BEEF cattle production performance improved in Wales during 2014 with higher calf registrations.
“This means that we are likely to see an increase in Welsh beef production during 2016 when these animals reach the abattoir,” said HCC industry information officer Charlotte Morris.
Figures compiled by the British Cattle Movement Survey (BCMS) showed that the number of beef calf registrations in Wales increased by two per cent in 2014 compared with the previous year.
This brought the total to 227,700 head with Limousin and Limousin cross being the most registered breed making up 36 per cent of the total number of calf registrations, followed by Charolais and Charolais cross at 19 per cent. Overall in the UK the number of beef sired calf registrations in 2014 increased by two per cent to stand at 1.73 million.
“The BCMS statistics also revealed that much of the growth in calf registrations occurred during the second half of 2014, increasing by five per cent in comparison with the same period the previous year,” said Miss Morris. “This indicates that some farmers may be moving towards summer/autumn calving due to better weather conditions. “The increase in beef calf registrations in Wales, in line with the trend in the rest of the UK, could be linked to the increase in the Welsh dairy herd in 2014, resulting in a higher number of dairy cows giving birth to beef sired calves,” said Miss Morris.
The supply of Welsh beef for the remainder of 2015 is expected to be tight as a result of a seven per cent reduction in Welsh beef calf registrations in 2013 compared with the previous year. “With the supply of cattle remaining tight across the UK, 2015 could hold more positive farm-gate prices, however as always prices will depend on consumer demand,” she said.