Pest control on the agenda as Farmers meet for AGM

WHITEOUT: ; On a study tour to New Zealand, this farmer was pictured drenching ewes on a bracing day.
WHITEOUT: ; On a study tour to New Zealand, this farmer was pictured drenching ewes on a bracing day.

THIS week’s annual general meeting of the Bathurst branch of NSW Farmers was well attended and guest speaker Clare Hamilton from Local Land Services spoke about pest animal control programs and options across our Tablelands.

David McKay was re-elected chairman with Ian Hendry and Michael Inwood as his deputy chairs.

Nino di Falco was re-elected as secretary/treasurer.

Drought advice

LOCAL Land Services is hosting a drought seminar next Thursday, May 31 at Bathurst Rugby Club on Hereford Street with a 9.30am-12.30pm timetable.

Speakers from Rural Assistance Authority, Department of Primary Industries and LLS will explain some of the “ins and outs” of yet another drought situation and there has been plenty of time set aside for questions and answers  from producers.

The time has passed when governments can advise people to get their business prepared for drought when the current problem has been building for about 18 months.

A brace of National Party seats may hinge  on the approach that is taken to drought assistance during coming weeks.

Few farmers will vote Labor at the state election in March but the Shooters and Fishers and Farmers Party have a lot of rural ears listening intently.

Poetic justice

AN old friend known as Leonardo forwarded to me a poem published in the Sydney Morning Herald of December 26, 2007, titled Rain From Nowhere by bush poet Murray Hartin.

The poem is a bit long to include in this column, but readers are asked to Google Rain from Nowhere and notice how relevant the verses are to the current rural situation, particularly regarding mental health.

Many thanks to Pete and Val for providing these details.

Hay runners

HAY supplies continue to dwindle and a local contractor is bringing many semi-trailer loads of big squares from central Victoria to assist his district clients.

Freight costs over this distance are adding greatly to over all retail price in Bathurst and memories of the type of drought assistance that was available in Fraser/Anthony years might jog some ministers’ consciences.

Approaches to drought and associated businesses since 1982 have certainly changed and my memory doesn’t recall counselling as being a part of financial help during that crisis.

Worrying sign

A SIGN of the serious nature of our current season is the cancellation of annual mulesing jobs away to the east of Bathurst for only the second time in about 50 years.

My team conducted this operation when the flocks carried a Gullendah bloodline - big frame, heavy bone and great wool cutters.

In more recent years the flock changed to Nerstane blood with thin skins and wool as good as the best in our district.

Owners will look after these weaners through the tough time and still have a top notch flock when the rain gods return to work one day.

HOPE SPRINGS: This spring has run about 300 metres in two weeks and may at last be a positive sign.

HOPE SPRINGS: This spring has run about 300 metres in two weeks and may at last be a positive sign.

Job well done

REFERENCE is made on a regular basis to the valuable service of Grainforce at Kelso in sourcing and delivering feed grain to many farmers across our district as hungry stock must be fed as winter sets in.

We doff our caps to Wes, Derek and the the friendly crew at Grainforce and assure them that thousands of old ewes are in love with them.

Question of faith

THE closure of the Uniting Church at Perthville after being a weekly place of worship since 1863 is another turned page in the religious history of our district.

An invasion of elm tree beetles and falling attendances at church services forced the closure of the little church and every church and every faith are facing similar problems.

Common sense tells us to be extremely cautious that we are not  accumulating large debts for shrinking and ageing congregations to try to service the debt, with very few of the next generation being keen to donate or attend church services.

Wool report

THE wool market continued to surge this week with prices for all merino wools except 17 micron and finer breaking all previous records.

The 17 microns which are now running at 2786c/kg peaked in November of 2000 at 2950c//kg and the 15 and 14 microns were also considerably dearer back then.

However, the 18 micron to 22 micron have eclipsed all previous highs.

The 25 to 28 micron crossbred wools have also reached their all-time high with 28 microns breaking the 1000c/kg mark to finish the week on 1009c/kg.

The northern market indicator also finished the week on record levels at 1997c/kg.

The only big piece missing in the rural puzzle is rain and our thoughts go out to everyone battling the expense and the physical and mental strain of it all.

Sales next week will see 31,966 bales on offer nationwide

Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark

Laugh lines

THE doctor and his wife were arguing at breakfast and he said “and you’re also a dud between the sheets”.

Hours later he phoned home to apologise.

She was slow to answer, then she said she was in bed getting a second opinion.

***

HE rang the drug hotline to tell them that his shifty neighbour was hiding cocaine in his woodheap

Nine burly lawmen burst onto the premises, split every log and found nothing.

Next morning our man asked his neighbour “did they bust up every log?” and was told that they had indeed split five tonnes of ironbark.

Our man cheered: “Happy birthday, old mate. It’s the only present I could afford.”