Data from B+LNZ’s annual stock number survey revealed that sheep numbers increased 2.6%, in the 12 months leading up to 30 June 2012, while beef cattle numbers increased 1% in the 12 months leading up to 30 June 2012. This was a considerable improvement on last year, which saw sheep and beef numbers plummet by 4.4% and 2.6% respectively.
B+LNZ Economic Services director, Rob Davison, said that early indications suggest the 2012 lamb crop could be as much as 4% (1m lambs) up on last spring.
“Ewe condition is good across the country. Scanning results for most regions show in-lamb ewes are carrying more multiple lambs, with the general comment that scanning percentages are up 5-10% on last year,” he said. “All we need now is an excellent spring to ensure a high survival of the lambs born.”
For cattle, recovery came from the North Island, where numbers rose by 3.6% overall, with increases in both the beef cow herd and weaner cattle numbers. The South Island beef herd, in contrast, declined by 5.7% as a result of early slaughtering and pressure for alternative land use.