Rural Notebook | A real lack of interest after latest drop

SLOW THINKING: Maybe it's time to walk down a little bush track, slow down, and walk with the drover.
SLOW THINKING: Maybe it's time to walk down a little bush track, slow down, and walk with the drover.

THE new financial year has started with yet another interest rate reduction - good news for investors and home buyers, but rotten news for any retiree who planned to live off bank interest.

Everyone is hoping for government stability at every level and this should happen at federal policy discussions as both former Liberal prime ministers are out of parliament.

Silence from each gentleman would be golden.

Listen up

A LOT of older farmers have decided to sell their rural property and downsize to a hobby farm or a townhouse.

Please take time to finalise decisions and get professionals to inspect real estate with you and use the expertise of a reputed financial planner before committing cash to managed or super funds.

The cost of advice could be the best value-for-money decision that you will make in your lifetime.

First response

WINTER has drawn in pretty tightly as soil temperatures are too low for much growth but lots of superphosphate is lying in paddocks as we wait for a break.

Paddocks that have been spelled or very lightly stocked are still carrying standing dry grass from last summer and underneath is quite a sward of green pasture.

These paddocks respond to even five millimetres of rain and will be the first to recover when seasons improve.

Not many producers are attempting to restock in mid-winter and surface water supplies in some areas are lower than most can remember.

Please keep your eyes open for possible stock thieves and report any vehicles that seem suspicious.

Every animal is valuable and every neighbour needs your support.

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Few thoughts

THE second half of 2019 may hold some huge changes for farmers across Australia and a snapshot of possibilities is food for thought:

  • If the severe drought were to break in late winter, early spring, every lamb and every calf that can survive will be really valuable as beef cattle and sheep numbers are at extremely low levels.
  • The US/China trade wars may escalate and it could seriously affect beef, sheepmeat and wool exports from our country to either the US or China. The collapse of a medium-sized bank in China has already set off economic ripples in that country.
  • Should the severe drought conditions continue, producers would be forced to make ongoing decisions to try to remain viable.

Let's be positive and hope for the first week of August to be our drought-breaker.

NEW LIFE: This Speckle Park heifer was eight hours old in our photo.

NEW LIFE: This Speckle Park heifer was eight hours old in our photo.

Good results

UNTIL very recent years, few farmers knew of the properties of Giberellic Acid as a foliar plant spray, but some producers tell of excellent results from using the product on crops and pastures.

Trade names vary, but the chemical is applied by boom spray on to standing plants or foliage.

Respected Local Land Services agronomist Phil Cranney has been associated with the use of "gibber" on tablelands properties and his advice and opinion should be a valuable resource for possible users.

Pigging out

CONSISTENT reports of feral pig damage have come in from both north and south of Bathurst city and groups of 20 to 30 pigs being sighted in broad daylight are mentioned.

Property owners are worried that uninvited shooters will enter properties and disturb livestock and damage fences.

Feral pigs have been blamed for serious losses of young lambs and several landholders tell me of the expert advice that they used to receive from retired Board ranger Dennis Ferson who they regarded as the pig control expert.

Dogs' day

ENTRIES close in two weeks for started and working dogs to be included in Bowyer and Livermore's Dog Auction at Bathurst Showground on Saturday, August 10.

This sale is held in conjunction with the Bathurst Merino Association Annual Ram Expo and it has established a reputation as a good venue to buy or sell a handy working dog.

If you intend to offer a hound at this sale, you can download an entry form: www.colonsaystud.com.

Tough job

ON the local scene, our councils will hold mayoral elections during the coming September and there may be a couple of changes in the offing.

Being a mayor is often a thankless job but from my corner I think the leaders of the six councils in our district should be admired for being the mouthpiece of their council and for "stopping the kids from arguing".

As in all government spheres, stability and commonsense are the hallmark qualities that are required at the decision-making table.

Wool report

THE final sales of the 2018/19 wool selling season continued the downward trend that started at the beginning of June.

The Northern Market Indicator lost another 58c/kg to finish the week on 1731c/kg clean - 410c/kg from its high last August.

Most of the fine merino types lost around 100c/kg, while all other merino types lost around 85c/kg.

Crossbred wool also lost ground of around 40c/kg.

The sentiment for the last two sales before the three-week mid-year recess doesn't seem to be much better, unfortunately, with buyers saying business is hard to do in China at these levels.

Next week will see 34,504 bales on offer nationwide.

Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark

Laugh lines

HIS mate admired Fred's new pinstripe suit.

"The missus surprised me," Fred said. "I came home early last Friday and there it was hanging at the end of our big bed."

***

THE society lady was impressing her friends. "My husband is back on the council and he got in unexposed," she said.

***

"OF course there's no other boyfriend," she said. "Do you think I'd still be sitting here with a mug like you if there was?"