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New Zealand milk production dampened

Staff Writer |
Whilst the USDA estimates New Zealand’s 2017 production to be up 1.3% on 2016, poor weather conditions are throwing this forecast into doubt, AHDB reports.

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Production up until September has been 1.2% above the same period in 2016, following an exceptional March and April, but as we enter New Zealand’s critical spring flush there are doubts about whether this momentum can be sustained.

Around half of annual New Zealand milk production happens from September to December.

Production this September was the lowest since 2012 and AgriHQ are expecting this to continue into October, the peak month of production.

Ongoing heavy rainfall and low temperatures have hampered pasture growth at a critical time in the milk year and wetter west coast regions have only now started to recover.

Farmers have offset poor pasture production with supplementary feed but many lack the facilities and finances to make up a large portion of diet with purchased feed.

Fonterra, which collects 85% of New Zealand milk, recently cut its forecast for growth in 2017/18 to 0.9%.

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