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Crops & Livestock

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This chapter contains information on crops and livestock numbers in Ireland for the period 1855 to 2015. The statistics are drawn from CSO surveys and administrative data from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Livestock Slaughterings provides details on the number of cattle, sheep and pigs slaughtered. These figures include slaughterings at both meat establishments approved by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and slaughterhouses and meat plants approved by Local Authorities under S.I. 432 of 2009.

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21.1 Area under crops and pasture in June
         
Hectares (thousands)
Crop20082009201020112012201320142015
Total wheat110.784.577.894.298.060.671.665.3
    Winter87.564.359.877.784.645.465.155.3
    Spring23.220.218.016.413.515.26.510.1
         
Total oats22.920.419.721.423.726.718.623.4
    Winter18.79.110.39.09.95.410.111.4
    Spring4.211.39.412.413.821.38.512.1
         
Total barley187.2193.6174.8180.6192.8219.4215.7202.8
    Winter21.119.328.835.941.036.060.169.8
    Spring166.0174.3146.0144.8151.8183.5155.6133.0
         
Other cereals1.31.31.61.20.91.10.80.9
         
Total cereals322.0299.8273.9297.4315.4307.8306.7292.4
         
Beans and peas2.54.24.62.94.14.53.510.7
Oilseed rape5.66.38.012.417.513.79.48.9
Arable silage3.73.84.12.92.43.93.53.5
Maize silage24.524.722.819.013.714.513.912.9
Potatoes11.212.212.210.49.010.79.58.5
Turnips1.01.11.21.01.10.90.91.1
Beet9.210.89.68.27.810.110.39.6
Fodder rape and kale0.91.51.81.31.71.41.21.7
Vegetables for sale3.74.44.93.83.63.53.43.2
Fruit0.40.41.20.80.90.90.90.9
Nursery stock, bulbs and flowers0.30.20.30.40.40.50.50.5
Other crops0.00.09.44.94.54.74.05.8
         
Total crops, fruit and horticulture385.0369.4353.9365.4382.1377.2367.7359.7
         
Silage1,161.51,153.11,076.41,070.21,075.01,071.01,077.61,071.1
Hay267.2245.7193.8213.2203.5218.4217.9195.7
Pasture2,314.92,333.72,507.62,459.32,391.02,337.72,308.42,299.4
         
Crops and pasture4,128.64,101.94,131.74,108.24,051.54,004.33,971.53,926.0
         
Rough grazing in use500.4492.1437.3447.3481.2473.5494.2503.6
         
Area farmed4,629.04,593.94,568.94,555.54,532.74,477.84,465.84,429.5
Source: CSO and Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Interactive table: StatBank link

The total area farmed in 2015 was 4.4 million hectares. Crops, fruit and horticulture accounted for 8% of that area, silage for 24%, hay for 4%, pasture for 52% and rough grazing for 11%.

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Wheat Oats BarleyPotatoes
185515561289309
185618158871345
185719256581359
185818556174360
185915756869374
186015756071361
186113357478349
186211856576311
18638756669315
18649652670322
18659349672330
186610248861323
18678847569308
18689348675320
18698748190320
18708046197319
18717445889322
18726645188301
18735041592272
18745740385270
18754740893272
18763540788266
18774240390262
18784838097254
187948356101252
18804537887247
18814738383257
18824638574252
18832738173242
18841937167240
18852036371239
18861936572239
18871836265238
18882934868239
18892833574235
18902832973232
18912432871222
18922233070218
18931633667212
18941434066211
18951032969208
18961131869206
18971331368199
18981531363195
18991530167194
19001529369191
19011329364186
19021328767183
19031129363181
1904928763179
19051128362177
19061328770178
19071229067172
19081228661169
19091427664167
19101528967173
19111528463172
19121528166170
19131128468168
19141228168167
19152929957172
19162629460172
19174342071210
19185545774205
19192441074172
19201836682170
19211633268166
19221531166165
19231529559161
19241327963159
1925927259154
19261226257152
19271426149148
19281326252147
19291227048147
19301126147140
1931825247140
1932925642141
19332025748138
19343823658139
19356624956136
193610322653135
19378923253132
19389323148132
193910321730128
194012427654148
194118731766173
194223335575172
194320637985165
194426038368167
194526833869157
194626033658158
194723533459155
194821035648156
194914727864142
195014824950136
195111425168130
195210324791125
195314323176125
195419721666118
195514522186116
195613721296115
1957164186124108
1958170185125106
1959114187135105
196014817213395
196114014914686
196212714016485
19639413417483
19648711718474
19657411518871
1966539818768
1967769618365
1968908818459
1969827719855
1970956821457
1971916023552
1972685225244
1973585024348
1974574724642
1975454924541
1976504025947
1977483529853
1978503132541
1979502835041
1980532536642
1981492335436
1982572332637
1983592330533
1984772629235
1985782528432
1986752326530
1987562325529
1988592324227
1989612223725
1990702220724
1991862119320
1992912018422
1993792018122
1994742117021
1995712017922
1996862118124
1997942119018
1998841919119
1999682019218
2000781718214
2001851718214
20021031917615
2003962118314
20041032018413
2005951716412
2006882016712
2007842116812
20081112318711
2009852019412
2010782017512
2011942118110
201298241939
2013612721911
2014721921610
201565232039
Show Table: 21.2 Area under selected crops 1855-2015

