NEW ZEALAND – A 2.8 per cent contraction in dairy cow numbers has shrunk New Zealand's dairy herd to 6.51 million head.
According to statistics from levy board Beef and Lamb New Zealand, this is the first decline in a decade.
Lower milk prices and strong beef prices have been blamed for encouraging the slaughter of poorly performing milkers.
Consequently, overall cattle slaughter is forecast to drop 8.5 per cent this season (year ending September 2016).
However, weights are expected to increase, averaging 250 kilos per head, meaning an overall beef production drop of 5.3 per cent.
TheCattleSite News Desk