Rural Notebook | Reasons to be cheerful as prices rise

BARE NECESSITIES: A desolate farm scene north of Parkes where donated hay is being gratefully received.
BARE NECESSITIES: A desolate farm scene north of Parkes where donated hay is being gratefully received.

LIVESTOCK prices have improved markedly, with heavy rainfall in some districts to our north, while many other districts are in an awful state.

To look at the market rises, we find some positive news:

  • Mutton values rose 80c/kg on week-to-week quotes to close at 500c.
  • Heavy crossbred ewes sold at Wagga last Thursday at $234 - a saleyard record.
  • The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator has broken 500c/kg, rising almost 50c/kg for the week.
  • China has imported 65 per cent more mutton in January and February 2019 compared with the same months in 2018.

Every producer realises that our exporting future will rely heavily on continuing strength in China's economy and we hope that the ongoing trade war between the US and China settles down.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: There are quite a few wool industry veterans in our district who would have worked in this shed, Lake Midgeon, at Narrandera.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: There are quite a few wool industry veterans in our district who would have worked in this shed, Lake Midgeon, at Narrandera.

Mighty pen

LAST week's Cold Country Blue Ribbon weaner sale at CTLX Carcoar offered 8600 young cattle and buying support came from as far away as Penola, South Australia.

A highlight was the awarding of the champion pen of weaner steers to Andrew and Ros Larnach, Rockley, for their pen of 36 Millah Murrah blood Angus steers, averaging 314 kilograms, which sold for $1010 per head.


Take care

AUTUMN hangs in the balance across our lovely Central Tablelands as many areas have only achieved a short green pick for sheep, while many cattle are still being fed baled hay.

Care must be taken of the risk of twin lamb disease in heavily pregnant ewes and light conditioned cows will need some hay and encouragement to stay with new calves.

Reports of unsatisfactory in-lamb scanning rates are of concern, and the majority of producers don't use the scanning process.

There must be a temptation to accept high mutton prices for scanned dry ewes, but we know that sheep of every description will be hard to source when the Rain Gods decide to return to work.

Show close

OUR Royal Bathurst Show on May 3, 4 and 5 is getting closer, and Brian Seaman is anxious to hear from you with fleeces for the wool pavilion.

Please contact him on 0428 373 828.

Dog details

AN update from the Turon Wild Dog Association:

Ground baiting is set for May 10. Bait orders must be made by May 1 and will be fully subsidised by Local Land Services.

Membership for the group is now due and payment can be made by direct deposit to Turon Wild Dog Assn. BSB 082001; A/c 24 333 7089. Please email Mal and Jodie Healey stating that you have paid.

NB: Landholders needing a dog trapper:

1. You must be a current active financial member.

2. You must have baited at least twice.

3. You must seek approval for the trapper through executive members of the Turon Wild Dog Association.

4. If you engage the trapper without prior approval you will pay for his services yourself. Neither Local Land Services nor the Turon Wild Dog Association will cover your costs.

The Turon group greatly appreciates the assistance given by Paul Gibbs from Central Tablelands Local Land Services, Mudgee Office, and look forward to a long-term association between Paul and the group.

We all realise that wild dogs have the potential to ruin the business of running sheep in the river hills.

Looking back

AS the time to end my writing of Rural Notebook starts to wind down, I have a few memories:

  • Landholders and control rabbiters bought Strychnine powder in bottles over the chemist counter until the late 1950s in Bathurst.
  • No females worked in shearing sheds until the mid 1970s.
  • The Godsen family from Warren started contract hogget mulesing in our district in the 1950s.
  • PP Board directors were all elected by the ratepayers, were unpaid and always wore a coat and tie to meetings until the 1980s.
  • Two shire councils bordered Bathurst City Council: Abercrombie to the south, Turon to the north. Bathurst Council's boundary was Boundary Road at the golf course and the little bridge near Morcom's Smash Repairs on the Vale Road.

Demo day

THE Lithgow-Oberon Landcare Association, in conjunction with On-Trac Ag, Agrowplow and Central Tablelands Local Land Services, will hold a Pasture Sowing Demonstration Day at Peter Moore's "Blink Bonnie", Tarana on Tuesday, April 16 from 10am to 12.30pm, weather permitting.

The demonstration site is 941 Sodwalls Road, approximately 300 metres east of Peter's woolshed, Tarana.

In attendance to answer questions will be Richard Stephens from the Landcare Association; Peter Russell and Joshua Ditchfield from On-Trac Ag (tractor and seeder options); Cameron Provost from Agroplow (seeder options); David Harbison from DR Agriculture (pasture species and management); and Clare Edwards from Central Tablelands Local Land Services (pasture species and management).

You must wear sturdy closed-in shoes, a hat and weather appropriate clothes. Morning tea will be provided.

Please RSVP for catering and so you can be notified if the event is postponed or cancelled due to unsuitable weather. Phone 0419 795 781 or email

Wool report

THE wool market has continued its slide for the sixth consecutive week.

Despite the national offering increasing to 37,454 bales, quantity is still well down compared to the same time last year. There have been 141,265 fewer bales offered this season, a drop of 9.6 per cent.

As I mentioned last week, the amount of low-yielding wools continues to rise and the increase of these lesser wools is pushing down the average national yield.

Higher yielding good style wools are still to be highly sought after but there is not enough of these better wools for buyers to batch good types together.

The Northern Market Indicator finished the week on 1986c/kg, down 7c/kg.

Next week will see 38,712 bales offered nationwide.

Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark

Laugh lines

DAD needed a break from drought and hungry cows, so he headed to Bondi for a week.

He texted his wife at home: beach and food is wonderful; am feeling a new man already. She messaged back: so am I; why not stay another week. (Thanks Dennis.)


REASONS not to steal a farmer's truck:

  • Only the owner can get the doors open.
  • Top speed will only be 45 kilometres.
  • It will probably run out of juice within 20km.
  • Getting away will be awkward, with tools, grease guns, ropes, chains, syringes, buckets and loose paper in the cab.
  • It's hard to commit a crime with everyone waving at you.