Results Of The December 2009 Agricultural Survey

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - The results of the December 2009 survey of farms in Northern Ireland were released on yesterday (25 February) by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
calendar icon 26 February 2010
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This survey provides estimates of the numbers of cattle, sheep and pigs on farms at the beginning of December. In addition, it provides information on levels of hay and silage production and sowings of winter cereals.

Since some of the estimates of livestock numbers and crop areas are derived from a sample survey, rather than a full census, they are subject to sampling error.

The main changes between December 2008 and December 2009 are:

  • Dairy herds: In December 2009 the estimate of 277,000 dairy cows indicates a four per cent drop in the dairy herd numbers.
  • Beef breeding herds: The number of beef cows decreased by two per cent to 252,000 compared with December 2008.
  • All cattle: In total, there was a two per cent decrease in the total cattle on farms in December 2009 compared to December 2008.
  • Sheep: There was a five per cent increase in the sheep breeding flock between December 2008 and December 2009.
  • Pigs: The estimate of 36,300 sows and gilts showed little change from the 36,500 in December 2008.
  • Hay and silage: Hay yields increased by 14 per cent during 2009, and the overall production rose by five per cent. The production of silage also increased (by six per cent) from 2008.
  • Winter crops: The area of cereal crops in the ground at 1 December is estimated AT 19,600 hectares, a 58 per cent increase compared with 2008.
Tables giving full details of the December Survey results are available on the DARD website.


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