Rural Notebook | Ram sale success and the rain that never came

RAM RAID: A good crowd and some good poll merino rams at Fosterfield, Dunkeld last weekend. Photo: SUPPLIED
RAM RAID: A good crowd and some good poll merino rams at Fosterfield, Dunkeld last weekend. Photo: SUPPLIED

RESULTS from the two local ram sales last week were positive with the very good quality being a credit to each stud master.

Blink Bonnie at Tarana offered 50 hogget rams and 600 store sheep to a good roll up of buyers.

The store sheep sold for $124, $100 and $85 in their lots while rams hit $3000 twice and averaged $1276 in a good clearance.

Meanwhile, Fosterfield offered 36 rams, topped at $2900 and averaged $1150 for a rewarding clearance. Each sale now has an established clientele who know that these local venues offer value for money.

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Poll positions

CLAIMS are often made of the benefits of poll merino sheep with their plain bodies, clear faces, quick maturity and attractive body muscling.

With this comes expected better lambing percentages and mothering ability.

The South African dohne breeders showed us the way to change the make and shape of our merinos and many of our leading studs now have quality merino wool on crossbred type bodies and a lot of their wether lambs are giving great returns from the meat trade.

A claim was recently made that a thick-skinned merino ram has to carry up to 20 extra kilograms of skin wrinkle - all day, every day.

Property sales

UPCOMING auctions of Central Tablelands district properties will give a changing of the guard, as most of these holdings have been in one family ownership for decades.

Glendell on the Upper Turon, Birrabindi at Newbridge, Lucan Park at Lyndhurst, Native Dog at Oberon and Wattlegrove at Rockley are all noted holdings and all are big enough to be viable in average conditions

In earlier days my sheep contracting team have worked on all but one of these properties.

Some of them ran Charinga and Glanna blood breeding ewes when the SRS system was at its peak.

Rain, what rain?

THE drought-breaking rains that were forecast for last weekend failed to arrive but disappointed producers across much of the state must keep on keeping on and hope for the next climate change.

The sentiment at a local sale last Friday was “this is the weekend we’ve been waiting for” but by Sunday  sale it had changed to “what rain was that?”

Early-sown brassica or feed barley are providing very good green feed and, as usual, the brassica crops are patchy.

Wool cuts are quite a bit lighter because of drought conditions and calf and lamb percentages vary a lot, depending on management and feeding strategies.

Every sheep producer knows that a barber’s pole worm outbreak is a real risk where warmer days and a bit of short green give ideal conditions.

TAKE IT EASY: These Angus cows and calves were observing their Sunday day of rest at Evans Plains. Photo: SUPPLIED

TAKE IT EASY: These Angus cows and calves were observing their Sunday day of rest at Evans Plains. Photo: SUPPLIED

A dam good plan

BATHURST Regional Council’s decision to prepare for light water restrictions if the Chifley Dam level fails to reach 75 per cent of capacity next month sounds like a practical policy and I was pleased to see Mayor Graeme Hanger use his casting vote to provide leadership to his council.

If we take note of some weather forecasts for the period November 2018 to May 2019 we will do our utmost to conserve every litre of water that we can.

Our city and surrounding villages are potentially users of much more potable water than in previous droughts as our population continues to grow rapidly.

Next time, maybe

COUNCILLOR Bobby Bourke’s planned fundraiser for 1000 cars driving around our great Mount Panorama at one time was a great idea and the thought much appreciated.

Please don’t forget your idea for a future fundraiser for a worthy cause, perhaps with 2000 blazing headlights at 9pm and some city media backing.

A great idea, Mr Deputy Mayor.

Wool market

LAST week’s positive market sentiment could not be maintained as the northern market indicator fell by 49c/kg to 2021c/kg.

The price guides for all types fell with the finer wools most affected, losing around 110c/kg.

Medium to broader merinos lost around 50-60c/kg and the crossbred wools lost around 10c/kg.

Drought affected wools were mainly the cause for the heavy discounting with only 20 per cent of the fleece offering having strengths over 40 nkts (Newtons per kilotex), most with high mid-breaks.

Next week’s sales will see 38,702 bales on offer nationwide.

Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark

Diary dates

  • Saturday, October 27: Carcoar Show at the prettiest showground in the west.
  • Saturday, October 27: Bowyer and Livermore’s Rockley Rodeo at Rockley Showground.
  • Tuesday, October 30: Ladies dinner for Daffodil Cottage and the Wig Library at Bathurst Goldfields.
  • Tuesday, October 30: Nationals dinner with David Littleproud at Bathurst RSL.
  • Thursday, November 1: Mount Bathurst poll dorset auction at Black Springs.
  • Saturday, November 10: Pomanara Superfines on-property at Sallys Flat.

Laugh lines

THE farmer’s wife, who was not the silent type, bought a talking parrot home for hubby’s 60th birthday. Ten days later she returned to the pet shop with the bird. “The dashed thing has not talked at all and I want a refund,” she said. The bird interrupted: “I haven’t been able to get a bloody word in.”

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THE old couple sitting on the park bench in Bathurst had been married for 50 years. She said: “Remember how we watched the pigeons here all those years ago?” They sat quietly for a while and she added: “Remember how we ate Cadbury’s here and you held my hand?” So he squeezed her hand. Then: “Remember how you nibbled my ear here, years ago?” Hubby got up quickly and was hurrying off back to the Mazda when he called back: “I’ll need to get my teeth.”