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South Island dairy cattle number continues to rise

South Island dairy cattle number continues to rise

13 May 2014

The number of dairy cattle in the South Island has been steadily increasing in recent years, with an additional 1.3 million dairy cattle since 2003, Statistics New Zealand said today. In the same period, the number of sheep has declined in the South Island by more than 5.3 million.

"The additional dairy cows in the South Island produce enough milk to fill around 415 milk tankers each day," agriculture manager Neil Kelly said. The latest agriculture statistics show there was a national total of 6.5 million dairy cattle for the year ending June 2013.

In 2013, New Zealand had 3.7 million beef cattle, 30.8 million sheep, and 1.0 million deer.

The drought during the summer of 2012/13 resulted in some North Island regions receiving less than half of the expected rainfall. This contributed to livestock decreases in these regions.

For arable crop farmers, the 2013 harvest was another bumper year. Farmers have had two consecutive years of good yields per hectare, especially for wheat and barley. In 2013, there were 49,000 hectares of wheat and 61,000 hectares of barley harvested.

The 2013 Agricultural Production Survey involved farmers and foresters in New Zealand. It covered land use, animal farming (livestock), arable crop growing, forestry, and farming practices in New Zealand (including fertiliser and cultivation). The survey was conducted in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries.

For more information about these statistics: Visit Agricultural Production Statistics: June 2013 (final)


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