Kiwi farmers milk production up 3% in December

Fonterra’s New Zealand milk collection in December was up 3% on December 2013 according to latest figures from the global dairy giant.

It says milk collection in New Zealand for the seven months to December 31 reached 972m kgMS, 4% higher than the same period last season.

However, Fonterra does say that the rate of growth is slowing, largely driven by reduced South Island production.

South Island collection in December reached 76m kgMS, 1% higher than December last season.

Fonterra says growing conditions have improved in Southland after a cold start to the season.

However, it says dry conditions are impacting pasture growth across the east coast of the South Island and farmers will be watching this closely as irrigation restrictions may be put in place.

North Island collection in December reached 125m kg MS, 4% higher than December last season, it says.

Weather conditions brought some rain to many dairy regions in the North Island, supporting grass growth and increased milk production.

Australia

Fonterra says milk collection in Australia for the six months to December 31 reached 71m kgMS, 6% higher than the same period last season.

However, it also says milk collection across Australia in December reached 12.5m kgMS, 3% lower than December last season.

Fonterra says following a strong start to the season, production has slowed as dry conditions impact pasture growth across most of south east Australia.

It says supplementary feeding has increased due to low pasture availability and irrigation in Tasmania has commenced earlier than last year.

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