Dairy beef

Beef + Lamb New Zealand is focused on providing significant return on investment for dairy farmers’ beef levies.  

image of dairy beef cattle

The dairy, sheep and beef industries are closely linked, through activities such as: 

  • non-replacement dairy calves in beef finishing 
  • the provision of beef semen or bulls 
  • grazing young stock 
  • wintering dairy cows 
  • providing feed. 

Cull cows are a significant source of New Zealand’s exported beef. 

Given these relationships B+LNZ continually looks at further opportunities for integration between the sectors. We work collaboratively with DairyNZ and others such as Federated Farmers in areas of mutual concern and to avoid duplication of resources.  

Some of our work is specifically focused on dairy while we frequently run a dairy lens across other B+LNZ work.  

What levies do dairy farmers pay? 

Dairy farmers pay beef levies on cull dairy cows ($5.20 per head at slaughter). 

Beef levies are also paid ($5.20 per head at slaughter) on cull dairy heifers and bulls. No levies payable on bobby calves.  

How much do dairy farmers pay in beef levies? 

On average, dairy farmers pay around $425 a year in beef levies. In total dairy farmers accounted for around 15 percent of B+LNZ’s levy income in the 22/23 financial year. 

How are dairy farmers’ beef levies invested? 

B+LNZ invests levies in two main areas: 

  • post-farm-gate investment that seeks to maximise the value of animals sent for slaughter 
  • on-farm research and extension investments where we need to take a leading approach to addressing challenges or there are industry-wide issues to solve. 

The largest investment is on-farm research and extension, including: 

Post-farm-gate investment is focused on: 

  • opening up new market access for beef by advocating for and supporting the government’s negotiation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) 
  • advocating with government and internationally for the removal of non-tariff trade barriers that reduce farmer returns 
  • international advocacy and collaboration on issues that threaten livestock farming and our beef industry 
  • research into the unique nutritional attributes of New Zealand grass-fed beef 
  • promotion of New Zealand beef and its attributes in international markets 
  • promotion of beef consumption domestically, in partnership with processors and retailers, and growing the trust and reputation of New Zealand beef production systems. 

Related resources

To request a hard copy of the Beef Levies for Dairy Farmers book, email enquiries@beeflambnz.com or phone 0800 233 352. (Note this book is currently being updated and a new version will be available soon).