Rural Notebook | Lack of races would bring us back to pack

TRUE COLOURS: Elders shirts were in evidence at Milton Vale, Rockley on Bathurst Merino Association ewe competition day.
TRUE COLOURS: Elders shirts were in evidence at Milton Vale, Rockley on Bathurst Merino Association ewe competition day.

EASTER has come and gone and autumn leaves are just starting to flutter down.

We are getting close to a first frost on low country and early sown fodder crops have gotten off to a great start.

This year's Easter car races brought a lot of visitors to our district and it was great to see so many Mount Panorama caps and shirts being worn by the crowds in the street.

Our world famous Mount is a credit to all involved with motor racing and I hope that the generations to come will continue to appreciate the venue.

We can only speculate how the Central Tablelands would operate if the motor races ceased.

There are lots of tourist attractions across our towns and cities, but the races and the track itself bring many thousands of people who bring their dollars with them.

MAKEOVER: The same basic house in a South African town. Before and after.

MAKEOVER: The same basic house in a South African town. Before and after.

A word on wool

THE weekly wool auction report that Richard Butcher includes in this column is well regarded by sheep producers in our district.

Mark Horsburgh provided the report for many years and both men represent Nutrien Wool.

The Bathurst district was once a leading wool producing region with a quality workforce of shearers and wool handlers and present day producers are proud of their annual merino ewe competition that has run for almost 30 years.

Elders Walcha has revived its competition that lapsed when the wool reserve price crashed in 1990 and has nine teams entered in its upcoming event.

Meet the market

THE lack of store cattle supply is severe and agents tell of prospective buyers leaving sales empty handed and an Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) of 883c/kg last week.

This level is 190c/kg above the same date last year and predictions are for a 936c/kg peak.

If we adjust the EYCI for inflation, we find that its all-time peak was in mid-1965 when its nominal price level was 68c/kg.

Agents report that there are no gaps in the present market and "if you don't bid to this present level, you'll have paddocks full of feed and no cattle".

The crystal ball

AGENTS and finance providers make business plans with clients every day and they make strategic presumptions for rural producers on a regular basis.

To roll the dice for long-term plans, we look back to the 1990s and find broadacre land within 25 minutes of a Tablelands town was valued at, say, $400 per acre, combing wool was $200 per bale, steers were about $250 each, cross lambs at $25 and merino ewes at $30.

Fast forward to 2021 and these products have risen about seven to 10 times over.

So now put the banker's cap on and project to the year 2051 and guess will the same land be worth $40,000 per acre in 2051 and all other values be multiplied by 10.

John Elliott would have said "pig's a...", but history may repeat itself.

Remember when we said that $400 an acre country was too valuable to graze sheep and cattle?

Mind your manners

RECENT problems in local government matters to our west have shown us the need for common sense and good manners in all our dealings and particularly for those in public positions.

A lot of council and board decisions are made after debate behind closed doors and democracy shows us that majority decisions are supported in the public arena.

We must accept that the "seat polishers" were elected to make the decisions on our behalf and that elections can change the composition of decision-makers every three or four years.

A fitting motto may be "if you're not involved, you're part of the problem".

Turnbull trouble

WHEN the NSW Coalition cabinet appointed former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull as chair of the State Climate Policy Committee it must have known that this decision would be divisive.

State Environment Minister Matt Kean has policies that differ widely from some of his colleagues and he obviously supported Mr Turnbull's selection, but I hear many disappointed comments from conservative supporters and some claim that "the Premier must realise that voters are angry enough to leave the Nationals and support the Shooters and One Nation".

The coming byelection for Upper Hunter should provide a litmus test for the disgust and the SFF party could be good value for a $20 bet.

Good sports

A SPORTING snippet from four decades ago: A Shooters Hill, Rugby Union grade cricket match in Bathurst; Two RU bats had run up a big partnership and, after a late smoko, one had 100 plus, his mate had 99 when the Shooters Hill men said "one more over for old mate to get his 100" and he did. The McGraths, Gibbons, Dennis and Glazebrooks in that team always played their sport just like that and their sportsmanship isn't forgotten.

Diary date

THE Royal Bathurst Show is fast approaching. Please start registering your fleece entries now by contacting the show office.

Wool report

WEEK 40 saw the Australian wool market firm to an indicator of 1300 - up 1.17 per cent or 15ac/kg.

The market showed improvements in US dollars of 1.18pc and in Euro of 2.37pc.

There were 44,000 bales offered and 40,035 bales were sold, with only a 9.5pc passed-in rate.

The biggest movers were low VM fleece lines of 18.5 and finer.

Broader merino wools were basically unchanged for the week.

Crossbred wools were up to 20ac dearer, with indent buyers and topmakers pushing these wools along.

Talking to some of the exporters at the sale last week, they are saying that, yes, there are some logistical issues at present, but they are finding a way to get the wool clip sold and exported.

While China remains the main buyer, there are European and some Indian orders in the market, which is very positive.

Week 41 is in Easter recess.

Sales will return next week (week 42) with approximately 54,000 bales on offer Australia-wide.

Richard Butcher, Nutrien Wool

Laugh lines

A PESSIMIST sees a black, dark tunnel.

An optimist sees light at the end of a tunnel.

A realist sees a freight train.

A train driver sees three mugs standing in the middle of the tracks.


THE world's first computer has been traced back to Adam and Eve. Surprise, surprise, it was an Apple. But with extremely limited memory.

Just one Byte and everything crashed.


THE farmer's wife said her old corgi was going deaf.

Dad didn't agree and called: "Rover, sit."

Wife said: "I told you so, Herb; get the shovel."