HOP TO IT
New Zealand’s tourism industry, the star of the local economy for the past decade, has growing pains.
It’s an old adage – you should never have all your eggs in one basket - and Nelson farmer Cam Ealam is the living embodiment of this. The Ealam family, on Cam’s mother’s side, has farmed the same piece of land since 1856. “We’d been looking for something different for a while, looking at options for the future, we want the farm to support another six generations,” Cam Ealam says. For the past 80 years the family has been dairy farming, but Cam was keen to look at how the land could have multiple income streams. “We saw the hop option pop up and thought that would definitely tick some of the boxes.” So after a few long family discussions the decision was made to convert 35 ha of the 110 ha farm to grow hops.
Farmers around the country have been dealing with extreme weather; Hawke’s Bay Senior Relationship Manager Marcus Bousfield gives some insight about what farmers are dealing with in his region.