Relative dating exercise geology
New Zealand is a very young country with few inhabitants.Only since 1910 did it have over one million people, and today just less than 4 million.It would be fair to say that world trade consists mainly of excess food in good years, which depresses demand and with it, prices.It suggests that the world has enough meat, hides and butter.By far, the largest area (52%) is covered in the native mountain tussock grass and introduced grasses.Only 5% is considered high quality soil, being both fertile and flat, while also enjoying enough rainfall.Government assistance to farmers is very low by international standards.NZ farmers have the OECD's lowest producer support rates.
NZ's recent globalisation since 1984, removed farm subsidies and has driven many exporters overseas or to wind up, resulting in a worrying current account deficit of 30-40% of export income, and rising steeply.
Once wholly covered in forest and scrubland, present-day land cover reflects the intensity with which NZ has been developed, leaving only 33% of its original vegetation intact (red colour in the table).
Although the tussock lands still have their original land cover, they are grazed heavily, causing ecological problems.
Dairy production increased while that of sheep and cattle decreased.
NZ has about 45 million sheep and 8 million cattle (of which 4.6M beef cattle).