An overview of current and potential hill country livestock systems


  • S.T. Morris
  • R.E. Hickson


This paper reviews current production trends for sheep and beef cattle production in New Zealand and gives some insight into the opportunities for improvement. The New Zealand climate favours pasture growth and this is the key to sheep and beef cattle production with over 95% of the diet being grazed pasture or crop. Exports are the focus of the industry with 92% of sheep meat and 82% of beef exported. There has been a 72% increase in sheep meat production since 1990, but there still remains opportunity for further increases through breeding sheep at an earlier age, increasing the weight of lambs weaned per ewe per year, increased efficiency of breeding cows and utilisation of calves from the dairy industry for beef production. Keywords: Sheep meat, beef cattle, pasture, intensification, environment






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