New Zealand’s milk production for March is down 8.3% compared with last year, at 161,433t of milk solids – figures from the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand show.

While March has shown a significant dip, overall, New Zealand’s production for this season to date is up 3.5% from last year on a milk solids basis.

This has been the result of exceptional weather conditions seen across the second half of 2018.

Dry conditions

Since then, seasonal dry conditions have hit the majority of the North Island, with a particular intensity in the Waikato area – a key dairying region.

Rabobank’s dairy analyst Emma Higgins reported that “with the dry conditions turning severe in some places, herds are now being dried off for the season, and there is now a strong risk that milk production finishes abruptly from March 2019”.

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NZ milk supply back in line with last year's figures