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Mid Canterbury dairy farmers most productive in NZ

Enterprise Ashburton: Mid Canterbury dairy farmers most productive in NZ

Ashburton District has become the leading dairy farming region in the country with a report showing the district's dairy farmers top five categories, including highest milk solids per hectare.

New research, commissioned by Enterprise Ashburton and carried out by Berl (Business Economic Research Ltd) was released today and shows Ashburton has the largest herds of any district in New Zealand at 779 cows per herd. This compares with a national average of 337 cows.

The Ashburton District had the highest number of kilograms of milk solids per effective hectare in New Zealand at 1,263, compared with the national average of 934.

While Ashburton District does not have the largest farms, it has the highest number of cows per effective hectare (3.36 compared with a national average of 2.81) and produced above average milk solids (376 kg of milk solids per cow on average in 2007 reporting year, compared with the national average of 330).

Enterprise Ashburton chief executive Rob Brawley said the figures showed Ashburton's dairy industry punched well above its weight.

"We aren't the biggest dairy farming district in terms of size but our farmers can make the best possible use of what resources they have, and have come out on top. Isn't that what farming is all about?

"Although the Ashburton district has 1.9% of New Zealand's total dairy businesses, it produced an estimated 2.9% of national dairy GDP last year, worth almost $200million. With the development going on this year, we expect the GDP contribution to be almost double that at the next round of reporting."

The dairy sector in the Ashburton District employs more than 1900 full time equivalent employees.

Mr Brawley said the information was exciting for the district.

"It identifies the significant intellectual capital Mid Canterbury dairy farmers possess, who are arguably world leaders in dairy farming. It also clearly demonstrates the substantial and long term benefits from well-managed irrigation."

Key Statistics Summary:

• No 1 in production per herd in
o Milk volume
o Milk solids
o Milk protein

• No 1 in production per hectare in
o Milk solids
o Milk protein


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