Summary of Economic Analysis Report

Executive summary

The farm gate value of pasture-based products to the New Zealand economy was $10.2 billion in the June 2007 year. 
In the 2006/07 year, the level of pasture renewal was 2.0 percent for sheep and beef farms and 6.1 percent for dairy farms. We modelled various scenarios for increased pasture renewal and pasture response. Based on the midpoint of the results of these scenarios, total farm gate values could increase by 16 percent to $11.8 billion.

For the June 2007 year, pasture-based products directly contributed $5.2 billion to New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This amounts to around 3.1 percent of New Zealand’s GDP. Pasture-based products are therefore a significant part of the New Zealand economy. The midpoint result of our scenarios would increase the direct GDP contribution to $6.0 billion.

Table 1.1
Value of pasture products to the New Zealand economy, June 2007 year

Measure 2007 Estimate With increased pasture renewal
Value at farm gate $10.2 billion $11.8 billion
Direct GDP $5.2 billion $6.0 billion
Total GDP, incl. upstream and downstream effects $20.5 billion $23.7 billion
Direct employment (FTEs) 35,400 41,100
Total FTEs, incl. upstream and downstream effects 277,300 321,600
Source: BERL

Looking at pasture-based products, the largest contributor to farm gate values was the dairy industry. The dairy industry in the June 2007 year was worth $6.6 billion, or 65 percent of the total value of pasture-based products. Sheep products (including lamb, mutton and wool) were worth $2.2 billion, while beef pasture-based products were worth $1.2 billion.

Pasture renewal has the potential to greatly increase the productivity of these pasture-based products. However, the magnitude of this increase would depend on the level of pasture response and whether the increase in pasture renewal is one-off, for one year, or sustained continuously.

A summary of our model results for changes in farm gate value under different scenarios are shown in Table 1.2.

Table 1.2
Summary of model results- farm gate value

Farm typeExisting pasture renewal levelCurrent farm gate value ($m)Target pasture renewal levelLevel of pasture responseNewfarm gate value due to renewalPercent increase in farm gate value
Method 1Method 2Method 3Method 1Method 2Method 3
Sheep & Beef




10% $3,567 $3,567 $3,592 0.8% 0.8% 1.5%
30% $3,626 $3,623 $3,701 2.5% 2.4% 4.6%
7% $6,657     0.4%    
27% $6,734     1.6%    
Source: BERL

Depending on the level of pasture renewal response, farm gate values for sheep and beef farms could increase from 8 to 27 percent and from 6 to 25 percent for dairy farms. In our modelling we have used the midpoints of these ranges. This means farm gate values for sheep and beef farms could increase by 18 percent and by 15 percent for dairy farms. Direct GDP would also increase from $5.2 billion to $6.0 billion.

When considering the effect that the pastoral sector has on related industries, such as agricultural services and the food processing industry, as well as the additional spending generated by salaries and wages paid by farmers, the GDP of pasture-based products is much higher. Total GDP, a measure including these impacts, equals around $20.5 billion for pasture-based products. This is approximately 12 percent of total New Zealand GDP for the June 2007 year. Of this figure, $2.4 billion is contributed by beef, $4.3 billion by sheep, $13.6 billion by dairy, and around a quarter of a billion by deer products.

To put this in context, it would require approximately 460,000 international tourists additional to the present 2.4 million to generate this level of additional expenditure for the tourism sector.

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