In what has been called the most significant change to global dairy trade in the last 20 years, milk fat will earn dairy farmers more than protein in the 2018/19 season.

Milk price and the relative value of fat and protein are the biggest factors in the Breeding Worth (BW) of dairy cattle.

As a result of the shift to fat, DairyNZ is releasing its upcoming changes to BW ahead of the main spring mating season.

Listen below:

DairyNZ Strategy and Investment Leader Dr Bruce Thorrold explained to The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum the reasoning behind releasing the figures early.

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Read more: Consumer demand for fat shifts bull Breeding Worth

"It's really important that farmers and breeding companies have this information now, ahead of the spring mating season because calves that are conceived this spring will be born next July and those calves will be born with 2019 Breeding Worth numbers so farmers and AI companies need good clarity on what those numbers are going to be to make good decisions now."

Thorrold says farmers can log on to the DairyNZ website and check out both the current, and 2019 BW figures on the DairyNZ bull team builder (dairynz.co.nz/bullteam).

Farmers can use this tool to identify the bulls in their team that will have a big shift in their BW figure in February 2019.