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Fewer sheep and dairy cattle in 2022 – Media release

22 May 2023

There are fewer dairy cattle, sheep, and deer in New Zealand’s paddocks, according to the final results of the five-yearly Agricultural Production Census 2022 that Stats NZ released today.

The 2022 survey of farming production and practices reveals small decreases in the national dairy herd and sheep flock, with dairy cattle numbers down 1 percent from the previous year.

“The total number of dairy cattle was 6.1 million at June 2022. This is 8 percent lower than in 2014 when the total dairy cattle herd peaked at 6.7 million,” general manager of economic and environment insights Jason Attewell said.

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