So the nation has spoken and now farming has to make the best of a situation which could have been worse. The Green Party could have been part of a coalition Government.

That seems to be the main cause of the rural swing to Labour, to keep the Greens out.

With the Greens not increasing their vote, and the rise of ACT in Parliament, one could argue it is a swing to the right.

The full impact of the economic downturn caused by Covid-19 is yet to hit New Zealand and with international tourism gone, farming is the important earner for the country. The country will need every export dollar as the debt rises towards $200 billion or $200,000 million.

There has been greater awareness among urban people of the importance of farming and that NZ needs to be in the black to be green.

This and the fact the Government now has a large rural vote may soften a Labour Government’s stance towards farming. Federated Farmers and the industry should continue to lobby hard against unfair and unworkable rules. If Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is true to her word she will govern for all New Zealanders. She may do a Lange and call time for a cuppa tea.

National paid for its lack of discipline and loyalty. It also relied too heavily on the economic message, but Paul Goldsmith is no Bill English.

The media’s performance was dismal. Journalists were obviously uncritical of Ardern with a lack of questioning of her and her Government’s performance. Towards Judith Collins some were bordering on rabid. In an interview not long after Judith Collins became leader, Radio NZ’s Kim Hill aggressively interrupted Collins 18 times in 10 minutes. Australian media had better, more objective political analysis which included criticism of a placatory media.

In this issue we carry on with part two looking at strong wool and the options.

Whether it is strong wool or Merino, farmers are only capturing 12% of the retail product price. Perhaps that’s what they should focus on rather than just the farmgate price. Blair and Jody Drysdale have done this with their hemp business (p66). They are growing the crop, processing it and selling online.

Before they planted a seed they were focused on capturing the retail price.