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Larger Herd Means More Milk After Bumper Season

18 December 2012

NEW ZEALAND - The number of dairy cattle in New Zealand continues to surge, and is up by more than a million since 2007, according to Statistics New Zealand.

At 6.5 million, there are 1.2 million more dairy cattle in 2012 than in 2007.

"Dairy numbers have been booming in the last five years. The extra production equates to about 370 2-litre bottles of milk a year for everyone in the country," agriculture statistics manager Hamish Hill said.

These provisional numbers are from the latest five-yearly agricultural production census.

"There have been some real changes in the balance of agriculture in New Zealand since the last census. Dairy's obviously been a big mover, and the sheep number has fallen. Kiwifruit has been holding steady despite the adverse effects of Psa disease," Mr Hill said.

In 2007, there were nine sheep for every New Zealander, but in 2012 this had dropped to seven. The current sheep flock is 31.2 million.

The agricultural production census involved farmers, horticulturists, and foresters in New Zealand.

The census was conducted in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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