November 3, 2011


New Zealand's Waikato region dairy farming generates US$2.7 billion



The record year for dairy production of the greater Waikato region has generated NZD3.4 billion (US$2.7billion) in revenue.


DairyNZ chairman John Luxton told the organisation's annual meeting in Hamilton today (Nov 3) that last year was a record for milk production nationally, and in the North Island it was due to an increase in production per cow, in particular in Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Northland.


"The recovery from the Northland drought of the year before saw an increase of more than 10% in milk production there, while the Bay of Plenty and Waikato increased by 5% and 6.4% respectively, with a very favourable autumn as the main contributing factor there," he said.


"That increase in production has meant an increase in revenue for the regions as well. As an example, in the Waikato with milk price at NZD6.37 (US$4.98) for 2009/10, dairy farmers generated NZD2.5 billion (US$1.95 billion). This last year, with an increase in milk price and production, NZD3.4 billion (US$2.7 billion) was generated. And that is just revenue from farming alone - the contribution of the processing side of the industry is also substantial."


Luxton says while dairying still has great potential in the North Island, the challenge ahead for the industry is how it manages its nutrient footprint while still realising the benefits in dairying, particularly in sensitive catchments.


"We are making some excellent progress in this area, with examples such as the Lake Rotorua Dairy Collective, but there is still a lot of work ahead of us," he said.


Luxton was re-elected as chairman of DairyNZ for a further three-year term, along with incumbent director Michael Spaans. Woodville farmer Ben Allomes was also elected, replacing Kevin Ferris.


DairyNZ made a total comprehensive loss over the period June 1, 2010-May 31, 2011, of NZD1.5 million (US$1.2 million), compared with a total comprehensive income of NZD2.4 million (US$1.9 million) for the previous 12 months. Although the loss for the period is in line with DairyNZ's non-profit objectives, the result includes an impairment of land of NZD2.6 million (US$2.03 million) reflecting the lower market value of DairyNZ's research farms.


Two postal resolutions were also passed at the meeting, one ratifying an increase in directors' remuneration, the other ratifying the appointment of independent director Barry Harris.

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