Rural Notebook | Flood of concerns about the state of creeks

ON THE MENU: Merino ewes seem content on granite country after 150 millimetres of storm rain during January 2019.
ON THE MENU: Merino ewes seem content on granite country after 150 millimetres of storm rain during January 2019.

THERE have been lots of comments on the present state of the Vale and Georges Plains creeks that are choked with weeds and carry an overload of sand.

We all realise that councils move at a really slow pace and that governments often resemble a town hall clock that stops for months at a time, but the flood problems of these waterways must be addressed.

If this issue was in the hands of private enterprise, I’m sure that a boss would say: “Come on, boys, don’t just stand there, get on with it.”

PLAY THROUGH: These kangaroos have to be chased from the greens at Batemans Bay Golf Course.

PLAY THROUGH: These kangaroos have to be chased from the greens at Batemans Bay Golf Course.

Going round

ALONG with the green pastoral conditions in many parts of our lovely Central Tablelands has come a burst of unusual weeds and large areas of cathead or bindi plants.

Research on Coonabarabran staggers in sheep following a major drought in the early 1980s identified the cause as being hungry sheep grazing on cathead and fatal poisoning may occur.

Weakness in one hind leg is a common symptom, causing affected sheep to stagger in a circle, and treatment doesn’t seem to be practical.

Keeping hungry sheep away from the weed would seem to be a priority for all of us.

My reading of the problem tells me that Tribulus supplements (cathead) in humans may increase libido, so we should be on the lookout for older gentlemen walking in circles.


Holding on

BIDDING was described as subdued at the Great Southern Merino Ram sale at Canberra last week and agents were nonplussed by the lower demand at a time when the wool industry is in good shape.

Seasonal conditions deteriorate rapidly as we travel south or west from our regional saleyards at Carcoar and many stock must be being supplementary fed.

There seems to be much concern that an incoming Labor/Greens federal government could enforce stricter codes of practice on every facet of livestock production and this could include a lot of animal husbandry practices that we take for granted at present.

If we combine a tight season in many areas and a worry about future government controls, we can see why ram bidders may be cautious.

Right mix

THE Mudford family of Parkdale Stud at Collie recently joined with Dubbo TAFE to stage an in-shed workshop called “Bringing shearers and breeders together”.

The day’s focus was to illustrate the profitability of breeding plain bodied sheep with good wool, good fertility and early maturity of lambs.

Along with these traits comes the better combing and higher shearing tallies that make the game a bit more attractive for a young shearer.

Observant young shearers, both boys and girls, know that the thick skinned, productive skins that were once in many flocks have been replaced by merinos that produce a genuine dual purpose animal targeting both the meat and wool markets.

Our industry has undergone a lot of changes in recent years, but the method of getting the wool off hasn’t changed much in 100 years.

Love rules

LONG-TIME Bathurst couple Margaret and Bob Alderman are celebrating 60 years of marriage and they have both been a vital part of the city’s community.

Congratulations to you both, and I know a lot of country people will join me in saying cheers to a great couple.

Sadly missed

TOM Keogh, who passed away recently in Bathurst, was a train driver in the Ben Chifley tradition, a real family man and a tireless worker for his church and his son’s school. 

Tom was highly respected as a Bathurst citizen and sincere sympathy is offered to Margaret and the family.

Fine reward

THE Chris Brodie-trained pacer Family Ambition won the $10,000 Rewards Series Final at Dubbo last week, its second win in a row.

Neville Donnelly excelled with a confident drive once again and I’m told that the Brodie/Donnelly combination win was rewarded with generous applause as the two families have been great supporters of harness racing in our district for many years.

Wool report

THIS week saw mixed results.

Some merino wools were dearer and some cheaper, but the movements were minimal: only gains or losses of about 5c/kg to 8c/kg.

Crossbred wools were again the big winners for the week, with the fine crossbreds up 45c/kg and the broader crossbreds up 90c/kg.

The Northern Market Indicator was up 8c/kg to finish the week on 1978c/kg.

Next week will see a slightly bigger offering of 40,426 bales nationwide.

Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark

Laugh lines

A SOCIALITE approached an artist and asked: “My man, could I ask you to paint a portrait of me in the nude?”

“Of course, madam,” Peter agreed, “but I must leave my socks on as I will need a place to store my brushes at times.”


HER friends called her Baseball; she just wouldn’t play without a diamond.


THE accountancy boss asked young Roger if he believed in the afterlife and Roger said he wasn’t sure.

“Well, you will now,” the boss said. “Your Uncle Joe, whose funeral you went to yesterday, called in to see you while you were at church.”