Record year for New Zealand dairy production

The numbers are out and they confirm New Zealand had a record year for dairy production. Livestock Improvement Corporation and Dairy NZ say milk production in the 2011-2012 season was 11.3 percent above the previous year. Production per cow hit a record 364 kilograms of milk solids and milk production per hectare exceeded 1000 kg for the first time hitting 1028.

The New Zealand dairy herd added 105,500 cows to total 4.6 million head. The number of herds increased by 63 to 11,798 and the average herd size increased by 7 to 393 cows. A quarter of all of the herds in New Zealand have 500 or more cows and 10 percent have 750 or more.

The type of cow is changing, a decade ago 54 percent of the cows in the country were Holstein-Friesians, that is down to 40 percent as a Holstein-Friesian-Jersey cross gains popularity and now makes up 41 percent of the herd.

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