1 Background

The 2019-20 DairyNZ Economic Survey summarises a sample of dairy farm data from the DairyBase® database. DairyBase® is available to all levy paying New Zealand dairy farmers. Annual surveys prior to 2005-06 were undertaken by Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) and Dexcel using a random sampling procedure stratified by region and herd size. In contrast, participation in DairyBase® is voluntary and at this stage contains farms with above average milk production levels. For this publication, groups of farms were selected that closely match the average regional herd size, hectares and milksolids production as published in the New Zealand Dairy Statistics 2019-20.

The purpose of DairyBase® is to improve the financial understanding and performance of dairy farmers using a benchmarking approach and is designed to link the physical and financial performance of farms. DairyBase® contains financial data from annual farm accounts, as well as physical data supplied by the farmer and estimated current market values of fixed assets. The DairyBase® support centre, accredited accountants and other rural professionals enter the data on behalf of their clients and the data is validated within DairyBase®. Farmers wishing to benchmark their farm performance have access to a wide range of statistics in DairyBase®, including (where numbers permit) regional, district, herd size and production system data.