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High forecast milk payout eases drought costs

Season to date production statistics from around the country are starting to come in, and they’re showing gains across the board for all regions – though recent dry weather in some areas may start to affect those figures.

The Bay of Plenty, in particular, is showing big increases, up 9 percent across the region on last years’ production.

Dairy NZ Chief Executive, Tim Mackle, says rural communities will be boosted by the news of last week’s payout increases, as the extra money will be spent where it’s most needed.

“Milk production across the country is looking great for most areas, with Bay of Plenty in particular up nine percent on the drought reduced production in 2012-13.

“Production in Canterbury is also seven percent up on last year, but some of this extra milk is from more cows being milked.

“This increase in the milkprice announced last week will give a well-needed boost to community confidence particularly for some areas around the country experiencing drought-like conditions.”

Mr Mackle says the conditions at the moment around much of the country are causing all sorts of headaches, and the extra money from the payout should help to get some farmers through a rough patch.

“Farmers will be feeling confident and able to invest in infrastructure on their farms, may also retire debt but others may be forced to use the extra cash to manage their way through the dry conditions.

“The extremely dry conditions are patchy with the Waikato, west coast of Northland, Gisborne, Wanganui-Rangitikei, Wairarapa, Marlborough, Hurunui, South Canterbury and Central Otago worst affected.

Tim says the dry conditions are particularly severe in parts of the Waikato.

Pastures have browned off and pasture covers are very low.

Farmers are having to purchase additional supplementary feed to be able to continue milking.

“But generally the story is still one of a bumper season with production for the entire country across all milk companies up six percent on last year.

“For Bay of Plenty dairy farmers it’s a match made in heaven – bumper production with great growing conditions and a record payout.

“All we need now is some rain in those dry areas to make it a truly record season for most of our dairy regions,â€

Production in other areas was slightly more modest, with increases in the lower single figures for Waikato, Northland and Southland.

Milk production % increase on last year to end of February


Milk production *





Bay of Plenty




Lower North Island


West Coast






New Zealand



‘* Milk production to end February on same period last year

– Drew Chappell/Country TV


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