COMMENT

Rural Notebook | Now that's a bit of a seed head surprise

SIGN OF THE TIMES: The Neville community are saying this for us and remembering our frontline health workers.
SIGN OF THE TIMES: The Neville community are saying this for us and remembering our frontline health workers.

SPRING 2020 has made an early start and the sight of seed heads on barley grass at 900 metres on August 1 is unusual.

There is clear surface water that is moving slowly in quite a few areas of the Bathurst basin and this augurs well for the replenishing of storage dams.

For those who have found a really boggy spot and need help to rescue a vehicle or machine, please give a thought to a tracked excavator.

Some years ago, Stuart Inwood walked a heavy excavator about a kilometre to de-bog a heavy truck with a five tonne load on board.

That type of excavator can go where angels fear to tread and is great value when there's real trouble.

BANK ON IT: Lots of fresh water in contour banks at Craig and Jen Hotham's property near Rockley Mount.

BANK ON IT: Lots of fresh water in contour banks at Craig and Jen Hotham's property near Rockley Mount.

Crops worth seeing

A VISIT to Cowra and Canowindra showed us what a great season in early August can look like on premium soils that have received a lot of rain.

The absence of livestock is obvious with almost wall-to-wall crops.

Of particular interest is a lupin crop of several hundred acres that is just showing its signature purple heads.

In that corner of our district I know that Allan and Sue Dawson were disappointed when both the Harden Merino Field Day and the Bathurst Ram Expo were cancelled for human health reasons.

The Dawsons also display their sheep at Orange National Field Days and will also miss this cancelled event.

They are going ahead with their Annual Ram Sale on September 9 on-property at Canowindra and they have quite a list of satisfied clients in our district.

This year's offering of hogget rams will be right up to Winyar's usual high standard.

Will be missed

FAREWELL to three prominent Bathurstians who have passed away in recent times.

Max Ingersole operated the Retravision store in town for many years and he was heavily involved in community life.

Dennis Kenny was a Dalgety manager and farmer all his life and volunteered for charitable organisations.

Ron Wood spent many years as secretary of Bathurst AH and P Association and the Showground Trust.

Each man has left a legion of friends and treasured memories.

Shearer shortfall

MEDIA reports tell of the prospect of about 500 Kiwi shearers not being able to join our Australian workforce to get the national flock shorn in reasonable time.

When Kiwi shearers first arrived some 40 years ago in our district they were treated as visitors with wide combs and extended working hours.

Over time our workforce embraced their combs and their friendship and I have great memories of working with merinos in five stand sheds with several Kiwi shearers.

Those 500 shearers would normally shear about 10 per cent of the national flock and they will leave some big shoes to fill.

Every sheep cockie should look after their shearers and wool handlers as they are the lifeblood of the wool industry.

Keep it in perspective

PERTHVILLE Village Fair has been cancelled, as has the Burraga Sheep Show, Bathurst and Orange Shows and Orange National Field Days.

This year's Bathurst Merino Association Ram Expo at the Showground has also been called off, but the B and L Working Dog Auction is still being planned in a different format.

Col and Kirby McPhee or B and L will provide details.

Everyone has fingers crossed for the future of COVID-19 and we have to be extra careful, follow the health experts' directions, and hope like hell.

We all miss our friends, our churches and family get-togethers, but our ancestors had much less than us and battled through pretty tough times.

Diary dates

A FEW country events that are coming up shortly:

  • Bella Lana Merinos open day on September 8 from 10am to 2pm, with 250 sale rams on show.
  • Millah Murrah Angus Bull Sale on Thursday, September 3; 80 bulls.
  • Gilmandyke Angus on-farm auction on August 27; 70 bulls; 120 PTIC Angus heifers; Bowyer and Livermore agents.

Building boom

AN article in a recent issue of The Land outlined the building activity that has followed several open days at Hilton Barrett's property near Dubbo.

The open days featured a state-of-the-art new four stand woolshed that contained most of the industry's latest innovations that are designed to make sheep flow more readily and every facet of the shearing and wool handling work smoothly.

Hilton is a well-regarded shearing contractor and is right up to the minute with modern, premature shearing and the changed work practices that go with it.

Inspection days of the new facility have caused a flurry of shed renovations and building of new, all purpose shearing sheds.

Laugh lines

HE was a red-faced son of the soil from away to our west and was in Surry Hills on respite from sheep and cows.

He hired an escort girl, who arrived at his motel.

"Why don't we start with a spa," she asked.

Our man answered: "I didn't come 500 kilometres and pay $300 to spar or fight with you honey."

***

THE neighbouring cockie, who was renowned for borrowing, arrived at George's place on Friday night.

He talked about shearing on weekends and George said: "I'm shearing my stud flock all weekend, so I'll need all my combs, cutters, screwdrivers, oil pots, brooms and woolpacks."

The neighbour smiled.

"Well, that's good, mate," he said, "because I want to borrow your golf clubs."

***

IS this progress? Some of our ancestors put masks on to go bushranging. Now we put masks on to go shopping for groceries.