Almost one in every four cattle slaughtered in an Irish factory so far in 2022 came from a controlled finishing unit.

Cattle from feedlots now account for 23% of the national kill, up from 20% in 2021. Figures seen this week by the Irish Farmers Journal show that the number of cattle slaughtered from feedlots up to the end of September 2022 increased to 308,500 head from 249,500 head last year. That is the equivalent of an extra 1,638 feedlot cattle per week since the start of the year.

Feedlot slaughterings peaked at 40,000 during May 2022, making up 30% of the national kill for May. This monthly figure dropped to 32,000 head for September 2022.

The September figure is almost double the 18,500 slaughtered out of feedlots in 2018 and up 6,500 head on the same month in 2021.

Taking a look at cow slaughtering, suckler cow slaughtering has remained steady at 109,080 head up to September 2022, up 4,244 head or 4% on the same period in 2021.

Dairy cow slaughtering has taken a massive jump to 202,833 head, up 31,037 head on the same period in 2021 or 18%. Most of this increase came in the first six months of 2022 with 26,376 dairy cows slaughtered in March 2022 compared with 20,012 slaughtered in March 2021.

Beef trade

The beef trade has remained steady this week with bullocks working off a €4.50/kg to €4.60/kg base price and heifers working off a €4.55/kg to €4.65/kg base price.

The bullock kill dropped 1,500 head last week with the cow kill increasing by 1,000 head.