A THOUGHT for August and beyond: for the first time in years we are seeing a full profile of soil moisture in our lovely Central Tablelands.
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We must be extra careful of taking trucks into boggy paddocks and ATVs and two-wheel motorbikes will be of real value.
Talk of leaving badly bogged machines "where they are for many weeks" is bringing back memories of the 1950s.
Perhaps the climate wheel has turned once again.
JOURNALIST Nadine Morton wrote a great article on our present season in last weekend's Western Advocate, complete with a pin-up of Turondale grazier Mal Healy and his working dogs.
Mal is upbeat and feels that the long drought may be over and we all hope that it is.
A wise old lady told me many years ago that the 1965 drought was caused by "the wrath of God, as many farmers were being sinful".
To follow that lady's logic, most of the farmers must now be back in their own beds, as paddocks are full of green grass and dams are full.
As PM Morrison would say, "please stay at home".
WITH the shearing season getting into full swing, it is important that flock owners make their plans with their usual contractor or sugar bag staff to avoid hold-ups and disappointment.
The lack of many Kiwi shearers and shed staff will cause some problems, so it's important to keep in touch with all involved.
WHILE we're talking about really hard work, for those who have lots of problems with leg and feet cramps when cooled down, please try a tube of Voltaren and rub it in well.
It works well for old men and should for much younger ones too.
A $30 correction for lamb prices during last week has returned sucker prices to a level that is still quite viable, but a fair way from the handy 950-1000c carcase weight that was achievable into winter.
This correction was not unexpected as good numbers of early suckers start to hit the market by mid-August in normal years, but the restrictions in some Victorian meatworks must have serious effects.
There are a lot of unstocked or lightly stocked properties across the state and in our district it's easy to spot the land that was only bought for capital gain.
These blocks will certainly benefit from a decade or so without being used and the kangaroos love them.
SEPTEMBER brings us marking time for lambs and some out of season calves.
Lamb markers are urged to use the property's registered earmark, quality vaccine such as 6-in-1, scabby mouth vaccine as required and the colour of the year eartag.
For self-replacing merino flocks, a shot of Gudair vaccine is almost a necessity, a must for ewe lambs and a choice if wether lambs will go into the meat trade as lambs.
Unvaccinated ewe lambs on properties with a Johnes history could suffer six per cent annual losses and at $200 per ewe, the monetary loss will be really serious.
A lifetime vaccine that virtually eliminates the disease at $3 once only is a commonsense necessity.
THE NSW Rural Fire Service has opened a portal for landholders to notify the RFS of their planned burnoffs, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
The usual fire permit will still be needed when restrictions are in force and neighbours will still have to be informed, but the phone call to the RFS and the prospect of the brigade turning up can be eliminated if this is done correctly.
The website, www.rfs.nswgov/notify, should be a valuable source of information.
THREE Japanese manufacturers have threatened to cease to supply four-wheeled ATV motorbikes to the Australian market because of upcoming safety requirements.
These little machines would be greatly missed by farmer users as they are real mud-runners in wet years and all-round workers.
Honda is offering a 125 Postie bike as an ideal farm bike and the extra engine capacity will be valuable.
To watch a top notch stockman drift off a mob of baby lambs with their mothers is always a great sight.
No ATV can be as useful for that job as a quiet two-wheeler ridden by an expert stockman.
I use the word stockman, but there are some stock girls who are just as good.
BATHURST councillor Alex Christian raised the subject of the former Green Corps (or Green Army) that was a Federal Government initiative from the start of Tony Abbott's prime ministership.
Malcolm Turnbull terminated the scheme at his first opportunity and took away a very practical scheme that had supported many young workers and helped with the care of the environment.
I was involved with the scheme in our district through Local Land Services and Skillset and I saw how young people were given a chance to develop a work ethic, horticultural skills, work as a team and earn a work reference at the completion of a six month term.
I support Alex Christian in his request to restore the Green Army as it was a valuable scheme from many viewpoints.
DRAMATIC price falls marked the resumption of wool sales following the three-week recess as COVID-19 continues to negatively impact global demand for textiles.
All merino types saw falls of around 160c/kg, while the crossbred wools lost between 50 and 80c/kg.
The Northern Market Indicator finished the week on 1044c/kg, down 131c/kg.
There was seller resistance to the dramatic fall, which led to a 30.1pc pass in rate.
There was some light in such a dismal week with some signs of India and Europe re-entering the market.
A major European top maker, Modiano, bought 30pc of the crossbred offering.
Next week could see a little dead cat bounce, but with exporters and the whole textile chain second-guessing the right approach of when and at what level to buy, the market will remain flat for some time.
Next week will see 33,413 bales on offer nationwide.
IF you have a child, you are a parent. If you have two, you become a referee.
SHE said that relationships should be treated like full-time jobs. If he wants to leave, he should give her two weeks' notice, ask for severance pay and on the day he leaves should arrange for a capable three-week temporary.
AN old cockie retired to town and watched a truck go past that was loaded with rolled turf.
"That's what I'll do," he told a friend, "send the lawn out to be mown."
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