WIDESPREAD rain across much of our state has changed the autumn season from knife edge balance at the start of March to one of the best autumn breaks that most can remember.
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Stock are already grazing fodder crops that were sown on little moisture in February.
Farmers on the southern side of Bathurst city are hoping for an old-fashioned "gully raker" storm to fill farm dams and cause significant inflows to Oberon and Chifley dams.
Respected former district agronomist Bruce Clements often said that Bathurst didn't have many real autumn breaks, but winter 2020 could turn into one of the best in decades.
Regular rainfall will be needed, but farmer confidence is high at present.
MARK Horsburgh's wool report on this page will detail the very serious slump in current wool auctions, but the industry will prevail and the meat side of the business is very attractive.
Some discussion is current regarding the amount of dust that has affected wool yield and fleeces with extra long pencil staples are being blamed for the dust penetration.
Severe drought years add to the problem and memories of changing shearing cutters after three sheep were common during severe drought in the early 1980s.
Dust problems are not as severe in SRS type flocks that are shorn at about seven months.
RECENT RURAL NOTEBOOK COLUMNS:
OUR country's leaders have really come to the fore as they direct our response to the disease pandemic as well as the possible collapse of a lot of business, and a serious loss of jobs across our communities.
The much-needed financial stimulus measures will take some years for governments to repay, but these measures seem to have been thoughtfully planned and a low interest regime will soften the blow.
From the Prime Minister, Minister for Health, Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Opposition Leader Mr Albanese and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, all the messages are clear and sensible as these leaders seek to protect our people.
For once, the strident voices of protest leaders are silent as cheap party politics from each side are ignored by a worried population.
THE coronavirus outbreak continues to cause the cancellation of many events and The Land Beef and Sheep Weeks are the latest victims.
Stanford Poll Hereford sale on May 1 is still listed as well as Violet Hills Charolais auction on May 7.
To illustrate the strength of store cattle sales, a Wodonga special sale quotes 52 Hereford spring drop steers, 218kg average weight, selling at $995.
These are only little fellas and have a long way to go.
THE farming community are noting that many of the town and city dwellers who are hard hit by the pandemic are the very same people who dipped into their pockets to support drought-hit farmers.
Our Aussie spirit has really been tested by drought, fire and virus, but we all know that the bad times will pass, and that mining and agriculture will be at the forefront of our nation's recovery.
Meanwhile, we must appreciate all the workers who are keeping our country operating while a lot of us are told to keep out of the way and let them get on with the essentials.
AFTER many drought years and handfeeding of livestock in containment areas, quite a few older farming couples are being kept in human containment areas - kept in house yards and having food and newspapers delivered to them.
Ladies of the house appreciate a magazine or book to read and a popular coffee table read is Lifestyle, with the current edition featuring leading jockey Hugh Bowman and the mare Winx on the cover.
A LOVELY little story in the middle of a national crisis.
A little girl wrote to Western Australia's Premier Mark McGowan and asked if the Easter Bunny would be able to cross the state border with Easter eggs.
The Premier took the time to address the media from his office and held up an Eggsemption document for all the little people to see.
This may be the best Easter message for 2020.
TRANSPORT and finance problems resulting from the COVID-19 virus sent the wool market into a sharp downturn this week.
All merino types lost around 170c/kg and crossbred wools lost around the same.
The Northern Market Indicator finished the week on 1320c/kg, which was down 162c/kg.
Whether the market continues to fall or firms remains to be seen, although some buyers are suggesting we may see a bit of a halt in the slide as Chinese mills place some orders to try to keep machinery running.
The open cry auction system will continue as normal until such time as buyers or staff fall ill from the virus.
If this should happen, sales would resume in the Auctions Plus online system.
It is already up and running, but will be updated over the next couple of weeks to be able to handle the extra quantity.
Next week will see 44,216 bales on offer.
DAD and mum had flown home from a holiday in Africa and he was telling the neighbours of a great safari tour.
He was asked about wild animals, native tribes and great rivers, and he told of no problem.
"So it was a great trip and nothing went wrong?" one neighbour asked.
Then dad took a matchbox from his pocket and a 12 centimetre lady with a blue rinse got out.
"Tell them what you said to the witch doctor, Mavis," dad said.
"Dear dad and mum," the ag college student wrote home, "I urgently need $1150 for a new iPad for my uni work."
But the student told a friend he got an awful result: "The oldies sent me a $1150 iPad."
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