Home' Northern Outlook : December 22nd 2012 Contents 11
CENTRAL SOUTH ISLAND FARMER
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Dairy production, exports boom
But sheep numbers fall
COUNTING SHEEP: There are now only seven sheep to every New Zealander, compared to nine in 2007. Photo: FAIRFAX
Their extra production
equates to about 370 2-litre
bottles of milk a year for
everyone in the country.
DAIRY COW numbers continue to
surge -- up 5 per cent in the past
year to 6.5 million -- while sheep
numbers appear to have stabilised
around 31 million.
According to the latest five-
yearly agricultural production
census, dairy cattle numbers are
up more more than a million since
the last survey in 2007, while
sheep have fallen by 7.3 million.
In 2007, there were nine sheep
for every New Zealander, but in
2012 this has dropped to seven.
Strong international demand
for dairy products has propelled
the cow increase, according to
Statistics NZ agriculture manager
Their extra production equates
to about 370 2-litre bottles of milk
a year for everyone in the
country, he said.
The milksolids price increased
from $4.05 a kilogram in January
2007 to a record high of $7.95 in
April 2011. Since then, the milk-
solid price had dropped, although
it is still relatively high at $6.
The value of dairy exports --
milk powder, butter, cheese, and
casein -- had also shot up during
the last five years, with exports
increasing 72 per cent to $12.5 bil-
lion since 2007. Meanwhile, disap-
pointing farm-gate prices for
sheep meat between 2007 and
2010, and competition for farm
land from the expanding dairy
industry, had eroded sheep
numbers, Mr Hill said.
The loss of land to dairy was
also reflected in a reduction in
beef cattle numbers of 3.7 million,
down 15 per cent from 2007.
Forestry harvesting continued
to outnumber replanting in the
past year, even though increased
numbers of trees were planted.
During the year, 41,600 hec-
tares of exotic forest were
replanted, which was 19 per cent
more than the 35,100ha replanted
At the same time, 49,600ha
were harvested, up 5 per cent on
2011, under strong international
demand for New Zealand forestry
New planting was 11,600ha,
4400ha more than in 2011, largely
due to schemes such as the Affor-
estation Grant Scheme and the
East Coast Forestry Project.
The wine sector had also experi-
enced phenomenal growth during
the last 30 years despite a more
recent slow-down, Mr Hill said.
The area planted in wine grapes
in 2012 was more than six times
the area planted in 1982.
Shareholders weigh up
WORKING FORCE: A Farmlands-CRT
hybrid would have a workforce of
AN EXPECTED $38 million of
savings and increased revenue
could result in the first three
years from combining the rural
service co-operatives CRT and
Farmlands Trading Society.
Farmer shareholders will cast
the final vote in mid-February on
whether a merger of the two co-
operatives goes ahead to form a $2
The merged company would
rank among the country s top
farm supply businesses along with
with PGG Wrightson and the
The CRT-Farmlands hybrid
would have a customer base of
more than 54,000 members, a
workforce of 1000-plus staff, oper-
ate 47 stores in the North Island
and 31 in the South Island and,
based on recent trading, would
have sales revenue in excess of $2
CRT chairman Don McFarlane
said linking two co-operatives
operating in either the South
Island or North Island would pro-
vide national and commercial
leverage and this had been con-
firmed by independent profes-
A series of regional meetings
with shareholders will be held
before the mid-February voting.
To proceed a 75 per cent
majority is needed. Shareholders
receive one vote for each share
they own. A cap of 15,000 shares
is in place at CRT so voting is not
lopsided by larger shareholders.
Mr McFarlane said the merger
was a knit rather than an over-
lap with no plans for stores to be
A merger would ensure share-
holders own a business with scale
to compete in a specialised field,
The merger would allow the
Farmlands horticulture brand
(Skeltons) to be rolled out in the
South Island. Fairfax NZ News
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