The number of calves born to beef breed dams as extracted from the Animal Identification and Movement database (AIM) for the period 1 January to 30 June 2017 is 727,571. The figure for the corresponding period in 2018 is 701,833.
I am keenly aware of the importance of the suckler sector to Ireland's rural economy and the wider agri-food industry. The sector is an integral component to the overall vitality and continued strength of beef farming in rural Ireland. My Department currently provides a range of income and investment supports to suckler farmers, including direct payments and grant schemes such as BPS, ANC, GLAS and TAMS, as well as the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP). According to National Farm Survey data, suckler farmers receive support equivalent to approximately €500 per suckler cow on average.
I have also provided €20 million for a Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot Scheme in 2019.