REGULAR storm rains across our Tablelands have varied from “we only got a few spots” all the way to 100 millimetres at Caloola and lots of 50mm totals for last week.
A cloudburst near Napoleon Reef caused severe damage to infrastructure and waterways, and mown crops have been kept wet for some days in parts of the district.
Many of us believe that major droughts always break with flood rains and this may be what is happening at present, but a real break in mid-summer would be unusual.
Those of us who have passed our use-by date can remember huge dust storms in the late 1940s, the flood years of 1950 and 1956 and the 15 fairly good seasons until 1965.
No-one had heard of climate change until recent years and we can hope that weather history can repeat itself.
Autumn 2019 could be a continuation of our green summer or it could be a dusty failure. Optimists and pessimists are seeing it their way at present. It reminds us of:
Two inmates looking out through the prison bars – one saw mud, the other saw stars.
AS farmers stride boldly into 2019, there seem to be several obvious happenings:
* A lot of hay is being made in the Central Tablelands and hay sheds are starting to look healthy.
* Regular storms have made properties gain good, green ground cover.
* Some restocking is happening, but the usual panic farmers will probably start to destock again on the 14th dry day.
* Very few landholders are entering the merino wool industry and the thought of running unmulesed wool cutters seems like madness to a young farmer.
LAST week’s drought assistance contact number was wrong, as a wise friend at a charity outlet found. The correct number is 6862 5758.
Again, I stress that this contact will be strictly confidential, the additional funding has to be dispersed by January 31 or returned to Federal Treasury, and applicants will have to fill out a one page form and I know that the charity staffers will assist.
Community members in our towns may have family or friends in other districts who would appreciate a boost to their bill paying and our residents might pass this detail to them.
This assistance won’t change the world, but it could be a huge help for young mums as they line up for back-to-school costs for our little mates.
Again, that phone number is 6862 5758.
THE merino ewe competition that was run by Woodstock Show Society was a great success with 13 teams competing over two days.
These events are attractive to merino breeders as a lot of landholders don’t know their district very well and enjoy a guided tour of a cross-section of properties that they don’t ever see.
In the longer term, care has to be taken when selecting judges as real conflicts of interest have occurred and a winning team to one judge can be “a good mob to join to a Border Leicester” to a judge of wool quality.
Bathurst Merino Association members have seen this happen on several notable occasions.
This year’s BMA Maiden Merino Ewe Competition is scheduled for Friday, March 1 in areas north of Bathurst city.
Wool market report
THE northern market opened the new year with strong buyer demand across the entire micron range.
The 16 micron and finer didn’t see the rises of the other microns. Nineteen micron and broader saw the biggest gains, rising around 60c/kg.
The crossbred wools were also sought-after, seeing rises of around 40c/kg.
The Northern Market Indicator finished the week on 1948c/kg, up 42c/kg.
Next week we might see the market a little softer with 53,908 bales on offer – which is a big offering. These big sales are the result of a three-week recess over Christmas and once the backlog goes through, we will see numbers drop off significantly.
Figures have come out this week to show that in the first six months of this selling season (which goes from June 2018 to July 2019) there is a deficit of 200,000 bales on the same time last year, so if market forces drive the market, we should see demand outstrip supply in the coming months.
Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark
A RETIRED lady school teacher tells me a snake story of note.
The year was 1964 and she was assistant teacher at a small country school.
At lunchtime on a 100 Fahrenheit day, a student called to our lady teacher: “There’s a big brown snake in the shelter shed, miss.”
“Lock our 38 students in the classroom and stand outside the door, miss,” the male principal instructed.
He went to his house, loaded the 410, dispatched the viper and hung it on the schoolyard fence.
The 38 students filed out to see the result. We don’t make decisions like that in 2019.
GOOD advice: If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap; if you want happiness for a day, go fishing; if you want happiness for a year, try to inherit a million dollars; if you want happiness for a lifetime, help other people.
A YOUNG farmer’s wife was asked about her first year of marital bliss. “It’s still pretty boring,” she said. “I used to sit up half the night at mum’s place waiting for George to go home. Now I sit up half the night at our place, waiting for George to come home.”
On church door: Next week’s preacher will be pinned on the noticeboard.
On a bakery: Try our beef and onion pies – you won’t get better.
A pub in Scotland: Happy hour every Friday; 5.30 to 6pm.
HE was in love. He said: “Me darlin’ wore a string of love beads and I knew I could count on her.”