The values for Dairy this year have seen a fall in values across all female classes, but increases across all male classes. The fall in R1 heifer values can be attributed to the prohibition of live export by sea commencing from 30 April 2023. For the first time the National Average Market Value for R1 Heifers is less than the National Standard Cost of breeding and rearing an R1 Heifer.

A Mixed Age Dairy cow now has a National Average Market Value of $1,628 compared to $1,697 last year – a fall of 4.1%. Rising one and two-year heifers have decreased in value by 14.3% and 2.4%, to $693 and $1,436 respectively.

Whilst demand for dairy products remains relatively strong worldwide, it is expected that the farm gate milk price for the 2023-24 season will be well down from the highs of 2022-23, which will have a consequential impact on dairy cow values. The forecast reduction in the farm gate milk price together with continued inflationary pressures for all farm input costs will see dairy farmers’ profit margins diminish significantly for the 2024 season. This is likely to see demand for dairy cattle fall.

There continues to be little progress in relation to on-farm emissions reporting which leaves a dark cloud over the prospects of New Zealand’s largest export earner.

Availability of labour remains a significant issue for the 2024 season even though most immigration settings have been relaxed. Total cow numbers have continued to fall, as did per cow production mainly due to climatic reasons and are back to 2019-20 levels.

Disclaimer: This blog has been carefully prepared, but it has been written in general terms only. The blog should not be relied upon to provide specific information without also obtaining appropriate professional advice after detailed examination of your particular situation.