8 Dec 2009

Dairy production recovers from drought

4:21 pm on 8 December 2009

Dairy production has made a strong recovery from the 2007-08 drought.

Newly released statistics show milk solids processed last season increased by almost 10%, from the 16 billion litres of milk produced on farms.

Production on a per herd, hectare and cow basis was also up on the previous season.

The number of dairy cows grew by 6% last season.

The total number of dairy herds increased by about 180 to more than 11,500, bucking a 30 year trend.

The average herd size also grew by 15 to 366.

More than three quarters of the herds are in the North island but the South Island has bigger herds and farms.

In real terms, the cost of buying dairy farms has doubled since 2002 to more than $35,000 per hectare, reaching an average price of more than $3.25 million in 2008.