Story: Farming in the economy

Dairy cattle numbers

Dairy cattle numbers

The number of dairy cattle (including animals not in milk, and bulls for breeding) increased steadily in the early years of the 20th century as mechanisation and transport improved. Numbers remained relatively static from the depression years of the 1930s through the Second World War, until the mid-1970s. Between 1975 and 2005 increased fertiliser use, better pasture species, and expansion of dairying in the South Island all contributed to a steady increase in dairy cattle numbers. By 2005 dairying brought in about 20% of New Zealand’s total export earnings.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Source: New Zealand official yearbook, 1896–2006

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How to cite this page:

Robert Peden, 'Farming in the economy - Times of change, 1920 to 1950', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/graph/17632/dairy-cattle-numbers (accessed 22 October 2021)

Story by Robert Peden, published 24 Nov 2008