OPINION: Rural Notebook with John Seaman

SHEEP'S BACK: The Gilmore family at Black Springs pioneered the popular breed of Australian whites that are earning a great reputation.
SHEEP'S BACK: The Gilmore family at Black Springs pioneered the popular breed of Australian whites that are earning a great reputation.

DRY weather across much of south-eastern Australia has caused a significant correction of around $20 per head in lamb prices in recent times.

Mutton values have slipped by almost the same amount and the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) has reached values about 46c/kg below 2016 values for June 30.

Increased stock numbers at all sale centres are putting pressure on processors and all involved in the red meat industry.

While this price pressure is occurring we note that price quotes for liveweight goats have reached an unheard-of 750c/kg.

These price figures must be a great boon to many pastoralists in the Western Division and busy musterers will make a real dent in feral goat numbers in their semi-arid districts.

Bio insecurity

CATTLE producers are confused about the changes that Meat and Livestock Australia has arranged with an October 30 compliance date.

A biosecurity plan for each cattle-producing property can be achieved online and several information sessions are scheduled at Oberon and Bathurst venues.

These sessions aren’t well-advertised, but details should be available from your stock and station agent or by phoning Local Land Services on 6333 2300.

Gudair goals

QUESTIONS have been raised about the long-term efficacy of Gudair vaccine and its eventual possible eradication of Ovine Johne’s disease (OJD) in sheep  flocks.

I’ve briefly discussed both the Bovine Johne's disease and Gudair issues with a number of producers who have been “through the mill” on these matters and every answer has been in the order of: “Who the devil wants to revive issues that have caused so much personal damage in the past?”

Mulesing musings

THE CEO of Meat and Livestock Australia has put the lamb mulesing issue squarely in the spotlight after his comments at a recent major lamb production forum.

This matter has been contentious for several decades, but we must remember that less than 10 per cent of wool sold at auction is declared as from unmulesed sheep.

Surely the issue involves the explanation to processors, buyers and customers that the anaesthetic TriSolfen is used by the vast majority of operators and its qualities are excellent.

To a bush doctor like me, it’s little different to discussing human hip replacements without anaesthetic.

The NSW Farmers Association, Department of Primary Industries, federal and state ministers and other public figures should assist our industry by explaining the realities of our animal welfare practices.

Laugh lines

A FRIEND asked George if his wife had learned to drive yet. He replied: “Only in an advisory capacity so far.”

THE difference between an Aussie wedding and an Aussie funeral: There’s one less drunk at the funeral.

LITTLE Nigel’s mum had been away for a week and when she got home Nigel told her about the big storm on Tuesday. He said: “I was so scared that Daddy and me snuggled up in the big bed.” His Auntie Flo corrected him: “Nigel, you mean Daddy and I.”  Nigel argued back: “No auntie, I’m talking about Tuesday. You’re talking about last night.”