Rural Notebook | Buy, sell or swap yarns at the Ram Expo

BLAST FROM THE PAST: From a scrapbook: two EH Holden utes on a Snowy Scheme project in 1964.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: From a scrapbook: two EH Holden utes on a Snowy Scheme project in 1964.

BATHURST Merino Association's decision to go ahead with its Ram Expo on Saturday, August 15 is being well received as it will give producers a chance to network, perhaps buy or sell a handy sheep dog, and have a good look at some stud bred sheep.

Because so many events have been cancelled for health reasons, this event should see a further easing of crowd restrictions.

Should a feared second wave of virus problems arise, the BMA organisers would have to reassess, but at this time plans are all systems go.

The BMA working dog auction forms are on the website

IN BLACK AND WHITE: This border collie pup could grow to be a great asset to a sheep farmer.

IN BLACK AND WHITE: This border collie pup could grow to be a great asset to a sheep farmer.

On with the job

STILL in the sheep corner, it's good to hear how all the animal husbandry jobs have carried on with saleyard, shearing operations, lamb marking and crutching jobs being done with a minimum of fuss and a sensible compliance with health regulations.

What would Australia do without the excellent workforce that keeps our rural industry rolling?

I dip my cap to the army of young Aussies who get on with the job every day.


Up and down

A LOCAL woolbroker was interviewed on ABC Rural Radio last week and he discussed the vastly changed situation within the sheep and wool industry since the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world.

Red meat markets have strengthened, while raw wool prices have fallen by at least 40 per cent since the first sale of 2020.

Bathurst broker Milton Smith referred to a bread and butter type cutting $30 worth of wool and being worth $150 to the meat trade.

The prospect of the nation's sheep flock being rebuilt is highly unlikely when the economic rationale is to sell all but the quality future breeders to give your rural business some significant cash flow.

Wool's prospects should revive as the deadly effects of COVID slowly subside.

They're taking control

THE coronavirus matter has caused yet another cancellation: the 2020 Burraga Sheep Show.

This is only the third time in 60 years that the show has had to be cancelled, but we can be assured that the 2021 event will be better than ever.

While we are in the Burraga area, Neil Francis advises that a big group of landholders have come together to form the Abercrombie Pest Control Group that is working to control feral animals in a large belt of country that includes Shooters Hill, Trunkey, Paling Yards, Burraga and across the Abercrombie River to Peelwood.

Central Tablelands and South East Local Land Services have worked across borders to carry out fresh meat baiting during May and the main targets of the bait program are wild dogs and foxes.

Landholders who need information from the Abercrombie Pest Control Group are urged to contact Scott Brown, Neil Francis, Graham Boon or Peter Robinson from the area.

Chemical user accreditation is important. If you have accreditation such as Country Co., Chemcert, etc, that has just expired, it will be recognised as viable until October 2020 due to COVID meeting restrictions.

Morning people

I OFTEN hear complaints regarding supposed bias by ABC personalities on evening shows such as Media Watch and Q and A, as well as complaints regarding the 7.30 Report.

We must remember that governments are often decided by margins as close as 51-49 per cent and this means that half of the voters will see bias while the other half will not.

A lot of country people listen to ABC Orange in the 5.30-7am timeslot with excellent national, local and rural news being presented five mornings a week.

Added in are stock market and wool reports and an upbeat Ewan Gilbert, who keeps his ear to the ground.

There may be a bit of news bias on evening shows, but I'm sure that lots of country people regard early mornings as our ABC.

A while to wait

THE NSW Minister for Local Government has announced that all council elections in our state will be held on the first Saturday in September next year.

This date is a long way off and we hope that councils will not drop into drift mode and simply roll along.

It was good to see Bathurst Regional Council finally approve the building of a high standard track for go-karts on the top of Mount Panorama as well as the Taco Bell outlet in Stewart Street.

Each of these developments has been contentious and I may not live long enough to see them in operation, but Bathurst councillors were elected to make decisions and it's good to see them actually do that.

Wool report

THE Australian wool market continued its freefall this week, the Northern Market Indicator finishing the week on 1185c/kg - down 33c/kg.

The finer type merinos were the least affected, only losing around 10 to 15c/kg, but the medium to broader merinos lost 40 to 50c/kg and crossbred wools lost around 20c/kg.

The finer merino types have now lost 600c/kg since this time last year and the medium to broader types have lost around 800c/kg.

Crossbred wools have lost 500c/kg.

Unfortunately, this level of market will be with us for some time to come while COVID-19 is still around.

Next week will see 30,240 bales on offer nationwide.

Mark Horsburgh, Nutrien Wool

Laugh lines

SHE was thinking of breaking up with Henry.

"I've been so upset for weeks that I've lost three kilograms," she said.

Her friend advised her to hunt Henry at once, but was told: "Not for a while longer; I want to lose another four kilograms."


THERE is now proof that anti-wrinkle cream does not work. Science says that if it did, women over 40 would have no fingerprints.


WHEN his partner said she was leaving but wanted to remain friends, he said: "But that's like when your dog dies and you're still expected to take it walking."