Island Life: News From The Countryside - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Island Life: News From The Countryside

Published August 25, 2017

Your wait for the truth is finally over—you guessed it: record hay harvests were reported in East Iceland this summer! The bounty of edible grass was attributed to a number of factors, such as the early arrival of spring and a spectacularly warm and sunny summer in the region, which isn’t particularly unusual. Northeast Iceland is well known for its practically Bahamian summers, and they rub it in our faces any chance they get.

The dairy farm of Viðvík in Skagafjörður sent inspectors from the Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) packing recently, refusing to let them onto their property, despite laws requiring farmers to give inspectors unhindered access. In response, MAST has banned the distribution of any milk from that farm. We do not predict this will descend into some kind of Bundy Ranch-style standoff, but who knows? 2017’s been a crazy year so far.

Earlier in this issue we  reported on the current sheep meat crisis, where overproduction and dwindling foreign markets have led to a glut in excess lamb for sale. In response, Minister of Fishing and Agriculture, Þorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir, has announced that a massive sheep purge will take place, wherein the total population of Iceland’s sheep will be reduced by 20%.

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