The average output per cow in New Zealand is around 270 lb of butterfat actually supplied to the factory, and is rising slowly. The average output per acre is not known, but the great bulk of national production would come from farms producing in the range of 150 to 250 lb. Good farmers on favoured land achieve outputs of 300 lb and more per acre. Specialised farms of 100 acres carrying, say, 70 cows and producing in the vicinity of 20,000 lb of butterfat are not uncommonly run as family units employing no permanent hired labour. Over recent years notable increases in economic production have occurred on many farms, due in the main to the increased use of machines, improvements in farm layout and milking-shed design, changes in technology such as the development of improved cattle-breeding techniques, and the adoption of labour-saving practices like non-stripping and tanker collection of milk. Progress depends not only on continued development of improved techniques but also on overcoming the many problems of adjustment entailed in their economic application to individual farms.
by James Nixon Hodgson, B.AGR.SC., Senior Lecturer in Farm Management, Massey University of Manawatu.
- Annual Reports, Department of Agriculture
- Annual Reports, New Zealand Dairy Board
- Reports on Farm Production Statistics of New Zealand