19 Nov 2015

Dairy cows producing more milk than 10 years ago

10:01 am on 19 November 2015

New Zealand dairy cows produced on average 4235 litres of milk last season, which is 18 percent more than 10 years ago, according to the New Zealand Dairy Statistics 2014-15.

Organic Jersey cow on a Rongotea farm.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The statistics are published annually by industry body DairyNZ and herd improvement co-operative LIC.

In 2014-15 there were just over 5 million cows producing milk across the country, up from 4.9 million last season.

This season dairy companies processed just over 21 billion litres of milk containing 1.89 billion kilograms of milksolids.

This was a record level of milk production and 56 percent higher on a milksolids basis than 10 years ago.

The average New Zealand cow lives in a herd of 419 cows, and has 146 hectares to graze. Most cows live in the North Island, but two million dairy cows now call the South Island home.

And the cow you are most likely to see in a paddock is a Holstein-Friesian/Jersey crossbreed, as they make up just over 45 percent of the New Zealand herd.

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