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

Related tags: Beef, Livestock

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: Business, Meat

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