Rural Notebook | Is this the turnaround we've been wanting?

STRUGGLE: The crutching shed and a drought scene near Ulooloo, South Australia in recent weeks.
STRUGGLE: The crutching shed and a drought scene near Ulooloo, South Australia in recent weeks.

OPTIMISTS among us are seeing a possible turnaround in our autumn season.

Random reports of 40 millimetres at Tarana and Wyagdon and lots of 10 to 15mm have lifted spirits, and all the areas that missed out must be due for their turn for full dams and a green pick.

As I write on Monday at noon, many parts of our district have recorded 35mm or more during the past week and stock markets have lifted in hopes of a genuine autumn break.

Pessimists tell me that our district has experienced six autumn breaks since 1978, while optimists are certain that the current drought will be over by Easter 2019.

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Merger message

LAST Saturday's state election win was a great result for a very capable Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers delivered a real drubbing to the Nationals in Murray, Barwon and Orange and it seems that the Murray-Darling Basin plan is a policy that must be reworked.

On the local scene, Paul Toole was rewarded for being an active, hard-working member, although it seems he lost 500 votes in the Oberon district where voters haven't forgotten the council amalgamation saga.

In Orange, Phil Donato showed how voters appreciate a genuine local member who works hard for his electorate.

Beau Riley and Brenden May ran good campaigns in Bathurst, while the Nationals campaign for Orange must have pleased Phil Donato.

Shed shearing

AN even-up shearing of all teams in the upcoming Bathurst Merino Association wether trial will be held in the woolshed at 438 Cow Flat Road, Georges Plains with a 7.30 start this Saturday, March 30.

This property belonged to the Coffey family, who gave it a lovely Irish name, "Athlone". They operated the property for decades, then sold it to Stan and June Murphy, who ran a quality sheep flock before selling to current owners, Vale Creek Wines.

Wether trials have value as bloodline comparisons and as a general rule, the plainer bodied teams don't cut as much wool and often finish well down the ladder.

Their bloodlines usually produce many more lambs and wether trials probably should look towards fertility and early maturity when assessing bottom line values.

Birthday girl

HAPPY 90th birthday to Jennie Turnbull at The Lagoon.

The years have rolled by since Jennie and Jim were a solid doubles pair when the Perthville-Lagoon-Georges Plains area ran excellent tennis competitions every Saturday and we all knew everyone and their kids.

Many happy returns, Jennie. The family photos in the Western Advocate were great.

Clearing out

REPORTS of a 7000-head yarding of store sheep and lambs at West Wyalong tell a story of many producers who have made the tough decision to "sell and possibly regret, but sell anyhow".

Agents said that most properties are low on water and feed is scarce, so rational decisions have to be made.

Of particular interest was the flock dispersal of 2200 Multi Purpose Merino blood ewes, unjoined, mulesed, December-shorn, with flock average lambing of 110 per cent.

There were 625 three-year-old ewes which made $70, 201 four-year-olds brought $76, and 250 rising two-year-olds sold for $80.

These ewes must be good buying as first-cross mothers, even if they are bare legged and probably not heavy wool cutters.

Diary dates

Saturday, March 30: Even-up wether trial shearing at Georges Plains.

Wednesday, April 3: Bathurst NSW Farmers Branch AGM, Bathurst RSL Club, 7.30pm.

Thursday, April 4: Oberon NSW Farmers Branch AGM, Oberon RSL Club, 7.30pm. President James Jackson will be guest speaker at each meeting.

Thursday, April 18: Closing day for fleeces for Bathurst Show. Inquiries to Brian Seaman on 0428 373 828.

May 3/4/5: Royal Bathurst Show.

Wool report

LOWER style wools are increasingly being offered for sale due to the poor seasonal conditions across a large part of the state.

Average and inferior topmaking types comprised up to 15.5 per cent of merino fleece lots offered for sale this week.

These lots were progressively discounted, which contributed to the losses of around 20c/kg for most merino price guides.

Crossbred wools, however, were firm to a little dearer.

Over the coming weeks, supply per week will drop from 40,000-plus per week to low 30s. Which way the market will move is the big question.

There will be 38,950 bales on offer next week nationwide.

Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark

Laugh lines

"I was born a Bathurstian, I have lived 82 years as a Bathurstian, and I'll die a Bathurstian," he boasted very loudly to a bored group in our club.

A husky voice from the background called: "Ain't you got any ambition at all?"

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YOUNG men seeking a wife, be sure to marry a good cook. Looks fade; hunger doesn't.