Rural Notebook | Slowly emerging into a very different world

HARD AT WORK: Rowan and Rod Stocks' machine is busy mowing a nice crop of blackbutt oats near Bathurst.
HARD AT WORK: Rowan and Rod Stocks' machine is busy mowing a nice crop of blackbutt oats near Bathurst.

AS our community slowly comes out of hibernation we must continue to be extra careful, keep our distance, wash hands regularly and keep out of crowds, movies and churches.

We have to wonder whether members will ever return to large crowd attractions, service clubs and retiree groups.

So many have discovered that working from home with Zoom and Skype can be quite productive with face-to-face meetings being manageable on screen.

Perhaps this could be a great time for long-time group members to gracefully hand the reins to a younger generation who have been too polite to suggest a peaceful retirement.

Even retired race horses can be happy in green paddocks with good water.

Trade woes

THE trade war that may eventuate between our country and China has already caused lots of problems for our exporters.

Most affected to this stage has been the wool industry where auction values have slipped by around 40 per cent during 2020 and a market indicator that is not far above cost of production for a lot of specialist wool producers.

Dual purpose producers are still receiving good returns for their red meat product but the reliance that our nation has an exporting to China will continue to cause possible problems to every producer.

Strong leadership at every level will be needed as our world starts to settle down after the major shock from COVID-19.

Retiring type

ALAN Jones'recent retirement from radio 2GB has brought a lot of tributes from public figures and a few gripes from old foes.

The farming community always regarded him as a strong supporter and advocate for drought support but he angered some listeners at times as he got really wound up on political issues.

Jones was widely recognised for his incisive research on many subjects and for his work ethic, but a departed lady friend always switched off radio 2BS when Alan came on at 11am.

Myrtle refused to listen to "the blasted Liberal Hour".

LOOKING GOOD: A once-in-a-lifetime fodder crop being windrown just south of Bathurst city.

LOOKING GOOD: A once-in-a-lifetime fodder crop being windrown just south of Bathurst city.

Slices of life

A QUICK look at life in and around Bathurst:

It's happy birthday to Jim Hallahan of Edgell Jog and Ford fame and also Alan Healey of greyhound racing and farming notoriety. Cheers to Borry.

And Lou Shehadie, one of Bathurst's best, has also recently celebrated a milestone birthday.

I'm sure that these gentlemen would agree with me - we didn't think that old age would happen so quickly.

And still on the subject: I often read that the most likely to die from COVID-19 is a 78-year-old Anglo Saxon male with some history of heart problems.

When I shave each morning I see him in my mirror.

Dog control

LAST week's issue of The Land carried a positive story of the Healey family at Turondale and outlined their efforts to control wild dogs on their properties.

The design features of exclusion fences are evolving quickly and those used by the Healeys are giving good results.

Malcolm and Jodie have a made-to-order workforce with their six healthy sons who are keen and full of life.

Local Land Services has been working with the Turondale Wild Dog Association since inception and this big group of landholders is a great example of "help comes to those who will help themselves".

ATV demise

THE likely demise of four wheeler ATVs will change the work horses on many farms as side-by-side runabouts replace the ATVs.

The little four-wheelers have been a godsend to lots of farmers as they can paddle across wet areas and cart work dogs.

Of course, a good stockman will always prefer a two-wheel motorbike as he can position the machine precisely but he can come off it in long wet grass if not ultra careful.

The little four-wheelers are great helpers but they have a history of being deadly if riders make a mistake.

Wool report

WITH only the one-day sales in Sydney and Fremantle and two days in Melbourne, producers last week welcomed price gains for all Merino types.

Prices were up between 20c-40c/kg as buyers chased the finer Merinos with good length and strength tests.

It was a different story for crossbreds, however, losing around 20c/kg.

The Northern Market Indicator finished the week on 1230c/kg, up 16c/kg.

Although the price gains were welcome news, buyers are saying this could be around the level of the market for the next 12 to 18 months until we are rid of the COVID- 19 virus and consumers start to buy woollen garments again.

Next week will see a very small offering of just 21,000 bales on offer nationwide.

Mark Horsburgh, Nutrien Wool

Laugh lines

SCIENCE has proven that birthdays are good for farmers' health.

The result: the more birthdays a farmer has, the longer he lives.


THE sheep cockie took his wife and five big kids to Sydney for the weekend.

He told a friend that the big smoke was wonderful.

"We had great meals three times each day and all the waiters at the cafe had Salvation Army uniforms on.


GEORGE emailed home to his wife: "Had a nasty crash on the way to work. Mazda is a write off. Nikki got me to hospital. Xray shows broken sternum, ankle injury and much bruising. Am in RPA IC ward, love George."

His wife texted back: "Who the hell is Nikki?"