The comparative profitability of milk and beef production on seasonal supply dairy farms : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Agricultural Science in Farm Management at Massey University
New Zealand dairy farmers who have changed, partly or wholly to beef production from surplus calves may lead the world in intensive pastoral beef production. The main contributing factor to their likely success in this new field is that they are experienced with the calf rearing techniques and intensive rotational grazing systems which are vital to producing a high net profit per acre from beef cattle. 1.1 THE PRESENT POSITION OF THE DAIRY INDUSTRY At the present time there is growing concern over the future prospects for increased export production from the New Zealand Dairy Industry. This industry is comprised of farmers producing milk on seasonal supply for the production of butter, cheese, milk powder, casein and many other minor products for export. Approximately 70 percent of these farmers supply whole milk and hence the bulk of their income is derived from milk sales with the remainder coming from the sale of cull cows and bobby calves for slaughter. The farmer's profit is therefore, dependent on the payment received for milk and it is this factor which is causing the present concern over the long term future of the industry.