Growing things

Cows up, sheep down

Statistics New Zealand’s just released its figures for New Zealand’s agricultural production to June 2009.

cow - black

The overall message? Dairy cows are up 5% to almost 6 million, with a particularly big increase in the South Island.  On the other hand, sheep are down 5% to a little over 32 million: half their peak 1982 level of 70.3 million, and now at levels last seen in 1948.

Happily for wine lovers, we’re also increasing the amount of land we’re using to grow wine grapes – a 13% rise since 2007, to 33,400 hectares.

Other interesting numbers? Beef cattle numbers are relatively stable, while deer numbers are dropping.  We’re also not replanting (in terms of forestry) as much as we were last year.  However, we did produce more wheat and barley and maize than in 2008 (yay), and kiwifruit plantings and exports are up as well.

For a lot more detail, have a look at the full release below.  The numbers themselves can be found on the website, for anyone who might like to play with them.

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