Rural Notebook | Take the chance to evaluate and investigate

ON THE MENU: Lots of hungry livestock are waiting for this wrapped stock feed from Vale Creek flats.
ON THE MENU: Lots of hungry livestock are waiting for this wrapped stock feed from Vale Creek flats.

BATHURST Merino Association advises of some upcoming events that should be of value to district producers.

On November 8, a Farm Business Evaluation workshop will be held at the Tarana Fire Shed and a brace of industry speakers will address attendees.

This workshop is intended to illustrate the serious situation that could occur if our season dries out quickly and the green pick disappears.

Please note that BMA will hold its Christmas party at Newhaven Park on December 2 and its Annual Merino Ewe Competition on March 1, 2019. This event will be held on properties to the north of Bathurst city, regardless of flood or drought.

BY THE LETTER: These mailboxes catch the eye in the Kanimbla Valley.

BY THE LETTER: These mailboxes catch the eye in the Kanimbla Valley.

Will be missed

BATHURST lost two of its best sons in recent times.

Horticulturalist and premier plant nursery owner, Max Churches, was renowned for his valued advice and for his genuine friendship.

Max had been a mentor for a host of gardeners in town and district and many local gardens stand as a tribute to him.

Kevin McDonald OAM gained his reputation in the motor trade, securing his mechanic qualifications in the Air Force and then having stints with Syd Morris’ garage in Sofala, Bill Barnes Autos Bathurst, Repco in Keppel Street and his renowned own business McDonalds Motorcycles.

Kevin was a driving force in longtrack racing at Bathurst Showground and was a life member of Motorcycling NSW.

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Still waiting

THIS column suggested some months ago that farmers could be rejoicing after drought-breaking general rain as champion race mare Winx won her fourth W.S. Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.

We saw the great mare complete her part of the story last Saturday, but the rain gods have us all worried again as the fresh green grasses are withering more as days pass.

First cuts of lucerne are useful in some cases and disappointing in many others. We must be careful of stocking rates as many pastures are looking sad already.

The sudden arrival of hot, dry weather has caused barley grass seed heads to ripen quickly and they are now a wool contaminant risk, will cause serious skin damage to sheep and lambs with some wool on them and will damage lambs’ eyes if not removed.

Some properties have very few paddocks without barley grass but sheep owners must take care to avoid this risk.

Support struggle

THE federal drought policy summit last week decided to allocate $30 million to charities to supposedly support about 10,000 families who are facing hardship.

The Federal Government’s drought co-ordinator, Major General Stephen Day, told the summit “there is an extraordinary range of help available from governments, from the business community, as well as charities, but it is incoherent, hard to access and too difficult to understand for too many people who need it”.

It is claimed that a drought support package is now worth $7 billion, but we have to wonder why so many farmers’ wives are pleading for cash assistance for bill paying from the local charity outlets in country towns.

Surely some of our MPs should be shouting loudly that it is both federal and state government responsibility to assist people who are caught in a natural disaster.

The people speak

WOOL Poll 2018 voting closes today with predictions of a possible 50 per cent of levy-paying wool producers opting for a cut in levied percentage of wool sold from the present two per cent to a figure of 1.5pc.

The CEO of Australian Wool Innovation says this alteration would lower AWI’s annual income by 25pc and result in quite serious job losses within the organisation.

The AWI board asked producers to support a continuation of the existing levy that would fund all the marketing, research and promotional activities that are being enacted at present.

Perhaps a silent majority of those who actually vote would like to see some quite major changes in the manner that AWI operates.

We should be aware that the vast majority of wool levy payers never bother to vote.

Diary dates

  • Today, 1pm: Mount Bathurst Poll Dorset rams, 270 Dog Rocks Road, Black Springs.
  • Thursday, November 8: Farm Business Evaluation. Topical speakers. Tarana Fire shed.
  • Saturday, November 10: Pomanara Merino Rams, Sallys Flat.
  • Tuesday, November 13: Pasture workshop with David Harbison. 6333 2300.
  • December 2: Bathurst Merino Association Christmas Party at Newhaven Park.
  • March 1, 2019: Bathurst Merino Association Maiden Merino Ewe Competition north of Bathurst.

Wool market

THE wool market took a huge correction this week as 17 micron and finer lost around 160 cents a kilogram.

The 18 microns lost 110c/kg, 19 micron and broader lost 70 to 80c/kg and crossbred wools lost around 70c/kg.

The Northern Market Indicator finished the week on 1914c/kg, down 107c/kg.

Although this was a huge fall, the market is still 200c/kg higher than this time last year, which is still a good level.

Next week will see 40,351 bales on offer nationwide.

Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark

Laugh lines

THE insurance salesman was trying hard.

“Think of it, madam,” he said to the grey-haired farmer’s wife, “if your dear husband were to pass away tonight, what would you get?”

She thought for a while and then replied: “I think I’d get a nice budgie.”

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ADVERTISEMENT: Wanted; An unfurnished 2 bedroom unit, moderate rent, urgently needed by Council officer and wife expecting a quiet baby.

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WILL the parents of the boy who gave a little boy a red apple in exchange for his tricycle outside Big W between 6 and 7 last Friday kindly return it at once.