Rural Notebook | Always keep your eye on the bull

HILLS ARE ALIVE: This young bull is typical of the Violet Hills Charolais offering at Yea Saleyards on Wednesday, February 28.
HILLS ARE ALIVE: This young bull is typical of the Violet Hills Charolais offering at Yea Saleyards on Wednesday, February 28.

AN article in a rural newspaper describes a nasty accident when a dairy farmer was shifting a stirry Holstein bull along a laneway to a new paddock. 

The bull fronted the man’s four-wheel ATV and tipped it over, pinning the rider underneath and causing a broken shoulder blade and several crushed ribs. 

He got out of the laneway by wriggling under a high swung gate and is recovering. I hope he enjoyed the Holstein sausages. 

The important message must be to never, ever take our eyes off even the quietest bull.

On a lighter note, two properties that I visited last week each had bought a new bull and each was named Barnaby.

From the hills

THE Jenkins family of Violet Hills Charolais Stud at Rydal are offering 28 young bulls at Yea Saleyards on Wednesday, February 28 at 1pm.

This annual sale now has a well-established clientele who appreciate the thick, easy doing and quick maturing cattle from the lovely Rydal district.

Stud details:

EIGHT IS ENOUGH: This litter of eight purebred border collie pups are the apple of their mum’s eye.

EIGHT IS ENOUGH: This litter of eight purebred border collie pups are the apple of their mum’s eye.

Happy ending

IN a week that brought news of nasty bushfires and ongoing dry conditions, it was great to hear that the little four-year-old miss was found safe and sound near Charlton after a night alone in the open.

The happy result shows us all how important our families are and how valuable are our police, rescue volunteers and caring neighbours.

Former property manager Col McPhee was interviewed on Channel 9 TV and certainly seems to have television potential.

Risky business

HOSPITAL admissions across all of Victoria give a snapshot of farming accidents:

  • 37 per cent involved tractors, dozers, and harvesting machinery.
  • 22pc involved livestock and pets.
  • 16pc featured trucks, cars, motorbikes and quad bikes.
  • 15pc involved falls from ladders, silos or sheds.

Every one of us should pause to check risks such as overhead wires, flighty cattle, debris on worksites and careless workmates.

With all the comments and concerns about the use of quad bikes, users must take great care when riding our great little two-wheelers as they too can easily break bones during paddock work.

Getting worse

SEASONAL conditions continue to rapidly deteriorate with even previously favoured areas starting to look sad.

Stock agents must be getting plenty of calls from producers who need to unload dry cattle, store lambs and any grown wethers that are still about.

Quite a few properties that are virtually unstocked are carrying some dry feed and the owners are really only traders, so store cattle that are looking dry could be good value to restockers.

Of course, our season may change quickly and autumn/winter 2018 could yet be one of the best.

We can be positive and hope for a great autumn break, or be negative and expect the worst, but we must sing a few hymns and pray hard.

Ups and downs

FOLLOWING last week’s second drop of more than 1000 basis points on the Wall Street Exchange and a 10pc correction on some European and Asian stockmarkets, investors across the globe are either quite skittish or ready for bargain buying. 

While media reports tell of “plunges and desperate panic selling”, the Australian primary producer reads of “easier stock and commodity sales results” when they often rise and fall close to 10pc between weekly sales.

Suggestions of urgent selling seem unlikely unless the bank gives instructions as long-term traders are probably licking their lips at an opportunity.

Serious comment from a Deloitte Economics spokesperson on future interest rate rises deserves consideration.

The forecast of a 2pc rise (from the present 1.5pc cash rate) would more than double present business loan rates and probably result in a rural loan rate of about 10.5pc. We should each stop and think.

Mark it down

DISTRICT show reminders:

  • Rylstone/Kandos Annual Show on Saturday, February 24. Inquiries: Nancy Keck, PO Box 11, Rylstone, 2849. Phone 6379 7722 or email
  • The 41st Sofala Show on Sunday, February 25. Details: Ash Miller, 0429 377 191, email
  • Royal Bathurst Show on April 13, 14 and 15.

Wool report

AFTER drifting lower over the past three weeks, the wool market surged this week as the lower Australian dollar sparked a spike in demand.

All merino microns saw strong gains. The 16.5 to 17.5 microns rose around 125c/kg, while the 18 to 21 microns rose between 60 and 100c/kg.

The crossbred wools also saw good gains of around 60c/kg. The Northern Market Indicator finished the week on 1909c/kg, up 80c/kg.

Next week will see 43,032 bales on offer nationwide and buyers are saying we will probably see a firm market with not much up or down movement.

Mark Horsburgh, TWGLandmark

Laugh lines

“PLEASE, I need advice,” he said to his cleric. “Every year my wife has another new baby. Now we have nine and barely enough income to even buy food for all of us. What on earth can I do?” The wise cleric advised: “Do nothing, my son.”


“OH padre, what can I do?” another worried man asked his pastor. “In a tiny house we have my wife, our four little kids and my loud mother-in-law. It’s driving me crazy.”

The padre advised that they bring a billy goat in to live, and later add a rooster and four hens. Our man returned in three weeks.

“The goat stinks and the chooks and rooster make an awful noise,” he said. So padre advised to remove them all. 

Two more weeks and our man told the padre: “You are indeed a wise man of God; our home is now just like Paradise. Thank you.”