More than 1000 dairy herds in this district
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.