As part of a programme of work to reopen borders and reconnect with the world, the Government has announced the commencement dates for quarantine free travel for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers into New Zealand.
“The shearing and crutching that is happening is taking place in the sheds where the contractors are helping to introduce social distancing protocols,” says Federated Farmers meat and fibre chairman Miles Anderson.
“The staff are all 2m away from each other and that sort of thing. So, the shearing and crutching that is happening on farm is taking a bit longer.
“Any wool that has been shorn in the last several weeks is being stored on farm.”
He hopes some restrictions are lifted as pre-lamb shearing was coming up which is an extremely busy time for the contractors.
“The last thing you need is to for them to fall that far behind that they can't do what is in front of them.”
It will depend what the levels look like but only business as usual with a few more health and safety protocols will enable the necessary work to get done.
“There will be more sheep queuing up to be shorn, crutched etc which could pose issues for the industry if the current situation extends well into May. There could be a hell of a number of stock needing to be shorn.”
The North Island lambs earlier so will want to start their pre-lamb preparation and the “big squeeze” in the South Island will come in June.