The number of dairy cattle has dropped for the first time in a decade according to provisional figures from Statistics New Zealand's 2015 Agricultural Production Survey.
Latest figures show a total of 6.4 million dairy cattle at the end of June 2015.
Statistics business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said both the national dairy milking herd and the replacement herd had declined.
"We have 300,000 fewer dairy cattle than in 2014, which is a reversal of the trend of increases in the last 10 years. Both the national dairy milking herd and the replacement herd have declined.
"This comes at a time of falling international prices and lower milk solid payouts."
The survey found the number of sheep was down 300,000 from 2014 to 29.5 million, while deer and beef also decreased.