Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Stats Confirm the Growth of Dairy Farming

Statistics Confirm the Growth and Importance of Dairy Farming

The national dairy herd has increased to 5.3 million cattle as at 30 June 2002 according to New Zealand's latest agricultural census. The provisional results released today by Statistics New Zealand, show that since 1999 total dairy cattle numbers have risen 23 percent and the milking herd has risen 18 percent to 4.0 million.

MAF Senior Analyst Tony Wharton says that the 2002 Agricultural Production Census figures confirm the extent of dairy expansion over recent years. The Ministry is expecting continued growth in national dairy cattle numbers over the next few years. Mr Wharton says that a lower annual rate of growth is expected, however, as farmers respond to lower payouts compared with the higher payouts in recent seasons.

The expansion of the dairy herd in recent years reflects the improved profitability of dairying over other types of pastoral farming and the opportunities created by irrigation. For example, MAF's 2002 Farm Monitoring publications show that the 2001/02 weighted average economic farm surplus for the dairy farms surveyed was $1,877 per hectare compared to $229 per hectare for the sheep-and-beef farms.

New Zealand's dairy processing industry has also expanded strongly over the past few years on the back of the rising milk supply. Dairy products earned $7.1 billion dollars and accounted for 23 percent of New Zealand's export income for the year to June 2002. The dairy industry, including downstream activities such as marketing, wholesaling and transport, contributes an estimated 7 percent to the New Zealand economy, as measured by GDP.

While the dairy industry is predominantly based in the North Island, with approximately three-quarters of the milking herd located there, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry estimates that about 40 percent of the recent increases in cow numbers have taken place in the South Island.

"The growth in South Island dairying has occurred largely through conversions of sheep-and-beef and cropping farms in response to low land prices, high per-cow production, and access to irrigation," says Mr Wharton.

In contrast to the growing dairy herd, the sheep population has declined from 45.7 million in 1999 to 39.2 million head. MAF estimates that the dairy cattle proportion of total stock units* increased markedly since 1999. Dairy cattle now comprise 36 percent of total stock units compared to 29 percent in 1999. This increase has been mainly at the expense of sheep, which have fallen from 43 percent of stock units in 1999 to 37 percent in 2002.

The 2002 Agricultural Production Census is the first to be held since 1994 and provides important information on what has been happening in the agricultural, forestry and horticultural sectors in recent years. Final statistics from the census will be released in May of this year, including detailed data at regional and district level, and additional information on farm types, forestry and land use.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news