Over the past 10 years, dairy cow numbers have increased by 40%, new data released by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) shows.

This now puts the national dairy herd at over 1.603m, up from 1.144m in 2012.

In tandem with this increase in dairy cow numbers, the national suckler herd has decreased.

Over the same 10-year period, beef cow numbers have fallen by 17%.

Standing at 1.132m in 2012, this figure dropped below the million mark in 2019 and now stands at just shy of 937,000.

While it looked to have stabilised in 2020, last year’s drop of over 4.56% was the biggest decline recorded since 2014.

On the market share of all calves born by breed, unsurprisingly, the Holstein Friesian breed comes out on top siring 32% of all calves born in Ireland. This increase is very much in line with the growth of the national dairy herd.

On the beef side of the house, we can see that both the Angus and Limousin bulls sired 17% each of all calves.