Latest DCANZ data shows milk output rising 4.3% over same month a year ago, but declines expected through the rest of the 2012/13 season

Latest DCANZ data shows milk output rising 4.3% over same month a year ago, but declines expected through the rest of the 2012/13 season

Despite the onset of a widespread drought, New Zealand milk production defied forecasts by increasing again in January, according to the latest data published by DCANZ.

Expectations of a drop in New Zealand milk output have been a large boost to world dairy prices, which hit a 21-month high this month at the GlobalDairyTrade auction, with values supported by expectations of a drop in European output too in the first half of the year.

Milk production rose to 2,302,000 tonnes in January, a record for any January, and bringing the production for the past 12 months to 20,611,000 tonnes, also a record.

This must have even surprised Fonterra because they warned in February that "dry weather conditions, particularly in the North Island, in mid-December and January resulted in a slowdown in milk supply growth".

The January output was 4.3% ahead of the same month a year ago, although the monthly rate of gain has been declining since November when it was 7.7% ahead.

No-one expects production for the rest of the season which ends in May to be setting any records however. The drought impacts on pasture and the limited supplies of bought-in feed will have lasting impact because the dry conditions are across the whole country.

There is also likely to be a rise in dairy cow slaughter rates as farmers downsize herds in response to much lower carrying capacities.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Well, there you have it! Not so bad after all... Boots on on the Ground, works!!
Now, what's a bear to do? Oh Pooh, what shall we do?
Don't wolly silly, Monday coming!

Well for now farming is outside my area of knowledge but my milk doesn't even make it to the vat from the cow before I collect it.
On Monday I was told they are drying them off at the end of the month. That means three months dry instead of the usual six weeks. Surely that has got to hurt? The month before when I collected I was told 600L per day is about right for summer and was their current output, Now they are down to less than half that and the tanker only comes every second day.

Good rain yesterday, and last night! Looks as if it will be on and off today, but at least it will stay wet on the West Coast.
Lets hope it stays this way!

My pray for rain worked.
My forecast is 1.6% increase in MS production this season.