OPINION: Rural Notebook

ORGANISERS of the Bathurst Merino Association junior sheep judging are putting a lot of effort into this year’s competition to be held at the Bathurst Ram Expo on Bathurst Showground from 10am to noon on Saturday, August 19. 

TAKE COVER: A safe place to be when there is a sheep graziers alert. It's been a cold July on the Central Tablelands.

TAKE COVER: A safe place to be when there is a sheep graziers alert. It's been a cold July on the Central Tablelands.

Entrants are eligible if they are six to 17 years and this event will serve as a genuine starting point for entry into larger competitions such as the Dubbo Ram Sale junior judging.

Spokesman Steve Jessett tells me that industry figures Ben Patrick, Chris Croker, Michael Lowe and John Dwyer will discuss sheep and wool industry matters with all of the entrants and this forum should be a great learning experience. 

A total of $200 will be awarded to winners in junior and senior sections. 

Entry details are available from Steve Jessett on 0429 529 955

Numbers game

A REPORT of yardings at Wagga Saleyards for the just-ended financial year makes important reading.

There were 168,135 cattle sold for an overall average of $1262 per head and 1,658,608 sheep and lambs sold for an average of $130.53 per head.

Wagga Wagga City Council spent $3 million on upgrading the yard’s cattle facilities that will lift yarding capacity from 2700 to 5500 head. 

Wagga is well-established as the largest sheep and lamb market in the southern hemisphere.

Specific skins

CALLOWIE Poll Merino Stud, Bordertown, South Australia showed the reserve champion fleece in the Australian Fleece competition at the recent Bendigo Sheep Show.

The fleece came from a scanned-in-lamb three-year-old ewe, shorn at eight months, 20.1 micron, 93 millimetres, and which had not long weaned a lamb. 

The stud owners report that the fleece value was $57.46, equating to $1.85 of wool grown each week.

Breeders know that Merino sheep that have been line bred for a specific skin type can certainly produce these wool results and that heavier, thick skins generally cannot.

Taking a punt

BOOK readers who like a few tales of mischief will probably enjoy Max Presnell’s just released Good Losers Die Broke.

In an early chapter he comments on the famed Doncaster Hotel, near Royal Randwick: “To some, the public bar was a cesspool of tipsters, urgers, bludgers, pickpockets, SP bookies, down at heel trainers and alcoholic strappers, generally the salt of the turf.” 

Laugh lines

JESS and her hubby had bouncing triplet boys. Her aged aunt congratulated the parents and added: “What a rare blessing for you both, my dear.” Jess told her that the doctors at the hospital said that triplets happen just once in almost two million times. “Good lord, Jessie, how did you find time to do your housework?” aunt queried.

“Life is full of such sorrow, sometimes I think it better not to be born at all,” she said. “But how many people do you meet in a lifetime who were that lucky?”