The National dairy cow population is continually increasing, despite challenging conditions in recent years.

Total dairy cow numbers for 2021 (as of 1st June) stand at 1,603,721 breaking the 1.6 million barrier for the first time since records began. This figure rose 2.3% from 1,567,945 in 2020. The below graphic shows the national dairy cow population figures broken down into county over the past 5 years.

Cork remains home to the largest proportion of Irelands’ dairy herd with a total of 394,777 dairy cows (25%). This figure is over 200,000 higher than the dairy cow population in county Tipperary, which is the second most highly populated county with a figure of 182,711. Followed by Limerick with a cow population of 124,411, closely behind is Kerry with 104, 967 dairy cows.

Leitrim remains the county with the smallest population of dairy cows in the country with just 2,421, this number has been decreasing slightly in recent years. Dublin is coming in with 2,760 making them the second lowest populated county in Ireland for dairy cows.

National Dairy Cow Population in millions 2017 - 2021