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Bullish Growth in Beef Cattle Numbers

16 December 2019

NEW ZEALAND - Beef cattle numbers increased strongly in 2019, rising for the third year in a row, while the number of dairy cattle dipped slightly, Stats NZ reports.

Provisional figures from the 2019 agricultural production survey showed beef cattle numbers rose 5 percent, to 3.9 million in June 2019.

Dairy cattle numbers were almost unchanged this year, down about 31,000 to 6.4 million. Dairy cattle numbers fell in both 2017 and 2018 and were down from their highest-ever level of 6.7 million in 2014.

The milking herd (dairy cows and heifers in milk or calf) was also relatively unchanged at 4.9 million compared with 5.0 million in 2018.

"Dairy products remain the top goods export for New Zealand. The value of milk powder, butter, and cheese exports for the year ended June 2019 was $15.1 billion, up 6.7 percent from the year earlier," agricultural production statistics manager Stuart Pitts said.

"In the year to June 2019, the rise in beef cattle numbers also coincides with a lift in exports of meat, up 9 percent to $7.7 billion. Beef exports, both fresh and frozen meat, were worth more than $3.3 billion."

There were 69,587 cattle culled due to Mycoplasma bovis in 2019, and there have been 126,751 cattle culled in total since the eradication programme began. The Ministry for Primary Industries’ latest situation report, updated 4 December 2019, has further detail.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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