These efforts have led to highly efficient cows with a lower emissions footprint, ensuring a strong performance for the co-op.
Returning $23.3 million in dividends to cooperative shareholders, LIC impressively offers 16.38 cents per share, boasting a 20.1% gross yield on the share price. The dividend will be disbursed on August 18, 2023.
Though facing economic challenges, LIC achieved a 5.1% increase in revenue. Underlying earnings saw a slight dip of 7.6% compared to the previous year. Board Chair, Murray King, praised farmers' support and highlighted LIC's investments in R&D and technology to ensure a sustainable and profitable dairy industry for Kiwi farmers.
The success is largely attributed to farmers opting for LIC's premium bull teams, breeding high-genetic-merit cows that produce more milk and emit fewer emissions per kilogram of milk solid. LIC's premium genetics accounted for an impressive 79% of total artificial breeding (AB) inseminations, up from 71% last year.
"We need to be breeding highly efficient cows to meet environmental goals. Farmers are sharpening their focus in this area," King said.
LIC's investment of over $80 million in genomics research over the past three decades has significantly increased genetic gain in farmers' herds, reaching an impressive 18gBW per annum.
Farmers' dedication to technology was evident with increased demand for DNA testing services and animal health testing. Johne’s disease testing rose by 16%, processing over 1.1 million test samples during the year.
Moreover, LIC saw an uptick in orders for sexed semen, as farmers recognized its importance in accelerating genetic gain on their farms. International demand for sexed semen surged by 52%.
King reaffirmed LIC's commitment to research and development, investing $18.6 million in R&D during the year, representing 6.7% of revenue, essential for addressing environmental challenges in the dairy sector.
LIC's methane research program, in partnership with CRV and the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, aims to breed low methane-emitting cows to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
With a focus on premium genetics, cutting-edge technology, and environmental research, LIC is set to lead the way to a more prosperous and eco-friendly future for Kiwi farmers.