If you thought you had been seeing a lot of lambs leaping about our region this spring you have.
Beef and Lamb NZ says a record lambing percentage this season has helped farmers to offset the effects of a declining sheep population.
Research by Beef and Lamb’s economic service estimated the number of lambs tailed in spring 2017 was 23.7 million head, up 1.9 per cent on the previous spring.
Overall 127 lambs were born per hundred ewes compared with an average of 121 over the last 10 years.
For spring 2017, a one percentage point change in the New Zealand ewe lambing percentage is equivalent to 178,000 lambs.
North Island lamb numbers were a major factor behind the overall lift in the New Zealand lamb crop with growth of 4.9 per cent (551,000 head) to 11.7 million head.