PREDICTIONS of continuing rain until at least Christmas cause us to think of lost time in many farming operations, but they are also the reason for much hope of better times ahead.
Coinciding with the upbeat seasonal forecast we see another serious fall in wool auction prices, with the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) settling on 858c/kg at the close of sales last week and a grower-owned stockpile now totalling about 320,000 bales.
If my memory is reliable, the last time we saw an EMI at this level, the contract shearing rate was about $3.20 per head in 1988 and that included a full crew including the cook.
The cereal grain harvest will start in earnest in northern areas within weeks and a La Nina spring/early summer would cause some hold-ups, but surely no-one could complain after years of drought.
Close, but not quite
AFTER contributing Rural Notebook for almost 29 years, I always planned to hang up the biro when the drought broke and Chifley Dam is full.
I'm not brave enough to call the drought's end yet, but please watch this space.
It's not worth the risk
THERE is much country chatter on the subject of roll protection on four-wheel motorbikes and helmets, commonsense riding and extra care are all reasons to be thoughtful.
Every farmer and employee is extra busy at this time of year, but concentration and patience for the job at hand are really important.
In the woolshed, where everyone is busy and thinking ahead, we must be extra careful, especially when operating a hydraulic woolpress.
Take extra notice of safety bar operation and dead man switches.
There is always a person in the team who has seen a close shave and they are the ones to yarn with before the first fleece is shorn.
The milestone men
MILESTONE birthday congratulations to Alan Peterson and Bob Alderman, who have been two of our best in service industries in Bathurst all of their lives.
Congratulations also to farmer and grazier John Bestwick at O'Connell, who is a bit of a newer model than those above, but he and Tom Roberts had a stellar win with their Bella Lana ewes in the Bathurst Merino Association Annual Ewe Competition in 2020.
Economy's ups and downs
AUSTRALIA'S first recession in 30 years is confirmed by our second consecutive quarter of negative growth and opinions are divided on how this situation will affect different industries and walks of life.
At this early stage, we've seen a serious impact on hospitality, tourism and advertising, with our newspapers and magazines visibly shrinking from missing ads.
From agriculture's corner, we accept that protein will still be needed on an ever-increasing scale and we note that beef markets have continued on an upward trend in spite of COVID scare conditions in many countries.
Lamb products suffered a serious correction some weeks ago and recent price rises seem to indicate that markets have bottomed out and are pretty stable.
Market gardeners must appreciate the sight of flowing rivers once again as their produce is the lifeblood of our communities.
TO return to the Federal Government's Instant Asset Write-off, with business purchases of up to $150,000, it's obvious that a lot of tradies, farmers and general contractors are taking advantage of the incentive (applicable to new and used equipment) and retailers must be grateful for the scheme.
The manufacturer of Goldacres spray equipment at Ballarat is quoted as having 50 jobs available for full-time welders as the present staff of 150 can't cope with the demand for new equipment.
Down the road at Gason Ag Equipment, there is a six-month wait on delivery of orders and jobs available for a lot of experienced welders.
Perhaps the JobKeeper scheme has made it more attractive to be at rest than at work, but the scheme will be rolled back in the near future and workers will once again get all the wheels turning.
Put yourself forward
STUART Pearson wrote an interesting contribution to last weekend's Western Advocate and his views are worth noting.
Readers will support some of his opinions and probably oppose others, but we all value the privilege of living in a democracy and being allowed to have a say.
The NSW Government's deferral of local government elections for 12 months has probably caused our Bathurst Regional Council to become bogged down and I think it's great to see Mr Pearson bring some council issues to the fore.
To develop personal profiles, now is an ideal time to start, and a representative from the farming or villages community would be a challenging start to the 2021 Bathurst Regional Council election.
If any of us think we can do a better job than the current councillors, now is the ideal time to raise our right hand.
TUESDAY, September 15: Bred Well - Fed Well sheep breeding workshop at John Bestwick/Tom Roberts at O'Connell; 9am-4pm. Sponsored by Bella Lana with no charge. RSVP is essential. Late bookings to Scott Brien on 0409 467 477; also to Tom Roberts or John Bestwick. Presenter is Jason Trompf.
A GROUP of middle-aged ladies attended a relationship weekend seminar and late on Sunday afternoon were asked to text this message to their husbands at home: "I love you sweetheart."
The husbands' replies are listed below:
- Who the hell is this?
- Are you sick Mum or what?
- Yes, I love you too; what's wrong?
- Have you wrecked the car again?
- I don't understand what you mean.
- What the hell have you done now?
- Don't beat around the bush; just tell me how much you want.
- Am I dreaming?
- Who is this message actually for?
- I thought we agreed you wouldn't drink in the daytime.
- Your mother is coming to stay with us, isn't she?