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Mixed lamb crop result for 2004-05

Nov 24 2005

Mixed lamb crop result for 2004-05

The country's lamb crop is relatively unchanged from last year, according to a recently completed survey by Meat & Wool New Zealand's Economic Service.

Meat & Wool New Zealand's Regional staff collect farm data from farms all over the country and the information collected shows that while lamb numbers have remained near last year's, there are some differences across the two islands.

"The 2004-05 results see the national lamb crop increase by 0.8% from last year, to 34.7 million. The number of lambs tailed in the North Island decreased by 1.1 per cent to 15.6 million while the South Island numbers lifted 2.3 per cent to 19.1 million" says Mark Jeffries, Meat & Wool New Zealand Chief Executive.

"Breeding ewe numbers remained static at 26.75 million, with the nationwide lambing percentage increasing to 123.2 per cent. The number of lambs from ewe hoggets totalled 1.7 million, an increase of 0.2 million on last year."

He says the figures from the survey support a positive outlook for the country's export markets, who continue to demand high quality New Zealand lamb.

Mr Jeffries says the milder spring period combined with higher animal liveweights resulted in less lamb losses this year, but there has been a higher than average mortality rate for mature animals.

Meat & Wool New Zealand will use the results of the survey to assist in setting research priorities in the coming year and this could well see greater emphasis on ewe survival.

"The ongoing success of the sector needs to be based on sustainable higher lambing percentages and a healthy sheep flock to supply product to a strong international market" he says.

A copy of the report is available from Meat & Wool New Zealand, 0800 647 000.

ENDS

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