New Zealand dairy farmers turn to tourism for income

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Holstein dairy cows
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

New Zealand may be the world’s largest dairy exporter, but the country’s milk prices have plunged, causing farmers to operate at a loss.

According to Bloomberg, New Zealand was once known for its sheep population, but that number is down to 29.5 million. The source reports that there are now 5 million cows in New Zealand, more than it’s human population. The increase in cows is attributed to 2007’s record milk prices and high prices in 2013, but now dairy prices are low, along with low global oil prices.

To deal with the loss of income, some New Zealand dairy farmers have turned to tourism to make a living. As Lord of the Ring and The Hobbit enthusiasts know, New Zealand is home to the set of the Shire. Dairy farmers near “Hobbiton” offer accommodations and an authentic farm experience to tourists. However, it isn’t likely that tourism income will be enough to put dairy farmers back in the black.

Via: Bloomberg > Can Hobbit Tourism Save These Troubled Dairy Farmers?

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