Vanishing Lands – Andrea Vance & Iain McGregor:
The rutted track climbs up and up. Short, thick tussocks make the trail hard to discern, and a cold gale howls down the valley.
John Templeton doesn’t break stride. He bends into the wind and forges upwards with the speed and sure-footedness of a mountain goat. A dozen excitable dogs trot at his ankles, and at his side Holly Addison, a 24-year-old shepherd.
The sun is bright in a clear, blue autumn sky. Far below, strands of the Rakaia river weave their way through grey, shingle beds. Mt Arrowsmith towers high above, snow sparkling on its unforgiving peaks. . .
Hawke’s Bay farmers: ‘Help us feed our livestock’ – Suz Bremner & Mel Croad:
In some situations actions speak louder than words, and for Hawke’s Bay farmers who have been hit hard this year we have a simple message that we want heard – help us physically feed our livestock and if that can’t be done, allow us our channels to sell them.
We as farmers prepare for drought – we must, otherwise we will simply make life harder for ourselves.
There are enough farmers in Hawke’s Bay who farmed through the 1982-83 drought and learned from that, and the same will be said for this one.
But what could not be prepared for this year was the combination of drought and a pandemic, which has caused chaos for the wider industry and created issues such as reduced processing capacity and a sudden decline in demand from our international markets that we rely heavily on. . .
In-house food and fibre production is being touted as one of the ways to claw the economy back post Covid-19.
A report from the business advisory firm KPMG says New Zealand is well-placed to develop greater domestic food production, for its own resilience, and also as a way to market itself as a trusted and reliable exporter.
Head of Agribusiness Ian Proudfoot said the pandemic had forced countries to question their reliance on globalisation, and New Zealand was no different.
“I think governments are generally going to look to make themselves a little bit more resilient, and increase the domestic sourcing of key products and critical products to society. So that does mean we are going to see a lot more support for local food systems.” . .
Brothers juggling farm work and studies – David Hill:
Adjusting to the lockdown has proved to be a challenge for students who have returned home to rural areas.
When the lockdown was announced, Lincoln University Young Farmers Club chairman Callum Woodhouse and his brother Archie made the decision to return to the family’s sheep and beef farm at Eketahuna.
“My flatmates are from Canterbury, so when the lockdown was announced they weren’t too worried, but we were stressing about flights and we had to book a last-minute flight and get home.
“The old man was expecting us home anyway in April for the three weeks term holiday, but now he’s getting a few extra weeks’ work out of us.” . .
A stoat trapper’s guide to elimination – Dave Heatley:
New Zealanders have a lot of experience with islands and unwanted organisms – keeping them away, learning to live with them, and – in just a few cases – eliminating them.
What can that experience tell us about plans to eliminate COVID-19? I can’t claim any expertise on polio, measles, Mycoplasma bovis or thar. But I do have lots of experience trying to eliminate other pests: the stoats, rats, mice and possums that threaten New Zealand’s native birds. At the forefront of that battle are New Zealand’s offshore islands. Following intensive pest-control efforts, many of those islands are now sanctuaries for native birds that are disappearing or gone from the mainland. . .
Farmers in Loch Lomond have spent three days trying to round up a flock of sheep to spell out NHS as a message of support to frontline workers.
They creatively paid tribute to health staff who are risking their lives fighting the spread of coronavirus. . .