March 3, 2014
According to figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the number of dairy cows in Ireland increased by 22,000 last year compared to 2012.
The figures for December show the national dairy cow herd is now standing at 1,082.5 million head. In two years the figure is up some 47,000 from December 2011 figures, representing a 4.5% increase over the period.
December figures for the suckler herd are much less positive. According to the CSO figures the numbers of "other cows" decreased by 42,800 or 3.8% over 2013.
In total the number of cattle in the country increased by 55,800 last year or 0.9% to 6,309,100 when compared to December 2012. The figures also show a decline of 93,300 for the total number of cattle under one year old, or 4.7% compared to December 2012.
The results of the CSO livestock survey for December also show the total number of sheep was 3,324,100 a decrease of 106,200 or 3.1% on December 2012, which was mainly due to decreases of 76,200 or 8.9% in non-breeding sheep and a 37,800 fall or 7.4% in the numbers of ewes under two years.
Total pig numbers also decreased by 1.6% to 1,468,500 in 2013. The figures show the number of non-breeding pigs was down 1.8% while the number of breeding pigs showed a slight increase at 145,200, up just 0.1%.