B+LNZ reports steady growth in cattle

By Ashley Williams contact

- Last updated on GMT

New Zealand beef producers retaining younger cattle has hiked up cow numbers
New Zealand beef producers retaining younger cattle has hiked up cow numbers
New Zealand beef producers retaining younger cattle are among the factors helping the steady rise in cow herds, according to Beef and Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ).

B+LNZ’s annual stock number survey from its economic service revealed New Zealand’s beef cattle herd has increased by 1.9% to 3.7m head over the past year.

The organisation said the growth in figures was due to a lift in weaner cattle in the Marlborough-Canterbury regions.

Other results from the survey revealed the decline in the sheep flock was slowed by a lift in hoggets as farmers responded positively to strong prices and good grass growth leading into winter.

Hogget numbers increased by 2.5% to 9.1 million, with ewe hoggets retained to replenish declining ewe flocks and trade lamb purchases from the Southland area due to dry summer conditions, according to the survey.

B+LNZ’s economic service chief economist Andrew Burtt said the number of breeding ewes fell in all regions of New Zealand – and by 2.1% overall.

The number of breeding ewes decreased 3.5% to 8.3 million in the North Island, while South Island numbers dropped 0.8% to 9 million,” ​said Burtt. “The decrease largely reflects farmers taking advantage of strong prices for mutton. There was also a preference – particularly in the older farmer demographic – towards less labour-intensive livestock options for sheep​.”

B+LNZ are currently weighing up feedback​ from farmers regarding the consultation proposal to hike up sheepmeat and beef levies. The organisation is expected to make a decision imminently on the outcome of the levy proposal, with farmers being notified in the middle of August.

Related topics: Livestock, Beef, New Zealand

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