Unlike dairy, the number of beef cattle in New Zealand has been reducing steadily. Similarly, the global demand increase for beef has not been as attractive as dairy products. In fact, the price for beef has been declining slightly (e.g. $4.08/kg in 2011 versus $4.00/kg in 2013).
Having stated the above, it is pleasing to see the beef market improving this year. Therefore the 2014 statistic should be positive for the beef industry.
Beef industry/farmers are represented by Beef + Lamb New Zealand and by Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre. Other industries such as Irrigation New Zealand also provide useful information and support on irrigation matters to beef farmers with irrigation.
What can you do to NZ’s sustainability?
Apart from choosing beef farming as a lifestyle farm profitability and environmental management should be the key factors to sustain beef production and New Zealand economy. To maintain or improve profitability performance of beef cattle, pasture and soil is crucial for which nutrients, water, and soil conditioners (e.g. lime) are key components. Long-term profitability also improves with energy efficient practices. Water and land have to be managed to avoid or minimise any damage.
Therefore as a beef farmer your main focus should be efficient, effective and proactive management of
- Soil/river bed & banks
- Pasture/feed and