
  • Simmental – 6.2%;
  • Other beef – 7.9%.

Dairy-sired calf registrations decrease

While the number of beef-sired calf registrations has increased slightly year-on-year, the number of dairy-sired calf registrations decreased to 9,403 head during May 2021 on local farms.

This equates to a 3% reduction year-on-year and a 6% reduction compared to May 2019.

According to the LMC, the proportion of dairy-sired calf registered in May 2021, which are male, was 40% on NI farms.

“This is a marginal decline from May 2020 and 2019 when dairy-sired male calf registrations accounted for 41% and 44%, respectively.”

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