Tag Archives: dirty dairying

Update on dairy: More on the environmental consequences of the dairy boom

In a previous article I outlined the basic facts of New Zealand’s current dairy boom: the enormous financial returns on dairy production, the growth in the national dairy herd that have been spurred by these returns, and the consequent environmental impact of the ever-expanding numbers of dairy cattle. There is plenty to add to that original article both in terms of recent events and further information I’ve been able to find.

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Can New Zealand cope with the staggering environmental consequences of the dairy boom?

Dairy farming is big business in Aotearoa New Zealand these days. Given the payout of NZ$6.90 per kg made by Fonterra this year, and the average dairy cow producing 330kg of “milk solids”, each dairy cow earns NZ$2277. The commonest herd size, around 225 cows, earned NZ$512,000 this year. One of the larger herds of more than 1000 cows, of which there are around 270 in New Zealand at present, earned more than NZ$2.2 million (Livestock Improvement Corporation data, here).

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Filed under Aotearoa New Zealand, David, sustainability