Calf numbers up as confidence rises on Welsh farms
The number of calves registered in Wales is increasing, according to figures released by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales.
Firm prices and reduced feed costs are the reasons that have encouraged farmers to retain more animals.
Calf registrations in Wales between January and March this year increased by 11 per cent or 9,000 head compared with the same period in 2011. It helped bring the total number of registrations to 90,000 head, with nearly 60 per cent of these registered as beef animals.
“The overall increase was driven by higher numbers of registrations across all categories of cattle, including an eight per cent increase in female beef cattle registrations,” said John Richards, HCC’s Industry Information Officer.
“This suggests that there may be some growth in the beef breeding herd if additional numbers of heifers are retained.
“Male beef registrations rose by 10 per cent, indicating there will be increased availability in the medium term from Welsh holdings. Dairy-bred female registrations were up seven per cent during the period, while dairy-bred male calves were up 25 per cent on the same quarter in 2011,” said Mr Richards.
Meanwhile Welsh liveweight cattle prices remain firm. The latest all prime average, for the week ending June 23 was 183.0p/kg. While this is 2p/kg lower than the previous week, it is 22p/kg more than the corresponding week in 2011.
Further details can be found in the monthly Market Bulletin report to be found on HCC’s website – www.hccmpw.org.uk