While most people have a lot of downtime during lockdown, Bay of Plenty's farmers are still hard at work, catering to strong demand.
The supply of, and demand for, farm-produced goods remains relatively unchanged during the Covid-19 lockdown but the alert level four protocols had slowed things in factories.
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Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty president Darryl Jensen said working through the lockdown was "a huge learning curve" but farmers were working as well as they could.
"Overall, farmers are coping very well, there's just a lot more planning that goes into our days now. If you have multiple staff there's the two-metre rule, disinfecting - just meeting all the level four protocols."
Jensen said of immediate concern was the mental health of farmers in the region, who could be feeling more isolated than usual.
"I do feel for them, the mental wellbeing could be the one that really gets to people if they're living on their own. In our rural communities, we have to check on those people that are on their own. They can't just go off the farm to see mates but we encourage them to use social media and the phone to stay in touch with friends and family.
"The drought impacted on it, too. There's the dry and then this lockdown, it's just making it a little more difficult to farm and get things done. A lot of us are embracing technology."
He said the supply and demand of farm-produced goods was still strong, with farmers continuing to milk and produce sheep and beef.
"The problem with the beef industry is the 2m rule in the plants has slowed down their whole processing ability - people can't work as closely on the chain. All factories across all industries, they're the ones doing it quite tough at the moment."
Bay of Plenty MP and National Party spokesman for agriculture Todd Muller said the entire industry was working together, facing a challenge of ensuring what they class as important and essential services to keep their farms going continue to be available.
He said the whole lockdown experience was a reminder of how important food production was to New Zealand.
"We've got 23,000 farming families and they are out there, day in and day out. I think, at times, their collective endeavour sort of gets lost in the noise of other competing industries and other issues of the day, but I think right now, with the rest of the country falling quiet, we can hear that effort of the farmers far more clearly."
Te Puke dairy farmer Stephen Crossan said while there was never a good time for a nationwide lockdown, the timing of it is probably the best it could have been.
"This time of year you don't really leave the farm a lot, so not too much has changed. This last week we've had the vet come and do the routine yearly lepto vaccination, so I wasn't able to be as involved or as hands-on to help them. We had to keep our distance," Crossan said.
"We're sort of coming to the end of the milking season. There's no good time for all this to happen but this is probably the best case in the circumstances. If it had been spring, when you have to go into town more often, it would've been a different story."
Grow Together Farm owners Simon and Jordyn Barbour, of Rotorua, specialise in organic vegetables. Simon said pre-lockdown they would sell about half of their produce through online subscriptions and half at the Farmers' Market. Now, sales were all online.
"We've been able to sell it pretty good still, it's sort of like the My Food Bag deal and there was heaps of interest which is really cool. We're still selling what we were before.
"People are definitely very grateful. Quite a few people don't like going into the supermarket at the moment, so it's awesome for them to have that available.
"The chances of getting something if you go to a supermarket are a lot higher than if you know it's coming straight from your farmer to you. It's only one set of hands that has touched it," he said.
The types of agricultural businesses permitted to operate during lockdown include (but are not limited to):
• Livestock and primary produce transporters.
• Veterinary service providers.
• Feed/fodder transporters.
• Feed and supplement manufacturers, processors, suppliers and stores.
• Manufacturers and distributors of animal medicines.
• Pet shops and services.
• Animal control.
• Workers caring for animals in containment.
• Rural contractors providing essential services that cannot be
deferred over the next four weeks, especially for animal welfare purposes
(artificial insemination technicians; stock agents managing and directing
stock movements; winter re-grassing for feed; fertiliser supply and
application; shearing where necessary for animal welfare).
• Fertiliser manufacture and distribution.