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Pervious Page  STATISTICS
 
New Zealand's Beef Cattle Industry
  • Based on a national herd of around 5 million cattle
  • 1.5 million beef breeding cows in New Zealand
  • The majority of beef produced is exported
  • North America dominates beef exports, most exported beef is destined for the processing industry
  • Beef cattle production systems are pasture based
  • Cattle from the dairy sector are an integral part of the beef industry

Beef cattle in New Zealand

  • 1.457 million beef breeding cows in New Zealand (30 June 2002 - provisional estimate)
  • 5.030 total beef cattle in New Zealand (30 June 2002 - provisional estimate)
  • Breeding cows make up 30.3% of all beef cattle
  • 64,000 registered beef cows in New Zealand (1997 estimate)
  • Dairy industry bred cattle contributes up to 55% of beef produced comprising Friesian bulls, dairy x beef cattle and cull dairy cows
  • A little under three-quarters (73%) of the national beef herd is in the North Island

Table 3. Livestock numbers in New Zealand for the year ended 30 June.
Number of animals for the year ended June 30. (millions)
 
1975
1999
2000
2001
2002
Breeding ewes
41.2
30.3
30.8
30.3
29.9
Total sheep
56.4
45.7
45.4
44.0
44.7
Breeding cows
2.3
1.45
1.45
1.47
1.53
Total beef cattle
6.3
4.64
4.67
4.79
5.03
Dairy cows
2.4
3.43
3.36
3.48
3.55
Total dairy cattle
3.0
4.3
4.35
4.49
4.58

Source: New Zealand Meat Statistics
The Economic Service

Figure 1. Long term trend in beef breeding cow numbers (millions) in New Zealand for the year ended June 30.
beef breeding cow numbers

Source: New Zealand Meat Statistics
The Economic Service

Figure 2. Long term trend in number of beef cattle of weaning age (millions) in New Zealand for the year ended June 30.
Number of cattle of weaning age

Source: New Zealand Meat Statistics.
The Economic Service

Figure 3. Long term trend in number of other beef cattle (millions) in New Zealand for the year ended June 30.
Number of other beef cattle

Source: New Zealand Meat Statistics
The Economic Service

Figure 4. Long term trend in total number of beef cattle (millions) in New Zealand for the year ended June 30.
Total number of beef cattle

Source: New Zealand Meat Statistics
The Economic Service

Figure 5. Twenty two year trend in calving rate for beef cows in New Zealand for the year ended June 30.
Calving rate

Source: New Zealand Meat Statistics
The Economic Service
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