More than 1000 dairy herds in this district

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

Mata­mata Pi­ako District is the district with the sec­ond high­est num­ber of herds – 1004 – ac­cord­ing to the 2011-2012 New Zealand Dairy Statis­tics publi­ca­tion re­leased last Fri­day.

The publi­ca­tion stated that last year’s dairy sea­son will go down in his­tory as the most pro­duc­tive on record thanks to very favourable pas­ture growth con­di­tions.

In ad­di­tion, ac­cord­ing to the publi­ca­tion, New Zealand’s milk pro­duc­tion leapt 11.3 per cent and the av­er­age pro­duc­tion per cow reached a new record of 364 kilo­grams of milk­solids.

More cows be­ing milked re­sulted in dairy com­pa­nies pro­cess­ing 19.1 bil­lion litres of milk con­tain­ing 1.69 bil­lion kilo­grams of milk solids in the year end­ing May 31.

Milk pro­duc­tion per hectare of 1028kg sur­passed the 1000 kg mark for the first time.

The milk pro­duc­tion in­crease was the first dou­ble-digit in­crease since 2000-2001 and was due to a lift in milk­solids pro­duc­tion per cow (80 per cent) and more cows milked (20 per cent).

Pro­duc­tion per cow in­creased by nine per cent to an av­er­age of 364kg milk­solids – made up of 206kg of milk­fat and 158kg protein.

Most re­gions recorded dou­ble-digit in­creases in milk­solids pro­duced per hectare, with the North Is­land av­er­ag­ing 12 per cent and the South Is­land av­er­ag­ing 10.1 per cent.

In terms of breed av­er­ages, a trend of in­creas­ing hol­stein friesian/jersey cross­bred cows con­tin­ues, with this breed com­pris­ing 41 per cent of the na­tional herd in 2011-2012. A decade ago it was only 23 per cent.

Hol­stein-friesian cows have de­clined from 54 per cent in 2001-2002 to 40 per cent in 2011-2012, now slightly be­low the num­ber of cross­bred cows.

For all four breeds, six-year-old cows pro­duced more milk­solids (kg) than any other age group.

Cow num­bers milked in­creased by 105,500, an in­crease of 2.3 per cent to 4.6 mil­lion cows.

To­tal num­ber of herds in­creased by 63 to 11,798 – this was the fourth con­sec­u­tive sea­son of small in­creases.

Herds run un­der sharemilk­ing agree­ments eased to 34.2 per cent – 4034 herds – in 2011-2012. Within this 18.8 per cent of herds, or 2218 are run as 50-50 agree­ments.

The av­er­age herd size was 393, up seven cows on the pre­vi­ous sea­son, which was as­sisted by the ex­pan­sion of the dairy herd in the South Is­land. The na­tional av­er­age herd size was only 271 cows 10 years ago.

All up, 10 per cent of herds have 750 or more cows, 25 per cent of herds had 500 or more cows, con­trast­ing with a decade ago when only nine per cent had 500 or more cows. The most com­mon herd size re­mains in the range of 200 to 249 cows, com­pris­ing 14.5 per cent of herds.

Re­gion­ally, 25 per cent of all dairy cows are lo­cated in the Waikato re­gion, fol­lowed by North Can­ter­bury on 12 per cent, South­land on 11 per cent and Taranaki on 10 per cent. This is the first time South­land has sur­passed Taranaki in cow num­bers.

The South Is­land av­er­age herd size of 596 cows is in­creas­ing faster than North Is­land – an av­er­age of 327 cows.

South Is­land farms are, on av­er­age, larger than those in the North Is­land based on farm area and cow num­bers.

In all, 1.7 mil­lion, or 37 per cent of all dairy cows are lo­cated in the South Is­land and the South Is­land ac­counts for 39 per cent of New Zealand’s to­tal milk­solids pro­duc­tion.

South Is­land farms have, on av­er­age, higher per herd pro­duc­tion than herds in the North Is­land, with South Can­ter­bury record­ing the high­est av­er­age herd pro­duc­tion at 307,611kg of milk­solids. This re­flects a com­bi­na­tion of larger herd sizes, a high stock­ing rate, and high rate of milk­solids per cow.

Hawkes Bay recorded the high­est av­er­age herd pro­duc­tion in the North Is­land with 230,022kg of milk­solids, re­flect­ing large herd sizes.

North Can­ter­bury recorded the high­est av­er­age milk­solids per hectare in the South Is­land (1361kg), and the Waikato had the high­est av­er­age milk­solids pro­duc­tion per hectare in the North Is­land (1057kg).

South Taranaki con­tin­ues to be the district with the most herds (1040) fol­lowed by Mata­mataPi­ako (1004).

A record 3.36 mil­lion cows were herd tested and 3.4 mil­lion cows were put to AB in 2011-2012.

The per­cent­age of to­tal herds and the per­cent­age of to­tal cows us­ing herd test­ing con­tin­ues to in­crease, 73.5 per cent and 72.6 per cent re­spec­tively.

The num­ber of year­lings to AB in­creased to 177,000 from 148,500 in the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

The av­er­age so­matic cell count dropped to 204,000 cells/millil­itre in 2011-2012, the low­est level since 2000-2001.

Dairy farm land prices have been rel­a­tively steady for the past two sea­sons.

The weighted av­er­age sale price of dairy farms ($4.53 mil­lion) in­creased 8.7 per cent in 2011-2012.

The weighted av­er­age sale price per hectare of $32,123 is sim­i­lar to the pre­vi­ous two sea­sons.

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