Our sheep flock keeps dropping from 70 million sheep in 1982 to 40 million in 2000 and now just under 26 million. There are now 25.83 million sheep and lambs in NZ while beef cattle numbers rose 2.5 percent to 3.98 million. This is  according to Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s annual stock number survey. The total number of sheep dropped by 199,000 head or just under 1%,. Beef and Lamb NZ says the 2020 drought in the South Island, led to de‑stocking of sheep prior to Christmas due to lack of feed. While this year flooding in Canterbury at the end of May impacted a number of farms with losses of feed on hand and a shortage of grazing options. The lamb crop is however  expected to be 1.6 percent higher nationally based on pregnancy scanning results at the time of the survey but it depends on favourable weather conditions in spring.     Since Year 2000 the total number of sheep in New Zealand has declined by  40 percent – from 42.3 million to 25.8 million – and the number of beef cattle has decreased 5 percent – from 4.2 million to 4.0 million.