OK, so barbecued lamb chops are not really my major concern with large scale dairy conversions, but it seems they (dairy conversions) are partly to blame for the ratio of sheep to people falling from 22 sheep for every person in 1982 to 8 to 1 today:
Economic Service executive director Rob Davison says the latest sharp drop – 4.3 million, or 11 per cent, in the past year – was caused 60 per cent by drought and 40 per cent by conversion of farms to dairying.
He does not expect a full recovery soon because sheep farmers are struggling with drought effects on top of low prices for wool and lamb.
And chops will be harder to find because, in the coming season, the kill will be down six million to 20.3 million lambs.
It’s funny how short term economic decisions, like the mad rush to industrial dairy, have long term economic, environmental and social consequences like climate change, water pollution and, it seems, diet.
Photo credit: pyed p1per