Interactive tables: StatBank link

The combined area under cereals (wheat, oats and barley) in 2015 was 291,000 hectares compared to 856,000 hectares in 1855. In 1855, oats accounted for 71% of the area of cereals grown. However, by 2015 this had fallen to just under 8% and instead, barley made up 70% of the area under cereals.

The area under potatoes in 2015 was only 9,000 hectares compared to 309,000 hectares in 1855. During the period 1855 and 2015, the area of potatoes sown peaked in 1859 at 374,000 hectares.

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21.3 Number of livestock in June
Thousands
Description20082009201020112012201320142015
Cattle         
   Bulls57.555.252.041.836.141.440.836.5
         
   Dairy cows1,095.21,096.71,070.81,116.91,140.81,163.21,226.41,295.8
   Other cows1,220.11,203.71,158.41,123.31,148.61,150.31,129.01,075.8
         
   Cattle male: 2 years and over475.8501.2506.2425.5360.6388.2455.9423.8
   Cattle female: 2 years and over390.3409.3426.2411.9372.0380.1428.4384.4
         
  Cattle male: 1-2 years832.2851.4760.3673.4770.2872.7820.5789.6
  Cattle female: 1-2 years871.7884.2871.5854.7889.8938.3946.7915.5
         
   Cattle male: under 1 year969.4918.2826.7891.91,023.2959.2901.6994.4
   Cattle female: under 1 year989.9970.8934.6953.61,012.81,009.3976.81,047.8
         
Total cattle male2,334.82,326.02,145.12,032.72,190.12,261.52,218.82,244.2
Total cattle female 4,567.24,564.74,461.54,460.34,564.14,641.14,707.34,719.3
         
Total cattle6,902.16,890.76,606.66,493.06,754.16,902.66,926.16,963.5
         
Sheep        
   Rams81.873.980.073.777.780.477.575.8
         
   Ewes2,614.12,451.02,449.52,435.22,589.32,568.22,513.92,488.1
       2 years and over2,219.52,060.11,964.81,939.12,027.92,028.72,060.32,033.1
       under 2 years394.6390.9484.8496.1561.4539.5453.6454.9
         
   Other sheep2,365.42,253.12,215.92,321.02,503.02,358.42,505.42,574.9
Total sheep5,061.44,778.04,745.44,830.05,170.05,007.05,096.85,138.7
         
Pigs        
   Boars1.71.61.71.31.41.41.41.4
         
   Female breeding pigs155.7147.4159.7154.9144.6146.5150.3147.8
         
   Other pigs classified by liveweight1,304.61,236.21,354.91,392.81,425.01,404.61,403.61,387.6
       20 kg and over915.9864.9961.5972.0980.7955.8962.6941.7
       under 20 kg388.7371.3393.4420.8444.3448.8441.0445.9
Total pigs1,462.01,385.21,516.31,549.01,570.91,552.51,555.31,536.9
         
Horses and ponies95.798.1106.0106.0111.1101.695.093.1
         
Mules, jennets and asses8.88.87.58.79.88.28.18.9
         
Goats8.910.110.511.410.38.712.215.6
Source: CSO and Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Interactive table: StatBank link

In June 2015 there were 6.96 million cattle, 5.14 million sheep and 1.54 million pigs.

