January 21, 2019

New Zealand's dairy herds see "marginal" drop; beef cattle is biggest gainer


New Zealand's dairy cattle have been dropping in numbers since 2014, although the decline is otherwise described as "marginal", according to a Stuff report.


Based on Statistics NZ figures, the country's dairy cattle herd declined by 1% to 6.4 million compared to the year before. During the dairy boom in 2014, there were 6.7 million dairy cattle.

On the other hand, New Zealand's beef cattle saw the biggest gain, as seen in positive prices farmers have been getting in markets outside New Zealand. The number for these animals had inched closer to 2011 levels, with 3.8 million cattle.

Even so, dairy remains the biggest export earner, at $14.1 billion, said Andrew Morrison, Beef+Lamb NZ's chairman.

According to the organisation's chief economist, Andrew Burtt, the trend for beef cattle "is as expected" and already highlighted in earlier forecasts.

- Stuff