The Changing Face of Farming in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand (Đề thi IELTS READING 6/7/2024)

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II. The Changing Face of Farming in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand (Đề thi IELTS READING 6/7/2024)

Reading Passage 2
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26, which are based on Reading Passage, on pages 6 and 7.

The Changing Face of Farming in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand

The landscape of the rural Canterbury plains in the South Island of New Zealand has been changing since Europeans first arrived in the country some 200 years ago, but in recent decades the speed of change has increased dramatically. Today it is terms such as 'mechanisation' 'intensification' and 'conversion' that you'll hear on a typical farm. Modern agriculture's rhythms are urgent, its scale corporate. Driving across the Canterbury plains today, there are futuristic grain research stations and slick billboards promoting harvest-boosting technologies.

Local farmer Graham Robertson has both observed and participated in the reinvention of Canterbury agriculture. 'The list of changes is as long as your arm,' says Robertson. 'We used to grow one crop, but today we've got a huge variety including grass seeds, clover seeds, seeds for American golf courses, legumes ... One reason is that the big seed companies located in areas of the Northern Hemisphere want to diversify, and because Canterbury is in the Southern Hemisphere, we can grow crops out of season, and have proved ourselves at producing the quality they demand.' He does not lament the vanishing rural world, however. 'I admire the technology,' says Robertson. 'One complaint was that this new approach would likely result in a dust bowl. But good management practices have meant the soil isn't blowing away after all.'

Today, it's not plant pests and disease that are the problem, but shortage of water caused by the new popularity of dairy farming. Mid-Canterbury farmer Richard Johnson is a case in point. He converted from growing crops to dairy farming five years ago, because he could see himself getting left behind by neighbours who'd made the switch. He says, 'We thought, if we don't go through this process, eventually we are going to get taken over.' Water, which they found by boring 60 metres below the ground, is essential for the green grass needed by dairy cows. The crucial piece of equipment on the farm has become the high-tech mechanical irrigation system. Soil moisture monitors in the earth beneath each irrigation station signal exactly when they need to turn the water pumps on. Public perception is that this water is being wasted,' says Johnson. 'But farmers think long and hard before they turn the irrigation on, because it's expensive.'>> Form đăng kí giải đề thi thật IELTS 4 kĩ năng kèm bài giải bộ đề 100 đề PART 2 IELTS SPEAKING quý đang thi (update hàng tuần) từ IELTS TUTOR

Murray Rogers, who heads the South Canterbury Water Trust, says that the unrestricted taking of water from local rivers has to be reconsidered. 'Reduced flow in the rivers means less dilution of

pollutants and so we've been getting more toxic algal blooms,' says Rogers. He insists that the only long-term solution is for local government to take control of how much water farmers may take. Another critic is ecologist Colin Meurk, who argues that dairying has caused serious damage to Canterbury's biodiversity, waterways and indigenous ecosystems. He conducted a survey and found that precious little native habitat has survived - in terms of biodiversity Canterbury is 'one of the most diminished parts of the country. However, Keith Woodford, professor of farm management at Lincoln University, doesn't accept that dairying is responsible for this problem with biodiversity. 'Much of the degradation you see in lowland areas is actually the result of practices going back to the 1960s,' he says, emphasising that modern farming techniques are not at fault.

What is not in dispute is the extent to which the region has been transformed. In the 1980s, the rural Canterbury town of Ashburton was often deserted but today you will find a bustling community. Whereas the surrounding land was once known as 'sheep country', today there's no question that the increasing popularity of dairy production has been the single greatest contributor to the region's newfound prosperity. However, the reversal of fortunes for rural Canterbury has other causes as well. In recent decades a significant portion of land has been given over to a relatively new industry: the production of wine, which has taken off in Canterbury and many other parts of the country. In addition, Canterbury's natural beauty has meant tourism has contributed to its prosperity for decades; and visitor numbers today are so high that the region's once quiet rural roads have never been so congested. Another important change is that more than 100,000 hectares of rural Canterbury are now divided into small blocks of land, tended by the so-called lifestylers - people who once lived in urban areas but have come to enjoy the rural culture and keep a few animals, though they usually have another source of income to support themselves.

But with the transformation have come new stresses. Farmers whose families have been here for generations, and who are focused on the production of crops, don't necessarily relate well to these recent arrivals, with disputes arising over such issues as the intensification of farming and the heavy dependence on chemicals. The social mix is made even more complex because the modern rural workforce, once made up entirely of locals, is increasingly reliant on migrants who are brought in at harvest time, introducing a cosmopolitan element to Canterbury, at least for a few months of the year. With so many competing interests and so much disagreement about the best way forward, what happens next is anyone's guess.

*dairy farming: keeping cows for the production of milk and milk products

Questions 14 - 17
Reading Passage 2 has six paragraphs, A-F.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 14-17 on your answer sheet.

  1. an explanation of how water is distributed to plants in the right quantities
  2. some examples of current expressions used by Canterbury farmers
  3. an argument for increased regulation of agriculture in Canterbury
  4. a reference to an agricultural advantage Canterbury has over another part of the world

Questions 18 - 21
Look at the following statements (Questions 18-21) and the list of people below.
Match each statement with the correct person, A-E.
Write the correct letter, A-E, in boxes 18-21 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.

  1. We changed our farm because of what people around us were doing.
  2. Today's problems with biodiversity have older origins than people realise.>> IELTS TUTOR có hướng dẫn kĩ PHÂN TÍCH ĐỀ THI THẬT TASK 1 (Complaint letter) NGÀY 04/8/2020 IELTS WRITING GENERAL MÁY TÍNH (kèm bài được sửa hs đi thi)
  3. Farmers are more cautious about water use than non-farmers realise.
  1. The number of naturally occurring species has been seriously reduced by modern farming

List of People A. Graham Robertson B. Richard Johnson C. Murray Rogers D. Colin Meurk E. Keith Woodford

Questions 22 - 26 Complete the summary below. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 22-26 on your answer sheet.

The changing population of Ashburton

The Canterbury town of Ashburton is thriving thanks in large part to wealth created by the dairy farming industry, which has replaced the more traditional farming of sheep. However, other factors have also been involved such as the success of the 22........ industry in recent years. For a long time 23.......... has brought wealth to the region, and today the industry is so successful that traffic is becoming a problem. The social make-up of Canterbury has also been affected by a group known as 24........... who have moved out from the city. Disagreements between these newcomers and established farmers sometimes occur when it comes to the use of 25............ on crops. This social diversity is increased when 26............. are temporarily employed to work on farms.

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