OPINION: Rural Notebook with John Seaman

MAKING HAY: There were about 65 bales of wool on this load, with a dozen horses to pull it, when the photo was taken in front of a hotel in Hay.
MAKING HAY: There were about 65 bales of wool on this load, with a dozen horses to pull it, when the photo was taken in front of a hotel in Hay.

ANNA Brien at Bella Lana, Dripstone reminds me that the stud’s field day will be held this Friday, August 11 from 9am.

Specialist sheep classer Craig Wilson will be involved with the event from start to finish and keen sheep breeders should really benefit from the day. 

Scott and Anna Brien have invested heavily in merino genetics and I thought that last year’s ram sale was a credit to their efforts. 

I’m sure Bella Lana would accept a couple of late bookings on 6846 7477. The ram in the accompanying photo was shorn at almost eight months and measured 90 millimetres of very white wool.

Expo excellence

THE Bathurst Merino Association Annual Ram Expo at the showground is now appearing in the spotlight with good numbers of exhibitors. 

There is a forecast of solid entries in junior sheep judging events, and expectations of good numbers of dogs to be auctioned. 

I believe that entries of commercial ewes for the usual Super 6 competition are sound and that former BMA members may “return to the fold” as they notice some very different industry figures becoming involved with the running of association events.

It would be great to see this organisation return to its charter: To provide education, entertainment and mutual support of the woolgrowers in the area.

Formed in January 1992, it claimed 90-plus financial members in 1998, and they controlled flocks that totalled 320,000 sheep.

Profitable gathering

A REMINDER for teachers and intending entrants in junior judging 2017 at the Sheep Pavilion on August 19: the key talking point for the event is “What makes a sheep profitable?”.

The day will start at 10am with discussions led by four industry leaders and the actual sheep judging will run from 11am to noon.

The competition is open to ages six to 17 and gives an introduction to larger events such as judging for juniors at Dubbo ram sales.

Financial sponsors of a total $200 include Blink Bonnie Stud, Elders, Rabobank, BMA and Jill Blanch.

Details from Steve Jessett on 0429 529 955.

Farewell, Iain

THE recent passing of highly respected retired Bathurst school teacher Iain Wood of Prince Street, Perthville brought back many happy memories to his former students who had enjoyed his friendly, pleasant personality.

He often reminded me that the Rural Notebook needed a bit more thought and that Laugh Lines was running out of puff. He will be missed by his many friends.

LOCAL IDENTITY: This four-tooth Bella Lana ram lives locally and has 42 mixed sex lambs ready to wean.

LOCAL IDENTITY: This four-tooth Bella Lana ram lives locally and has 42 mixed sex lambs ready to wean.

A lasting memory

BERNARD Lenehan, formerly of Perthville, also passed away recently. He is remembered as one of our district’s first large scale rural property developers, and members of his family are involved in many pursuits across the Bathurst area.

His subdivisions leave a lasting memory of Bernard.

A good start

LAST week’s welcome rainfall that totalled around 25 to 40mm across much of the tablelands was a nice start towards a possible spring recovery.

An obvious light green across stock camps and surviving crops is a sign of better seasonal conditions that may happen.

On another front is the producers who are trying to revert to natural pastures with nil fertilisers. This approach may delay any spring growth until mid-October in much of our district.

Compare the market

SOME comparison markets at present include (source: The Land, August 3):

Eastern Young Cattle Indicator 2017 583c; August 2016 677c.

Grown steers 2017 281c; 2016 473c

Prime lambs 2017 577c; 2016 644c;

Wool Northern Indicator 2017 1522; 2016 1311c.

Vaccine victory

RELIABLE reports tell me that over four million doses of Gudair vaccine for lambs were sold in five states during the 2016/17 financial year.

The supposed experts who stated that this product would hardly find a market are apparently still in some type of employment.

Users of this vaccine hail it as one of the sheep industry’s greatest successes.

We must exercise great care when using the product as it can cause skin and tissue problems to humans.

Be prepared

BILL and Rose Walker, Classings Murray Bridge, have forwarded their merino booklet each year and it’s always a great read.

Bill’s classing run now involves a sizeable number of studs in both South Australia and Western Australia and his emphasis on skin quality and elite wools seems to be giving similar results to what many of us were doing with the SRS types.

This approach seems to achieve its very best results when the famed Collinsville type is close up in an animal’s pedigree.

Bill makes a strong point as he comments on the mulesing debate.

Like most breeders, he believes that there is only a breeding alternative to the surgical operation and states that he believes that “one day when the crunch comes, a breeder must be prepared”. 

In my words, avoid all body and breech wrinkle in every one of our breeding stock.

Laugh lines

THE old feller in the local said he hates this terrorism business. He said: “In the good old days you could spy an unattended briefcase on a bus or a train and think – I’ll have that.”

Old mate was lost and hovering in a hot air balloon. He looked down into a market garden and yelled: “Where the hell am I?” Bill looked up and shouted: “You can’t fool me, you mug, you’re hiding up there in that little basket.” (Thanks MH.)

Rinaldo was trying for circus employment. He said: “Sir, I have perfected my act of sawing a beautiful woman in half.” The manager called his bluff. “Oh, come on, magicians have been sawing women in half for centuries,” he said. But Rinaldo quietly asked: “Lengthwise?”