National cattle count reaches 18-year high

Ireland’s cattle population is at its highest level since 1999, with provisional results from the June agricultural survey indicating a count of 7,364,000 animals, writes Stephen Cadogan.

Overall, cattle show a 2% rise in numbers.

The dairy herd continued to expand in 2017, with the total number of cows kept for milk production up by 2.5%, to 1,433,000.

In contrast, the number of other cows fell by 2.1% to 1,081,000.

Cattle aged over two years increased 10.1%, to 788,000.

These are mostly likely to come forwards for slaughter over the coming months, before they reach 30 months of age. Female cattle intended for breeding purposes are likely to have already moved to the breeding herd.

Cattle aged between one and two years increased by 3% to 1,914,000.

Cattle under one year increased by less than 1%, to 2,131,000.

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