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Dairy farming financial structures in Hokkaido, Japan and New Zealand

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The productivity and financial performance of dairy farms in New Zealand and Japan (Hokkaido) were analyzed. By recomposing the official statistics on the dairy industry relative to Japan, New Zealand has low milk yield productivity per cow, but higher per hectare performance because of their seasonal breeding and pasture grazing systems. In the revenue and expenses analysis, New Zealand had a high cash surplus ratio compared with Hokkaido. In the cost analysis, for expenses on a “per kg of raw milk” basis, New Zealand milk production costs are 29% of those in Hokkaido. More than 60% of the production costs were attributable to feed, interest charges and wages in New Zealand. In Hokkaido, the feed cost alone accounted for 73% of the total cost. There is also a remarkably high interest expenditure in New Zealand caused by non-subsidized fund procurement from finance organizations. In the financial analysis, New Zealand dairy farms have only approximately 50% of the total assets per cow compared with farms in Hokkaido. But total liabilities per cow in Hokkaido are twofold to threefold greater than in New Zealand. The difference between total assets and total liabilities shows that Hokkaido dairy farmers have an equity that is 50–200% greater than New Zealand dairy farmers. In the management analysis, New Zealand has a low turnover ratio of gross assets caused by the seasonal breeding system. In conclusion, New Zealand has higher per hectare production performance than Hokkaido, but has a low utilization of gross assets caused by a seasonal breeding system based on pasture grazing.
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Keywords: Japan; New Zealand; comparative study; dairy farming; financial structure

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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