Ongoing work to lift the quality, productivity and performance on farms has resulted in New Zealand companies becoming world-leading innovators in:
- Science-based pastures
- Electric fencing
- Milk meters
- In-line milk sampling
- Software management tools
- Livestock weighing equipment
- Electronic animal identification
- IT solutions
- Milking machines
- Animal genetics
- farm machinery
- Effluent management technology.
With farms increasing in scale over the years, technology has enabled farmers to deal with more stock, all the while reducing labour input.
On-farm innovations, such as automatic cup removers, teat sprays, yard washdowns, milk sampling, feeding and backing gates, mean dairy farms today have a greater number of cows being milked by fewer staff.
Elsewhere, many practical and innovative farm machinery and equipment initiatives, such as automatic fruit pickers, have contributed to increasing efficiency. From simple devices that attach to a tractor, to temporary cattle and sheep yards and mobile crushers, advances in equipment have reduced costs and improved productivity on farms.
New Zealand leads the world when it comes to dairy, accounting for over a third of the world’s international dairy trade. Our products feed more than 100 million people worldwide, and the dairy industry contributes 25% of New Zealand’s merchandise export earnings. There are 6.5 million dairy cattle in New Zealand and the average herd size is just over 400. A stocking rate of 2.85 cows per hectare is common and the majority of herds are pastoral based and spring calving. Beef cattle total over 3.7 million, sheep 31 million and deer over 1 million. Horticulture is another major contributor of export funds – with the wine and kiwifruit industry each contributing over US$1 billion. Apples, avocados, olives, onions, potatoes and squash also cover a significant area of land. Our aquaculture industry is dominated by mussels, oysters and salmon. Forestry contributes around $5 billion to the NZ economy employing around 20,000 people. Wood products are New Zealand’s third largest export earner behind dairy and meat.
The professionalism and willingness of AgriTravel to tailor a package that suited our group’s needs was appreciated enormously. The overall quality of recommended farm visits, accommodation and meals was exceptional and exceeded our expectations.
The itinerary was well planned and carried out expertly with the help of our congenial and knowledgeable guide and coach driver. We would not hesitate to use AgriTravel again and we recommend them to any group wishing to have an exciting, comfortable and informative tour of New Zealand agriculture.
James Hooke Education Officer, Traineeship Coordinator Tocal College NSW Department of Primary Industries Australia