For 23 years New Zealand added around 100,000 dairy cows a year to the national herd. The growth stopped about four years ago. In fact, there has been a small reduction in the number of cows since then.
Yet, production continues to rise because, thanks to the work of the Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC), the cows are getting better. Corporation chief executive Wayne McNee says: "They need to be more profitable and they need to be more efficient. This has always been our job. Now we also need our cows to have a reduced environmental impact."