Year in review: Looking back on the top stories of January 2021

December 20 2021 - 5:00am
Year in Review: Top stories of January 2021

January 2021 was supposed to signal a new year of joy and positivity after COVID-19 lockdowns but it still handed us it's fair share of challenges.

Looking back on the first month of the year, the most popular story for Queensland Country Life readers was news of a deadly dog disease that was spreading fast across northern Australia.

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In just six months many hundreds of dogs had already died in Western Australia and the Northern Territory from the tick-borne disease canine ehrlichiosis.

Experts said it was only a matter of time before every dog in Australia was at risk.

Beef processors hit survival mode as livestock prices bite.

Back then sectors of the beef industry was also on edge with talk that the first six months of the year would purely be about survival for processors as losses looked like tipping into a record negative profit margin of $300-plus a beast slaughtered.

The rest of the supply chain, particularly producers, along with regional towns the nation over, were biting their nails waiting to see what the wash-up would be.

Processors were facing severe shortages in two major inputs - livestock and labour.

But for a 26-year-old Bundaberg man; business had never been better.

Jamin Fleming and his fleet of drones

Jamin Fleming's OzTech Drones were flying high after rainfall saw a need for the innovative technology.

He even had to expand his team to meet the demand - adding two new spray drones to his fleet and hiring two staff members to help with the increased workload.

Raised on a Bucca cattle farm, Jamin said that drone technology provides farmers a more cost-effective solution to crop management, particularly in the wet weather.

"It's too wet for people to get on the crop at the moment, and we can just fly in," he said.

"We've been getting calls asking us to get there now and treat things urgently. It could be a fungus, and the wetter the conditions the faster fungus grows.

The New Year's Eve full moon shines down on the 600-strong crowd enjoying the Tooloombilla Bulls and Broncs night.

"When it's wet, you can't get on there with a tractor and that's where we come in."

News of Brisbane's lockdown lifting and flawed firearms licensing also ranked well.

Photos from the Tooloombilla rodeo and the Alpha ICPA cricket day proved fan favourites too.

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