Rural Notebook | Will this be the first week of many?

QUIET: Our peaceful Macquarie River close to where a new four-lane bridge is suggested. Photo: SUPPLIED
QUIET: Our peaceful Macquarie River close to where a new four-lane bridge is suggested. Photo: SUPPLIED

TUESDAY week brings the very first edition of the Shearwell/The Land Sheep Week to Bathurst Showground from 10am to3 pm.

This will probably be a quiet exchange of stud breeders' plans and opinions with a steady stream of visitors to have an appraisal of the sheep on display.

There will be a great opportunity for all involved to search for ideas to make Sheep Week an ongoing success for the future.

Of particular interest will be:

  • Should Bathurst Merino Association amalgamate its annual August ram expo, dog auction, junior judging and super six ewe competition with Sheep Week in future.
  • Junior judging may suit school students better on a weekday than on Saturday.
  • Commercial exhibits will attend if the number of visitors reaches into the hundreds.
  • Stud owners, visitors and possible commercial exhibitors must all be involved in these decisions. Don't forget the dog sellers and the selling agents.
  • There must be a livewire ideas person in the BMA who can sort out the possibilities. Even Bathurst Regional Council may have a role to play.
FURRY FRIEND: This young koala was crossing a quiet country road at 10pm just 10km from Bathurst Post Office. Photo: SUPPLIED

FURRY FRIEND: This young koala was crossing a quiet country road at 10pm just 10km from Bathurst Post Office. Photo: SUPPLIED

Bypass surgery

RE: City Has Waited 112 Years For A Solution (Letters to the editor, Western Advocate, June 8).

Jim Grives' thoughtful letter outlined the future traffic problems that our city will face as a greatly increased number of vehicles will stream into the CBD.

He suggests a new four-lane bridge and road to connect Stanley Street to the new estates of Laffing Waters and a friend raised the idea of a single track light rail from central Bathurst to the eastern end of Marsden Lane, possibly built and operated by private enterprise on a pay as you use basis.

Old timers realise that our lovely city and its environs have grown much more quickly than our road system.

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Wool pioneer

WOOL producers sadly note the tragic death of industry stalwart Trevor Picker whose Hillcreston Stud at Bigga was a source of some of Australia's very best ultrafine wool and breeding genetics.

Trevor was a leading light of the wool industry and his Hillcreston legacy will live on through his extended family.

Well, well, well

LAST week's article about the 30 metre deep well created interest and Ted Rheinberger, a former resident of Hamilton Street at Eglinton, tells me that he certainly did see stars in the daytime sky from a working well in Eglinton.

This happened in the days when Eglinton was a quiet country village in the Turon Shire with church services on Sundays.

Nowadays the road into Bathurst carries long lines of traffic at busy times and the former quiet village contains lots of shiny new roofs and a buzz of constant building activity.

Edwin Ryan confirms that he has also experienced the same phenomenon in a well at his Orton Park property.

Biosecurity plans

MUCH noise was generated in recent years as the word biosecurity was brought to landholders' notice.

Detailed biosecurity plans had to be drawn up for each property and accredited, then re-accredited each three years at the cost of $30 per plan.

Much of the written plan covered the risks associated with possible disease, pest or fibre contamination caused by farmed animals coming in contact with contamination risks. High on these lists were fibre shedding animals that are always difficult to contain in their home property.

These biosecurity plans will soon be due for update and some questions will be harder to answer than they were in 2016.

Boundary fences are of vital importance if we try to guarantee our livestock.

Working kids

THE Land newspaper ran a supplement recently on the value of work that farm kids perform day after day as they help mum and dad with the ups and downs of farm life.

Several girls I know are excellent judges of merino sheep in the real world without any of the trappings of the show ring and some of the best lamb catchers have always been the farm kids and they loved to be paid properly.

Stock handling skills are learnt from an early age and many farm kids have greater stock skills than their fathers, but dad doesn't know.

Driving forces

SALES figures tell us that Australia's top selling passenger vehicle for the month of May was the Ford Ranger, outselling the Toyota HiLux by a small margin.

Dual cab four-wheel drive utes are a real dual-purpose vehicle even though they are bulky for a lady to use as a shopping trolley and push around the parking lots.

There must be a reason why a vehicle maker such as Hyundai or Suzuki didn't make a single cab 4WD ute to replace the soft riding Subaru Brumby that was an ideal farmer's ute and attracted many a pretty girl's eye.

Winter worries

LATE-SOWN crops across our district are winter wheats, white oats, moby barley and rye corn.

All of these crops are germinated and will produce some green feed if winter rains arrive.

As always the paddocks with good fallow will perform best, whether the fallow is old-fashioned plough and cultivate or no-till following good chemical weed control.

We know that no variety of crop ever grew without moisture and every farmer in our lovely district would dearly love to see 10 wet days by the end of the financial year.

We realise that every day brings us closer to the flooding rains but in the meantime great care must be taken with quality livestock and quality pastures.

With sale stock that are in meat trade condition being valuable, it's easy to ease up on wool quality and concentrate on producing more protein.

Infusions of finn sheep for fertility and short tails as well as white suffolks for body structure, and ease of lambing produced some unusual wool qualities and probably took a decade to stabilise, but in many cases the quick-growing fleeces are now of good quality.

Many modern merinos don't have a family resemblance to their ancestor sheep.

Laugh lines

THE young wife had gone for a night out with the girls and hubby was left home alone.

She slipped quietly upstairs at midnight and found four bare feet poking from the doona.

Enraged, she grabbed a baseball bat the belted all four feet before storming downstairs for a drink.

Hubby rose from watching TV and mumbled: "Your mum and dad called in for a surprise visit, so I gave them our bed night for the night, love. We can sleep in the spare room."

***

GEORGE found some handy off-farm income as a reverse male stripper.

He came on stage minus his clothes and the girls at the hen's nights quickly paid him to put his gear back on.