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Beef cattle continue to increase – Media release

18 December 2020

The number of beef cattle increased for the fourth year in a row in 2020, while the national dairy herd and sheep flock have both continued to fall in recent years, Stats NZ said today.

Provisional figures from the 2020 agricultural production survey showed beef cattle numbers increased 2 percent, to 4 million in June 2020, returning to levels last seen a decade ago.

“Beef prices have generally remained strong and supported the increase in beef cattle numbers since 2016. There are now a lot more steers than there were a few years ago and the beef breeding herd (beef cows and heifers in calf) has increased significantly,” agricultural production statistics manager Mrs Krpo said. Steers are neutered male cattle raised for beef.

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