RSS
Twitter
Linked In
News In
News
Linked In
RSS
https://twitter.com/Agrimoney
http://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/Industry+Sectors/Agriculture

You are viewing 1 of your 2 complimentary articles.

Register now to receive full access.

Already registered?

Login | Join us now

NZ dairy herd grows 10 times as fast as human one

Twitter Linkedin

New Zealand's dairy cattle population is increasing nearly 10 times as fast as it human one, in part at the expense of sheep farming, and creating a ready market for feed grains.

Official data on Monday showed New Zealand's human residents increasing at the rate of about 2,300 a month in the year to the end of March, the slowest pace in percentage terms in more than a decade and fuelled by emigration and the impact on the death rate of an ageing population.

However, the dairy herd is rising at the rate of nearly 2,200 a month, topped 6m head in the year to last June, outnumbering humans by 1.4:1, Statistics New Zealand data showed.

"More cattle were kept for milk production and future replacement – a result of the high milk solid payout and strong international demand for dairy products," Statistics New Zealand said.

Fonterra, New Zealand's biggest company, and the world's top dairy exporter, paid its farmer members a record NZ$8.25 per kilogramme of milk solids in the year to last July, equivalent to an average of about NZ$1m ($780,000) apiece.

Cattle vs sheep

The expansion in New Zealand's dairy industry has come in part at the expense of other livestock sectors, such as sheep, for which the country was once renowned.

New Zealand livestock numbers 2011 and (change on year)

Sheep: 31.1m head, (-4.3%)Dairy cattle: 6.17m head, (+4.4%)includes milking herd of 4.82m head, (+2.9%)Beef cattle: 3.8m head, (-2.6%)Deer: 1.1m head, (-3.0%)Source: Statistics New Zealand

The decline in sheep numbers was led by South Island, some parts of which were "most severely affected by snow and storms during the 2010 spring lambing season", Statistics New Zealand said.

However, South Island is also accounting for an increasing proportion of the dairy herd, of 31%, compared with 23% in 2006.

Food vs feed

The data also showed a continuation in a long-term decline in beef cattle numbers, down 102,000 at 3.8m head.

"Over half the decrease came from a reduced number of breeding cows and heifers, as a result of increased slaughtering, Statistics New Zealand said.

Deer numbers fell too, by 34,000 to 1.1m head, as slaughter rose "due to farmers receiving continuing high prices for venison".

However, the harvested area of corn rose by 5.2%, and of barley by 24%, as demand from largely-dairy livestock farmers encouraged higher prices.

"In 2011, more grain was grown for stock feed," Statistics New Zealand said, noting that barley had paid "well relative to other main crops".

Indeed, arable farmers showed less interest in feeding the country's human population. "The area for bread and milling [grain] decreased."

By Agrimoney.com

Twitter Linkedin
Related Stories

Corn prices 'may rally' - thanks to hedge funds' record selldown

Commentators raise alarm over hedge funds record net short in corn. Will speculators keep closing short bets on wheat and sugar?

Morning markets: India move sends palm oil tumbling. Fund data weaken wheat

A week that will bring Thansgiving to the US starts on a somewhat soft note in Chicago, and a definitely negative one in Kuala Lumpur

How Trump has made his mark on US agriculture

One year after Donald Trump won the race to the White House, John Wilkes looks at how the billionaire businessman has put his stamp on agriculture.

Weekly grain, oilseeds market view from Europe

What does Vivergo ethanol plant shutdown mean for UK wheat?... Eu wheat export prospects... EU rapeseed imports...
Home | About | RSS | Commodities | Companies | Markets | Legal disclaimer | Privacy policy | Contact

© Agrimoney.com 2017

Agrimoney.com and Agrimoney are trademarks of Agrimoney Ltd
Agrimoney is part of the Briefing Media group
Agrimoney Ltd is registered in England & Wales. Registered number: 09239069