A significant decline is being forecast in the New Zealand dairy herd in 2016 as a result of the current weakness of global dairy markets. It is estimated that more than 200,000 head could be culled from the NZ dairy herd – bringing numbers down to approximately 5.4m head.

Dogged by a lack of rain, market analysts are now fearful the dry conditions extending across the Ukraine and Russia will hamper next year’s wheat sowings taking place right now in a key producing region. Russian wheat growers faced the same restrictive weather when sowing last year, although crop yields were still strong.