August 24, 2011
New Zealand's beef cattle numbers remain stable
Beef and Lamb's stock number survey has reported stable cattle numbers in New Zealand at 3.94 million head as at June 30.
The new estimate was down 0.2% on the previous year. The South Island (1.13 million head) increased its beef cattle numbers by 1.4%, while the North Island (2.82 million head) offset these gains, with numbers falling 0.8%.
According to the survey, as at 30 June 2011, beef breeding cow numbers were down 3.4%, to 1.08 million head. The South Island contributed to the majority of this decline - largely due to high dry rates in cows that led to high culling rates, underwritten by good schedule prices. Good reserves of feed for beef breeding herds should see cows in good condition for calving, which may improve calving percentages.