The economy is set to receive a $2 billion boost with the announcement from the Dairy Board of a record milksolids payout.
The Board's final payout will be $4.60 per kilogram of milksolids – up 37 per cent on the estimated price at the start of the season.
Good international prices, strong demand and a lower New Zealand dollar had all contributed to the result.
Board chairman John Roadley warned that it would be "a tragedy for the industry and for the nation" if farmers saw the result as an indication that the proposed industry merger was not necessary.
"It is absolutely key to improving the industry's profitability in the future," he said.
Mr Roadley said milk production this season, at just over a billion kilograms of milksolids, was a record.
Total Board revenue rose from $7.7 billion in 1999/2000 season to just under $10 billion. Payments for milk were up from $3.1 billion to $4.5 billion.
Sales by the Board were up 100 000 tonnes, or 7 percent, on the previous season while milksolids purchased by the Board increased by 6 per cent.
In the Americas region , New Zealand milk sales were 30 per cent ahead of the previous season.
The sharpest growth increase was recorded in Asia, where sales were up 30 per cent.