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Milk Floods Arrive After Last Season's Drought

26 August 2008

NEW ZEALAND - Dairy giant Fonterra is anticipating record milk production this season on the back of last season's soul-destroying drought.

And Southland's 90 new dairy conversions are being hailed as a major contributor to the industry's growth, writes Diane Bishop of The Southland Times.

Fonterra's general manager of commercial milk supply Jason Minkhorst said milk production was projected to increase 9 percent this year from 1.2 billion to 1.3 billion kilograms of milk solids for the 2008-09 season. "It's shaping up to be a good season.

"The payout is strong and we're seeing some phenomenal growth in the dairy industry," he told The Southland Times.

Mr Minkhorst attributed 4 percent of the increase to real milk growth, half of which was from the 300 new dairy conversions nationwide and the balance from existing suppliers expanding production.

About 1 percent of that growth was coming from Southland and the rest from Canterbury and the Central North Island.

"Southland is a very important growth area for Fonterra," he said.

The other 5 percent increase in production was being attributed to drought recovery.

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