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CattleSheepPigs
18552.8473.3930.994
18562.8683.4770.759
18572.9023.241.029
18582.9553.2971.207
18593.0623.3911.034
18602.8983.351.049
18612.8033.3580.932
18622.6173.270.954
18632.5393.1380.913
18642.6363.1810.896
18652.8343.4891.097
18663.0224.0291.236
18672.9964.5461.05
18682.9534.580.751
18693.0314.350.922
18703.0814.0651.221
18713.1993.9481.325
18723.2683.9641.16
18733.3614.180.891
18743.3484.1720.916
18753.3463.9881.029
18763.3423.7651.165
18773.2383.7391.221
18783.2713.8471.068
18793.3383.7790.892
18803.2123.3410.728
18813.2683.0510.924
18823.2832.881.17
18833.3673.0161.139
18843.3843.0591.071
18853.4673.2611.036
18863.4233.1321.033
18873.4123.1171.146
18883.3473.351.111
18893.373.4781.136
18903.5013.9551.286
18913.664.2951.108
18923.7164.3960.905
18933.6714.0330.936
18943.6173.7411.116
18953.5753.5631.093
18963.6233.7171.125
18973.6623.7961.064
18983.6913.9111.031
18993.7183.9831.129
19003.8043.981.045
19013.8683.9811.015
19023.9423.8211.1
19033.8613.5681.154
19043.8663.4681.096
19053.8413.3940.945
19063.8363.3521.001
19073.8893.4251.085
19084.023.7031.046
19093.9423.7290.954
19103.9343.60.99
19113.953.5431.16
19124.0493.4661.1
19134.1343.2730.895
19144.2373.2341.083
19154.063.2071.008
19164.1673.3551.089
19174.1323.3270.844
19184.0933.2180.859
19194.2323.0450.863
19204.2613.0160.887
19214.4193.020.891
19224.3752.7940.938
19234.2782.6661.186
19244.2682.7260.987
19253.9912.8130.732
19263.9473.0030.884
19274.0473.121.178
19284.1253.2631.183
19294.1373.3750.945
19304.0383.5151.052
19314.0293.5751.227
19324.0253.4611.108
19334.1373.4050.931
19344.0862.9310.968
19354.0193.0421.088
19364.0143.0621.017
19373.95530.934
19384.0563.1970.959
19394.0573.0480.931
19404.0233.0711.049
19414.152.9090.764
19424.0842.6930.519
19434.1362.560.434
19444.2462.6630.381
19454.2112.5810.426
19464.1462.4230.479
19473.952.0940.457
19483.9212.0580.457
19494.1272.1920.675
19504.3222.3850.645
19514.3762.6160.558
19524.3092.8570.719
19534.3972.930.882
19544.5043.1130.958
19554.4833.2690.799
19564.5373.4390.747
19574.4173.720.9
19584.4664.1740.948
19594.6844.4120.852
19604.7414.3140.951
19614.7134.5281.056
19624.7424.6711.111
19634.864.6911.102
19644.9624.951.108
19655.3595.0141.266
19665.594.6641.013
19675.5864.2390.985
19685.5724.0771.063
19695.6884.0061.116
19705.9564.0821.192
19716.1774.1631.322
19726.5274.2081.199
19737.1134.1841.108
19747.4133.9620.923
19757.1683.6830.796
19766.9543.4750.925
19777.1243.5340.939
19787.0983.4271.031
19797.0933.3921.103
19806.9093.2921.03
19816.7443.4021.021
19826.7283.5711.057
19836.813.8681.081
19846.8064.0741.036
19856.8194.4871.004
19866.6165.0121.003
19876.5455.5950.999
19886.4646.6561.014
19896.6427.6251.067
19906.8168.5391.194
19916.9128.8881.304
19926.9518.8981.386
19936.9828.6271.522
19946.9968.4041.53
19957.0348.3311.55
19967.3147.8881.621
19977.5338.1321.7
19987.648.3121.819
19997.3877.9251.787
20007.0377.5551.722
20017.057.331.743
20026.9927.211.785
200376.8491.726
20047.0166.7771.653
2005 16.9926.3921.688
20066.9785.9731.643
20076.8915.5221.588
20086.9025.0611.462
20096.8914.7781.385
20106.6074.7451.516
20116.4934.831.549
20126.7545.171.571
20136.9035.0071.553
20146.9265.0971.555
20156.9645.1391.537
Show Table: 21.4 Number of cattle, sheep and pigs 1855-2015

Interactive table: StatBank link

Since 1855 cattle numbers have increased consistently, peaking at 7.64 million in 1998. The total number of cattle showed a gradual decline in the years between 1998 and 2011 (6.49 million). Cattle numbers in 2015 stand at 6.96 million.

The number of sheep in Ireland peaked at 8.89 million in 1992 and since then numbers have fallen sharply to just over 5.14 million in 2015.

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21.5 Livestock slaughterings
    
000 head
 200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015
Cattle1,8151,6851,7741,7711,6651,6001,7161,6421,4841,5891,7491,665
Pigs2,7112,6562,6582,6152,5782,4212,6572,9052,9722,9043,0433,232
Sheep3,5653,6133,4883,2642,9192,7302,3832,4102,6912,8742,8372,833
Source: CSO

Interactive table: StatBank link

Cattle slaughterings in 2015 decreased by almost 5% in comparison to 2014.

Pig slaughterings in 2015 increased by 6% and Sheep slaughterings remained virtually unchanged in comparison to 2014.

 

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