The number of calves available for beef production in the UK has fallen dramatically in the last 12 months, according to EBLEX analysis of BCMS data.


The overall number of calves registered by beef sires between August 2008 and July 2009 was 2.1m, a fall of 108,000 (5%) on the previous year, explains EBLEX economics manager Mark Topliff.

“This is a result of the declining national cattle breeding herd and a continued switch away from beef inseminations by dairy producers,” he said.

Despite the continued decline in dairy cow numbers, nearly 64,000 more dairy sired calves were registered in the year, he adds.

The biggest losers in breed terms were Limousin and British Blue registrations, a result of their popularity among dairy producer’s AI’ing cows to dairy sires, he explains.

“However, Limousins continue to dominate the beef industry, being responsible for 22% of all calves registered, ahead of Charolais at 10% and Aberdeen-Angus at 9% – the only main breed not to record a decline.”

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BCMS Birth Registrations in Great Britain – 2007/8 and 2008/9

Year to July 2008

 

 

Year to July 2009

 

 

 

Breed/Type

Number

% of Total

Number

% of Total

Change

%

Limousin

626,529

24%

569,689

22%

-56,840

-9%

Charolais

297,193

11%

267,154

10%

-30,039

-10%

Aberdeen Angus

229,524

9%

229,818

9%

    294

 

Simmental

201,676

8%

182,528

7%

-19,148

-9%

Belgian Blue

187,425

7%

154,598

6%

-32,827

-18%

Hereford

94,487

4%

93,976

4%

-511

-1%

Blonde d’Aquitaine

66,801

3%

59,663

2%

-7138

-11%

Other beef breeds

191,408

7%

200,672

8%

9264

5%

Total Beef-sired

1,895,043

72%

1,758,098

69%

-136,945

-7%

Total Dairy-sired

742,037

28%

805,761

31%

63,724

9%

Beef Industry Total*

2,218,952

84%

2,110,952

82%

-108,316

-5%

Overall Total

2,637,080

 

2,563,859

-73, 221

-3%

*total births excluding purebred dairy heifers

Source: EBLEX