Rural Notebook | Ideas men will focus on the future of farming

COMPARE THE PAIR: This fodder crop is growing in well-prepared, well-fertilised soil and probably cost about $200 per acre to do it.
COMPARE THE PAIR: This fodder crop is growing in well-prepared, well-fertilised soil and probably cost about $200 per acre to do it.

PRIMARY producers across our state continue to struggle through a drought that isn’t showing signs of breaking as we head into October and warmer temperatures.

Landholders who don’t own valuable genetics in their herds or flocks have virtually destocked and they will rely on the animal breeding ability of others to supply trading replacements when seasons turn.

COMPARE THE PAIR: On very similar country, this native pasture hasn’t incurred a cost but it is a long way from providing useful stock feed.

COMPARE THE PAIR: On very similar country, this native pasture hasn’t incurred a cost but it is a long way from providing useful stock feed.

Alternative methods of property management have produced varying results and it’s easy to dismiss these ideas with a shrug and operate our properties “like Grandpa did”.

A conference to be held in Bathurst on Saturday, November 10, titled “Our farming future”, will feature authors Charlie Massy and Bruce Pascoe as well as a number of district farmers who will describe their farming practices.

This should be an excellent workshop for high school ag students and for under 45 farmers who have open minds.

Please think seriously about attending this conference – it may change your life.

Tickets are available at www.greeningbathurst.org.au. Cost is $50 or concession $25.

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Just to be clear

PLEASE note a correction from last week’s column:

Bathurst Branch of the National Party will hold a dinner meeting at the Bathurst RSL Club on Tuesday, October 30 with federal minister David Littleproud as guest speaker.

Tickets are $55 each and details can be had from 9299 5811.

Bookings must be made by October 25. 

His hard yakka

ONE of Bathurst’s quiet achievers passed away in recent weeks. 

Master painter Peter Johnson is remembered for his quality workmanship, his work ethic that continued until his very last weeks, and his lifetime of volunteer work, especially through Bathurst Lions Club.

Do the sums

VOTING papers for Wool Poll 2018 are now in the hands of levy-payers and there is some comment on the suggested levy percentage for the next three years.

Wool values are at good levels and even though the industry’s cost structure is at record levels, the wool production industry is quite viable.

Much credit must be given to the AWI board and its chairman for their efforts in promotion, research and marketing, even though the chairman has been enmeshed in several controversies.

The board recommends a flat two per cent levy be imposed and this would provide a cash buffer in case of future shocks and provide funds to continue all of the present board activities.

AWI is far from perfect, but I’m sure it has the support of the majority of wool-producing levy-payers.

Cold clings on

ONE of the coldest winters that can be remembered on our lovely Central Tablelands is refusing to warm up as we march into October.

Sheep producers have taken great care with freshly shown sheep as a lot of sheep are in light condition.

Cows with young calves are needing extra supplementary feed as there are reports of one-month-old calves dying from a lack of mother’s milk.

End of an era

THE last store cattle sale at the old Ballarat saleyards saw almost 3000 head offered.

The next sale will be held at the brand new CVLX at Miners Rest in late October.

Agents say that competition for a very good quality annual draft of yearling steers and heifers was firm on recent rates, but a big percentage of the yarding was plain and light weight.

Many pens of lightweight heifers in poor condition sold from $125 to $450 and a lot of these had been trucked from drought districts in NSW.

Hard and light

MEANWHILE, an agent at Albury discussed a hard sale for lighter cattle at NVLX Barnawartha.

He suggested that many district producers have a view that “it’s never going to rain again”. But we all know that we’re getting closer to a major flood – every day.

Diary dates

Saturday, October 13: Trunkey Creek Show. Details for wool entries from Graeme Boon, 6368 8716. Visit www.agshowsnsw.org.au.

Friday, October 19: Blink Bonnie, Tarana ram auction. Inquiries to Peter Moore, 0419 011 398.

Sunday, October 21: Fosterfield Finewools ram auction at Dunkeld.

Tuesday, October 30: National Party dinner at RSL. Federal minister David Littleproud is guest speaker.

Thursday, November 1: Mount Bathurst Poll Dorsets; 70 Hillden blood young rams at Black Springs.

Laugh lines

THE Scot was careful with his cash and was told that the doctor charged $50 for a first visit and just $20 for the second. 

So Hamish arrived for a $20 visit and doctor examined him and said: “Good man, just keep taking the medicine I prescribed last time.”

**

“WHEN I want your opinion,” she said, “I’ll give it to you.”

**

TWO mellowed farmers in their high 70s had been at the bar for much too long. 

“Look at the beautiful bug on that hedge; beautiful it is,” one said.

His old mate squinted. “And a lovely lady-bug it is too,” he added.

There was a sharp gasp and number one farmer said: “Lady-bug, you say. Colin, my man, you have the eyesight of a telescope.”