They’re forecasting rain, let’s hope they’re on the money

DOWNHILL RUN: A capable rider on a quality stock horse is still much more useful than a motorbike in rugged terrain.

DOWNHILL RUN: A capable rider on a quality stock horse is still much more useful than a motorbike in rugged terrain.

FORECASTERS from several sites are predicting around 25mm of rain to fall in close proximity to Bathurst city this Saturday and early Sunday, and hopefully this won’t change as the week rolls on.

The young Eastern Cattle Market Indicator is now about 25 per cent lower than mid-May 2017 and dry weather across three states has accentuated the problem.

Meanwhile, all facets of the sheep industry are at quite viable levels and the cost of survival feeding should be money well spent.

Hay supplies in NSW are really depleted and freight costs from below the Murray River will be substantial.

Regular winter rains may yet give some useful sheep pick if warm days continue to June.

Drought help

A NUMBER of drought support meetings will be held across the district over the next week or so, with the first in the Euchareena Hall from 4pm-6pm today (Thursday) and a second at Eugowra Bowling Club from 4pm-6pm next Wednesday, May 16.

All farmers are invited to these information sessions covering supplementary feeding, quick to feed options, drought resources, animal health and welfare, and winter crop options for a late break.

These are interactive sessions and questions are encouraged. Contact Phil Cranney for full details on 0458 745 478. or

Many thanks to Local Land Services for arranging these days as the exchange of opinions among worried farmers is of real value at present.

Feeding frenzy

PRODUCERS must focus on the topical subject of drought feeding strategies as hay for cattle is being B-doubled into our district every day.

Feed barley is costing around $420 and rising while some sheep are doing nicely on surplus vegetable leaves.

No producer wants a government to hand out public money but it is obvious that neither the Commonwealth nor NSW Government has a drought policy that is of much more than grumbling value as drought conditions have returned for the13th year since the turn of the century.

A drought policy that emphasises preparedness is noble in its intent but barely useful as ongoing droughts just keep coming.

HEAVY LOAD: A line-up of loaded semi trailers arrive at Fremantle docks to load sheep for the contentious live sheep trade.

HEAVY LOAD: A line-up of loaded semi trailers arrive at Fremantle docks to load sheep for the contentious live sheep trade.

Retiring types

TWO of Bathurst’s best regarded stock and station agents stepped quietly off centre stage during recent times and their many valued clients and friends would join with me in raising our caps to Peter Stephens and Ray Mullen.

These gentlemen were key persons in Masters and Stephens and Clements and McCarthy agencies and their advice and opinions were appreciated by clients and friends.

Many thanks for your years of dedication to the rural industry and enjoy your golfing years.

Farmers AGM

THE annual general meeting of Bathurst branch of NSW Farmers will be held at Bathurst RSL on Monday, May 21 from 6.30pm.

You can buy your own bistro meal and hear the LLS pest animal presentation at 7pm. The AGM commences at 7.45pm.

All inquiries to secretary Nino Di Falco on 0417 042 216.

Red merinos

POSTINGS on Facebook show a line-up of merino fleeces that are entered in the Broken Hill Show and they are carrying typical red dust from our Far West and eastern districts of South Australia.

With much six-monthly shearing now taking place and most of these flocks being uncrutched, it is obvious that shearing teams will be kept busy with May and November shearings on quite a few properties.

A report of wool handlers in a shed near Bathurst removing dusty backs at a recent shearing shows us that the summer/autumn season has been horrible and that the breeding strategy may have overlooked the wool quality that is needed for our district.

Shearers would be battling to get the wool off with this amount of sand in the fibres.

Wool report

THE wool market was slightly cheaper this week with all micron categories losing some ground.

The 17 to 19 micron lost around 20c/kg and the 19 to 21 microns lost around 25c/kg.

The crossbreds lost around 30c/kg after two weeks of good gains as the northern market indicator finished the week on 1892c/kg, down 16 c/kg.

With lack of supply and strong demand the market is predicted to stay around these levels for the months ahead.

Sales next week will see 38,292 bales on offer nationwide.

Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark

History howlers

SOME interesting answers from Year 5 History students:

  • Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.
  • Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.
  • John Melton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.
  • Winter of 1620 was hard for the settlers. Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all of this.

Laugh lines

A FARMER, a sheep and a cattle dog were marooned on a desert island.

For many weeks our farmer hugged the sheep while the dog barked loudly and incessantly.

A tiny raft was seen bobbing among rocks and our farmer dived in and saved a lovely redhead who was really grateful for being rescued.

She said: “Oh darling, you have saved my life. I’ll do anything for you, anything.”

The old farmer thought briefly and asked: “Would you mind taking that noisy hound for a long walk, please love?”