New Zealand is the second largest exporter of lamb meat in the world, only slightly below Australia, and also one of the top exporters of wool. Today the national sheep herd is far less than half of its peak of approximately over 70 million in the 1980s, having declined to only 26 million today. Despite the national flock continuing to decline, during the last decade meat production and exports have remained stable. Wool continues to be generally a challenging by-product for the sheep industry, and in many instances it is proving more costly at a farm level to shear (harvest the wool) than the financial returns from selling it. The New Zealand sheep farming industry is expected to be heavily impacted by soon-to-be-imposed government policies, including on agricultural emissions pricing.