Rural Notebook | Lots more will be needed for drought to break

GOING DOWN: A near empty dam near Bathurst is still waiting for drought-breaking rains.
GOING DOWN: A near empty dam near Bathurst is still waiting for drought-breaking rains.

A NUMBER of race fans posted reports of drought-breaking rains falling at Mount Panorama on the days before the Great Race.

Of course, the 20 millimetres that arrived during race week has helped ease the very serious pastoral conditions in the areas where it fell, but the Central Tablelands will need a prolonged, wet spring before producers can stop holding their collective breath.

Several of our prominent livestock producers believe that the cost of feeding sheep or cattle until a suggested drought break at Easter 2019 would be prohibitive, guessing a further $700 per breeding cow and $70 per breeding ewe.

Factored in are the cost of getting female breeders up to joining weight by mid-November 2018.

As always, we hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

GREEN DAYS: These Winyar blood lambs have come through some tough times and are enjoying the green grass and sunshine.

GREEN DAYS: These Winyar blood lambs have come through some tough times and are enjoying the green grass and sunshine.


Ease the load

USEFUL falls of moderate rain have certainly eased the hand-feeding workload for a lot of sheep producers and some ewes with lambs are making plenty of milk for growing lambs.

Cattle producers are still rolling out hay and we all realise that hot, dry days can cause the pretty green pick to disappear quickly.

Subclovers are flowering nicely at present and with an ounce of luck, they should set plenty of hard seed.

Crops of Mabo barley should make good quantities of baled hay in local conditions and may provide some much-needed stock feed without the huge freight costs that have been incurred.

Until these supplies become available (possibly), I notice good supplies of big rounds of hay at Bedwells on the Vale Road, Bathurst.

Motor memories

THE recent passing of Adrian Fish in Bathurst has revived many memories for long-time district residents.

Family members of three generations had bought General Motors vehicles from Adrian at the former Bathurst Motors and he was looked on as a family friend at the dealership.

He is also remembered as a top-notch golfer and a noted community member.

Here in my car

THE spring bull and ram selling season is starting to taper off and results from most venues have been good when drought conditions and lower numbers of breeding females are taken into account.

Of special interest has been Landmark’s stud specialist Brad Wilson as he gives an in-car report after the conclusion of an on-property auction.

This is a great use of modern technology and is much appreciated by clients.

Sale stats

OF note this week was the auction purchases of three Bella Lana rams by Bestwick Pastoral, O’Connell and two from the same stud to Robyn Cosgrove, Charlton.

Also, a $9000 stud ram from the renowned Charinga Stud at St Arnaud, Victoria went to Chris Stapleton’s Capree Stud, Newbridge.

Each of these sale studs is a former member of the SRS system and is a descendant of the Collinsville Stud at Burra, SA. 

These sheep are plain bodied, long, free growing staples and would fit nicely into a six-monthly shearing program if required.

Next chapter

A FAMILY member gave me a couple of new release books that may be of interest to readers.

Charles Massy’s Call Of The Reed Warbler is an in-depth look at the evolving alternate farm management strategies.

Charlie has obviously done a huge amount of research work as he assembled this book and readers must have a very open, receptive mind if they intend to read this book carefully, from cover to cover.

My second book is Barnaby Joyce’s Weatherboard And Iron, which tells the author’s story from a little boy in the New England bush to the present.

There is a lot of homespun political theory but thankfully no excuses offered for his present position.

I think that many Nationals voters will forgive Barnaby his mistakes and he may yet have a successful political career in the future. I think that this book is a very good read.

Diary dates

This Saturday, October 13: Trunkey Creek Show. Wool details from Graeme Boon on 6368 8716.

Friday, October 19: Blink Bonnie Merino Rams at Tarana.

Sunday, October 21: Fosterfield Finewool Rams at Dunkeld.

Tuesday, October 30: National Party Dinner at Bathurst RSL. Federal Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud is guest speaker.

Thursday, November 1: Mt. Bathurst Poll Dorset Rams; 70 Hillden blood rams at Black Springs.

Saturday, November 10: Our Farming Future conference in Bathurst.

Wool report

THE wool market fell for the fifth consecutive week, with the Northern Market Indicator finishing the week on 2050c/kg, down 24c/kg on the week before and 103c/kg from its high of 2153c/kg in September.

Although this seems a big fall, the market is still at very good levels with most merino clips from the tablelands returning around $3000 per bale.

The carding market has lost the most ground, with the carding indicator finishing the week on 1385c/kg – that is a fall of 157c/kg in four weeks.

Most analysts believe the market will stay around these levels as supply is only going to decrease with wool growers still unloading sheep as the drought continues.

Next week will see 34,467 bales on offer nationwide.

Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark

Laugh lines

THE agitated wife left a note on the bench – “I’ve had enough, I’m leaving” - and proceeded to hide under the bed. 

George came home, read the note, wrote a reply and went to the phone. 

“Hi babe,” he called, “she’s left a note and buzzed off; find your negligee and I’ll be there in 10.” Then he drove away. 

His shattered wife crawled out from under the bed, sobbing as she read his note.

It read: “I saw your feet sticking out from under the bed. Stop being so silly; I’ve gone for milk. Put the kettle on and I’ll be back for a hug.”


N.B. Middle-aged women who carry five to 10 kilograms of over weight will live at least eight years longer than the husbands who mention the problem.