Partners Networking to Advance South Island Dairying

South Island Dairying

South Island dairying within the NZ dairying industry
  • Dairy farming - NZ’s largest single industry.
  • 96% of New Zealand’s milk production is exported.
  • New Zealand’s 12,000 dairy farmers work with or employ another 30,000 people on farm.
  • Thousands more are employed in associated businesses and in dairy factories.
  • Production – Over 1.83 billion kilograms of milk solids processed from 20.7 billion litres milk.
  • Population  –  NZ Average herd size 413;   11,927 herds;   4.9 m cows (2013/14 season)
  • SI average herd size 630 cows; 3,068 herds;  1,932,556 cows.
  • South Island dairy production – fastest growing, now represents approximately 39% of total NZ milk solids production, from 23.8% of NZ’s herds and 35.8% of NZ’s cows.
  • Overall the South Island has larger farms, larger herds, higher production per cow and per hectare. 
Nelson/Marlborough
239
88,665
31,383 371 131 2.83
West Coast 372
150,363
68,611 404 184 2.19
North Canterbury 808
658,282
187,468 815 232 3.51
South Canterbury 293
233,561
67,637 797 231 3.45
Otago 414
251,462
81,566 607 197 3.08
Southland 942
550,223
198,417 584 211 2.77
Total or averages 3,068
1,932,556
635,083 630 207 3.04
             
Total New Zealand 11,927
4,922,806
1,716,464 413 144 2.87

 

Nelson/Marlborough 31,955,762 133,706 360 1,018
West Coast 53,718,300 144,404 357 783
North Canterbury 261,649,961 323,824 397 1,396
South Canterbury 91,462,353 312,158 392 1,352
Otago 96,009,960 231,908 382 1,177
Southland 223,911,600 237,698 407 1,128
Total or averages 758,707,935 247,297 393 1,195
Change from previous season 587,702,104 210,797 350 1,030
New Zealand 1,824,971,520 153,012 371 1,063

 (adapted from NZ Dairy Statistics 2013/2014, LIC-DairyNZ)

Canterbury and Southland have been the areas of largest growth over the last 10 years. The traditional dairying areas around the cities/large towns are experiencing land use change, primarily to lifestyle blocks. Many of these farmers are relocating their businesses to growth areas, and increasing the scale of their operation. The South Island has a significant number of large corporate farming businesses.