23 Nov 2012

Grass growth triggers record milk production

9:20 pm on 23 November 2012

Exceptional pasture growth helped New Zealand's cows to give more milk last season than ever before.

Industry figures released on Friday show the 2011-2012 season was the best on record.

New Zealand dairy companies processed more than 19 billion litres of milk last year, a jump of 11.3% from the previous season.

Strong grass growth meant cows produced an average of 364kg of milksolids.

Not only did individual cows produce more milk, on average, but there were more animals to milk.

Rapid expansion of the dairy sector in recent years has boosted the size of the national dairy herd, and numbers jumped 2.3% this season to 4.6 million cows.

The average dairy farm is now milking 393 cows, while 12 years ago the average herd size was 251.