Beef calf birth registrations during January to May 2021 are up 2.5% on the same period last year and 4.5% ahead of 2019 levels.

According to data compiled by the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), 190,052 births were registered during the first five months of the current year.

During the same period last year, registrations totalled 185,398 with 181,907 recorded in 2019.

Dairy cross

While the trend shows more beef calves on the ground, the increase is coming exclusively from the dairy sector.

During the outlined period this year, dairy cross calf registrations totalled 68,376 compared to 62,587 in 2020 (+9%) and 61,392 in 2019 (+11%).

In contrast, suckler calf births are down year on year with 121,676 newborn calves registered from January to May compared to 122,811 last year. However, registrations are running 1,160 above 2019 levels.


Aberdeen Angus is the most common beef breed, accounting for 26% of calves followed by Limousin on 24%.

However, Charolais is the most common sire for suckler bred calves with 32% of registrations. Limousin is next with 31% of registrations followed by Angus at 14%.

On calves born to a dairy dam, almost one in two calves are sired by an Angus. Belgian Blue is next on 15%.

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