OPINION: John Seaman takes a look at life on the land

WELL DONE: Blayney vet Dennis Hitchen carried out a successful caesarean on this Speckle Park heifer. Mother and daughter are doing well. Excellent job, Dennis.

WELL DONE: Blayney vet Dennis Hitchen carried out a successful caesarean on this Speckle Park heifer. Mother and daughter are doing well. Excellent job, Dennis.

The Rural Notebook reaches a milestone next week as it racks up 25 years of inclusion in each Thursday’s Western Advocate. 

Mitchell McRae was editor in January 1992 when I asked his opinion of a Bathurst Merino Association column on a regular basis and he replied: “I’ll give it a bit of a run for several weeks and see how it goes.” 

Col Ferguson wrote the column for three years in the late 90s when I was BMA president. If the good Lord is willing and the creeks don’t rise, the column might run for some more time.

BIG GUY: This big lump of a Bella Lana ram has just cut his two teeth and is typical of many young Merino rams in our district.

BIG GUY: This big lump of a Bella Lana ram has just cut his two teeth and is typical of many young Merino rams in our district.

Sadly missed

DURING this column’s Christmas break I note that three prominent citizens have passed away: Peter Brown, formerly of “Blarney” and “Yarramie”, who was a prominent farmer and grazier; John Fuller of Perthville and “Osborne” in former years, remembered as a handy sportsperson and capable property manager; and Bruce Kemp of Mitre 10 and Pat O’Learys, who was one of Bathurst’s most respected sons. 

Sincere sympathy is offered to all family members

Classing act

DISTRICT wool broker Richard Butcher, of Bryton Wool, has expressed his concern at the price differential between classed and unclassed crossbred wools - up to 160c/kg greasy. 

He urges owners of a crossbred flock to ensure that their clip is properly classed to avoid “huge discounts”.

He is prepared to discuss the issue with producers, clients of Bryton or otherwise. Email richardbutcher888@gmail.com or call 0427 254 643.

In a good mood

THE new year has started with producers in a confident mood in almost every facet of primary production.

Beef, wool and sheepmeats are close to price peaks. 

From outside the fences it seems that vegetable, fruit and grape harvests are being productive without much weather interference. 

Reports from major grain-producing districts tell of big harvests and low prices. 

Pasture has dried off in much of our district.

Friends say good feed grade barley has been available at around $100 a tonne at the header. 

Pasture has dried off in much of our district, although green feed is noticeable in some parts.

The colour of the grass probably shows us who attended church at Christmas.

It’s a big buy

THE world’s largest cattle station, Anna Creek, South Australia, changed hands recently and buyers are well-known SA pastoralists and feedlotters the Williams family. 

The 2.36 million hectare station has a carrying capacity of 14,000 cattle and an average 100mm annual rainfall. 

Anna Creek has been home to Santa Gertrudis and Shorthorn cattle for many decades, but the total herd is being sold to be replaced by Herefords as the new owners specialise in the breed.

Prepared for worst

WRITING in The Land newspaper, Local Land Services district vet Bruce Watt tells of his week-long training exercise for the treatment and process of a possible outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in Australia. 

About 200 people have now been trained by our authorities.

The exercises have taken place in Nepal. 

Funding for the training has been shared by Wool Producers Australia and Local Land Services.

Bruce poses this question: “Do rate and levy payers feel that their money is being well spent in training industry participants?” 

If we are unfortunate enough to experience an outbreak of FMD in Australia, I’m sure that all concerned will appreciate the results of this training. 

I hope our rural industries never experience this problem.

A good read

CHRISTMAS reading at my desk was Songs Of A War Boy by Deng Thiak Adut.

It outlines the life and times of the author, from a tiny village in East Sudan to training for war as a nine-year-old soldier with an AK-47, to a partner in a busy law firm in Bankstown in south-western Sydney. 

He is favoured to be named Australian of the Year and his book is an excellent read and a thoughtful glimpse at our refugee policies. 

Copies of Songs Of a War Boy book can be found at our specialist Books Plus in Howick Street.

Laugh lines

GEORGE, a confirmed atheist, was walking in a national park in Canada when he was set upon by a huge black bear. As the animal roared in his ear, George yelled “oh my God” and the world stood still. A deep voice from above asked: “Do you really believe?” Our man whispered: “I can’t be a hypocrite, just confront the bear.” The deep voice said “for what you are about to receive, may you be truly thankful” and the bear gurgled “Amen”.

She said love is like the measles; all the worst of it comes later in life.

As she looks at her husband she reasons he is a poor fish, but he’s the nearest I could get to the big one that got away.

Judge: “I have read your case, but I am no wiser than when I started.” George: “Possibly not, my Lord, but far better informed.”