25 Feb 2009

Cut in US dairy herd numbers

6:58 am on 25 February 2009

Dairy producers in the United States are reducing herd numbers to limit the amount of milk on the market.

The National Dairy Producers' Federation says an audit of its latest round of herd retirements show 50,000 cows were removed from production.

The was done under a programme introduced in 2003. The federation has announced it plans to fund the scheme for another two years.

Although this is a miniscule amount compared with the number of dairy cows in the United States, New Zealand special agricultural trade envoy Alistair Polson says compensating farmers to get rid of their animals is not the right way to improve prices.

The federation also wants to re-introduce export subsidies through a dairy export incentive programme.

Mr Polson thinks it's likely the United States government will resurrect dairy export incentive programme at some point. He says New Zealand must keep up political pressure about this on all levels.