There was over 80,000 beef sired calves registered in Northern Ireland from dairy dams during the first 10 months of 2015, according to the LMC (Livestock and Meat Commission).

This represents a 12.6% increase in beef sired calves from the dairy herd registered in the corresponding period in 2014, it says.

Meanwhile the total number of dairy sired calves registered in Northern Ireland recorded a 2% increase to 151,730 head during the first 10 months of 2015, reports the LMC.

According to the LMC, this increase is not surprising as the Northern Irish dairy herd has increased by 6% in the June 2015 census.

The popularity of the Aberdeen Angus breed continues to grow among Northern Irish dairy farmers.

Figures from the LMC show that the number of Aberdeen Angus calves registered to date in 2015 have increased by 13% with registrations sitting at 27,240.

These births accounted for 33% of all beef sired calves registered to dairy dams during 2015, it says.

The Limousin breed is the second most popular beef sire used in Northern Irish dairy herds in 2015 and it accounts for 22% of all beef sired calves.

According to the LMC, total Limousin registrations are sitting at 17,706 for 2015, which is an increase of 6% on the same period in 2014.

Hereford was the third most popular beef sire used on dairy cows during 2015 and accounted for 15% of all beef sired registrations to dairy dams, reports the LMC.

A total of 12,252 Hereford calves were registered to dairy cows during 2015 to date, a 33% increase from the 9,239 registrations made during the same period in 2014.

Dairy farmers in the North start to receive EU aid payments

Dairy farmers in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK started to receive their EU aid payments, two weeks ahead of schedule, earlier this week.

The initial tranche of the payments will be made to those dairy farmers for whom the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has up-to-date banking details.

Around £3.6m is due to be paid immediately to 2,250 (just over 71%) farmers in Northern Ireland, according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD).

Dairy farmers will receive a one-off payment, which will be based on a flat rate per litre of milk production, DARD has stated.