12 Aug 2010

Beef numbers decline

3:22 pm on 12 August 2010

Three years of drought and an increase in farm conversions to dairy, have taken their toll on beef numbers.

Beef and Lamb New Zealand's Economic Service says the beef herd has dropped by nearly 400,000 to below 4 million over the past three years.

Executive director Rob Davison says cattle numbers may stabilise as the beef breeding herd is starting to recover.

However, he warns the final judge on whether beef numbers stabilise this year will be the weather this spring, during lambing and calving.