REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: Agriculture: the definition of resilience

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Washpool, SA, cropper Shawn Cadzow out harvesting barley when the lockdown was announced.

Washpool, SA, cropper Shawn Cadzow out harvesting barley when the lockdown was announced.

You have to admit it - we were probably all a little complacent.

The country had made such good progress and we were all looking forward to borders reopening, when the news came out a few weeks ago that South Australia was locking down.

And, in a repeat of the first lockdown, the focus was laser beam on "essential" jobs - even if it took the authorities a little time to be communicated.

Supermarket workers were, as always, absolute stars. You do have to wonder about the mathematical skills of the person who insisted on buying six, 36-roll toilet paper packs for a six-day lockdown.

And agriculture showed, once again, how critical it is.

For the agricultural world, the lockdown came at a particularly busy time.

More than 50,000 sheep and lambs were on their way to saleyards; shearing was ongoing after delays caused by reduced availability of New Zealand staff; and headers were having one of the first clear weeks of weather to try and get crops off - following on from some pretty average years.

But, in a sign of how far we've come this year, the saleyards were set up with an online portal that allowed people not at the yards to bid, and some phenomenal prices were achieved.

Harvest receival sites have had their protocols in place, as do dairyfarmers and other intensive industries.

The only potential delay was some confusion about shearing, but that was sorted, too.

Apsley, Vic, farmer Rebecca Barry and her son Oliver McDonald were excited to freely cross the border on Tuesday to travel to Naracoorte.

Apsley, Vic, farmer Rebecca Barry and her son Oliver McDonald were excited to freely cross the border on Tuesday to travel to Naracoorte.

As one farmer put it, "the wheels keep turning", while a poll of our readers showed nearly 90 per cent saw no or little impact to their life and business from the eventual three-day "circuit breaker" lockdown.

Then, in one heck of a turnaround, borders openings have begun - last week between Victoria and NSW; this week the SA-Vic and Qld-NSW borders.

WA will also be reconnected with most of the rest of the country within days.

While everyone has been missing family and friends, those who live along the borders and rely on services in another state have particular cause for celebration.

So much is reliant on keeping these "lines on a map" open, so let's hope we can keep the positive momentum going.

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