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New Zealand’s dairy is adaptable and resilient in the face of pressures imposed from increased input costs, market deregulation and dairy company structural changes. Traditionally dairy farming regions have been Northland, Waikato and Taranaki but this has expanded into the Central North Island, with very rapid expansion into Canterbury, Otago and Southland in the last 10 years. 

New Zealand’s temperate climate favours pasture-based outdoor dairy farm systems; however this style of farming is also vulnerable to climate fluctuations and in particular extreme events such as drought or severe storms. This vulnerability exposes the dairy sector to the expected impacts of climate change, particularly if wide spread drought becomes common.


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