the New Zealand Dairy
Statistics 2017-18 report, published by DairyNZ and LIC, there were
11,590 dairy herds last season – 158 fewer than the previous season.
This was the
third year of decreasing herd numbers, but the average herd size did increase
by 17 cows to 431. The total 2017-18 cow population was 4.99 million, an
increase of 2.7% from the previous season but still below the peak population
of more than 5.01 million cows in the 2014-15 season.
economist Matthew Newman said despite last year’s challenging spring weather,
milk production was only slightly decreased.
companies processed 20.7 billion litres of milk last season, containing 1.84
billion kilograms of milksolids – down 0.6% on the previous season,” said Mr
Newman. “Farmers benefited from favourable late summer and autumn conditions so
a number of the regions were able to milk their herd longer into the new year,
which supported reasonable production for the year.”
arrangements were down by 44 herds from the previous season.
sharemilking arrangements have declined from 36% in 2008-09 to 27% of herds in
2017-18. This movement from sharemilking to contract milking is driven by
people wanting greater certainty of milk income that contract milking
provides,” said Mr Newman.
The report also
showed a surge in the uptake of herd improvement services, as farmers seek higher
performing and more efficient dairy cows through the use of herd testing and
artificial breeding (AB).
A total of
71.1% New Zealand herds were herd tested (8,242 herds), up from 64.3% (7,557)
in 2016-17. Total cows herd tested was 3.62 million, up from 3.21 million last
season and close to the record level of 3.65 million in 2014-15.
manager NZ Markets Malcolm Ellis said this reflects a shift to precision
agriculture, as farmers work to optimise their systems.
“The days of significant
cow growth may be over and we know that farmers are more focused on productivity
and efficiency. Without doubt farmers are wanting to know more about the
production status of the cows they milk, gain more confidence about their
parentage and certainly invest appropriately to breed superior livestock into
number of cows mated to AB had a nominal increase of 1.01%, the number of
yearlings mated to AB jumped up 17% on the previous season which Ellis says reflects
farmers identifying every opportunity to maximise the rate of genetic gain.
Genetic gain is
worth upwards of $200 million to the New Zealand dairy sector each year.
The 2017-18 season
runs from 1 June 2017 to 31 May 2018.
2017-18 regional dairy statistics
About NZ Dairy Statistics 2017-2018
New Zealand Dairy Statistics
2017/18 is a report that shows historical information up to and including the
2017/18 season. The purpose of New Zealand Dairy Statistics is to provide
statistical information related to the New Zealand dairy sector. Funding is
provided by Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) and DairyNZ Incorporated
(dairy farmer levy). Contributors include New Zealand Animal Evaluation
Limited. Data is sourced from the LIC Herd Improvement Database, New Zealand
dairy companies, Animal Evaluation database, TB Free New Zealand, Real Estate
Institute of New Zealand, and Statistics New Zealand.
Read the full report here.