Still on the lookout for our traditional winter rain

NOT MUCH LEFT: This is the 30th load of big squares of hay from Kerang, Victoria to the Bathurst/Blayney area. Supply from that source is just about exhausted.
NOT MUCH LEFT: This is the 30th load of big squares of hay from Kerang, Victoria to the Bathurst/Blayney area. Supply from that source is just about exhausted.

WINTER 2018 has already given us some clear, sunny days and a few heavy frosts and this pattern will hopefully be soon broken as we look for the steady winter rain for which our part of the world was once renowned.

Reports from Cowra and Cudal tell of cereal crops that have made a good start and we can all see a tiny green shoot in some paddocks if we squint really hard.

The endless lines of semi-trailers loaded with hay just keep coming from away to our south, and the rewards for money spent on hand-feeding must be ahead if we keep at it. One day farmers will recall 2018 as the “good old days”.

Friend in deed

STAYING positive in a mongrel of a season isn’t easy for any farmer and good friends are invaluable at present. 

Town and Country Rural Supplies is offering a nice gesture with a noon to 1pm barbecue each weekday, and a meeting place for a laugh and a yarn.

Old hands know that dry times don’t last forever and an outlook that says “hang on tight and do your very best” is the sign of real Australians.

Catching up

THERE are suggestions that Bathurst Merino Association could arrange a few chances for district producers to get together and exchange ideas.

Local Land Services has held a series of landholder get-togethers and these are of value. Several local producers tell me that their contacts with LLS are the rangers and the office staff, whom they regard as their good friends.

Good signs

FARMERS who sowed fodder crops on dry land during late autumn are now getting a bit of valuable green feed for breeding animals even though the feed is very short and sparse.

Plans for action when weather patterns change are being made and fodder crops that are down during late winter could provide real stock feed if late winter rain does come.

A Cowra agronomist is upbeat about crop and pasture conditions in the Mandurama/Cowra area and this may be the first positive sign of a break in our district.

Meanwhile, indicator springs are still running quite well in granite country and I guess the streams are sending about 300 to 400 gallons per hour into dry creek beds.

This may be a good indicator of change or it may be wishful thinking, but it is certainly interesting.

ON THE WAY: These well-bred Angus heifers are due to calve within several weeks.

ON THE WAY: These well-bred Angus heifers are due to calve within several weeks.

Will be missed

TWO highly respected ladies of our district passed away in recent weeks. Mrs Betty Gibbons of Black Springs was a member of one of Oberon’s pioneering families and will be greatly missed by her large circle of friends.

Mrs Evie Wood spent her busy life being involved in her local Bathurst community. Her husband Ron was the long-time secretary of Bathurst AH and P Association. Mrs Wood’s dad was a managing partner in the legendary Burke Bros. stock and station agency in Russell Street.

Long-time Bathurst stock and station agent David Westgarth also passed away last week, and his reputation for quality service and valuable advice was well-known throughout the rural industry.

David is also missed for his friendship and his subtle sense of humour.

Double up

RECENT private valuations of rural land are showing us that values in the Central Tablelands have virtually doubled during the past seven or eight years and this is in line with urban real estate in cities and villages.

There is still a strong push from government departments to entice younger generations into careers in agriculture and there are lots of opportunities, but the prospect of financing a viable rural property in the Bathurst, Blayney or Oberon area may well reach a total of $3.5 million to $5 million.

If the 25-year-old and his partner also believe in climate change or global warming, they probably won’t sleep much during their next 25 years.

Wool report

THE wool market surged ahead again this week with all microns gaining good ground.

The fine 17 to 18 microns gained around 20c/kg while the 19 to 20 microns gained a whopping 100c/kg. These wools have now gained 500c/kg in the last 20 days.

The fine crossbred wools gained around 50c/kg, the mediums around 40c/kg and the broad crossbred wools around 10c/kg.

The northern market indicator finished the week on 2110c/kg, up 51c/kg on last week’s close.

With only three sales left before the mid-year three-week recess, the market should hold firm as buyers finish off orders for the financial year

Next week will see 32,528 bales on offer nationwide.

Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark

Diary dates

  • Monday, July 2: Bathurst Merino Association AGM at 7.30pm at the Bridge Hotel, Perthville. Come along and support your fellow farmers. All positions will be declared vacant. All ideas welcome.
  • Friday, July 6: Winyar hands-on field day from 10am-3pm. Please RSVP today for catering on 0488 397 000 or email Please bring your own chair. Visitors are advised to get road maps or Google directions to the property as it is a fair way from our local area and not the usual Winyar site at Canowindra.
  • July 13 and 14: Mudgee Field Days.
  • Laugh lines

THE new baby needed an urgent nappy change and young mum suggested that daddy do the changing.

He said he was busy for a while, but would change the next one.

Three hours later, the same problem arose and mum told dad it was his turn.

“I didn’t mean the next nappy,” he answered. “I meant the next baby.”


HE wanted a job as a railway signalman.

“What would you do if two trains were heading towards each other on the same track?” he was asked.

“I’d switch the points, sir,” he answered.

“What if the lever broke?” he was asked.

“Then I’d run to the lever at the signal box; and if that didn’t work I would run to the phone box,” he answered.

“And what if the phone box is locked?” he was asked.

“Then I would run and get Uncle George,” the exasperated recruit said, “cause he’s never seen a real train crash.”