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NZ Cereal Grain Production Nearly 1million Tonnes

New Zealand growers produced 994,000 tonnes of wheat, barley, oats and maize grain from 112,000 hectares in the 2020 harvest, according to new Agricultural Production data from Statistics NZ.

Land under cereal grain production in NZ covers around twice the area of Lake Taupo. Over 77 percent of the crops are grown in the South Island and are concentrated in the vital Canterbury province.


For the year ending 30 June 2020, 45,200 hectares of wheat was harvested, roughly the same as the 5 year average. A total of 448,100 tonnes was harvested, equating to a yield per hectare of 9.9 tonnes.


In the year ended 30 June 2020, 45,800 hectares of grain barley was harvested, down 13 percent on the 5 year average. The total yield was 333,600 tonnes, or 7.28 tonnes per hectare, compared with the 5 year average of 6.98t/h. Canterbury accounted for nearly two-thirds of the total area harvested. Barley is commonly used for stock feed and for malt used in beer production.

Maize grain

The area of maize grain harvested was 14,800 hectares for the year ending 30 June 2020, 15% down on the 17,350 ha 5year average. Nearly all maize grain is harvested in the North Island. The main growing regions are Waikato, Gisborne, Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay.

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