A HIGHLIGHT of last week was the official opening of the new Department of Primary Industries building at the former Base Hospital site in Orange.
It is fitting that the complex is named after former Deputy Premier Ian Armstrong, who was instrumental in bringing the entire DPI department to Orange some decades ago.
My memory of working with Ian on several boards was his strict control of time wasters who, he often said, "like the sound of their own voices".
I'm told that Member for Orange Phil Donato was invited to the official opening by text at the last minute and that seems like really bad manners.
If the Coalition hopes to one day regain the seat of Orange, it probably needs to treat the sitting member with respect.
The only way is up?
AUCTION prices at wool sales last week recovered around 50c/kg for most fleece types and this should be an indication that markets have finally bottomed.
Growers are in a bind of whether to sell, hold or hope, but values for sale sheep are underpinning the industry.
A comment was made that "specialising in wool virtually ended 25 years ago and dual purpose sheep are a necessity in 2020".
There is much truth in the statement, but wool quality will always be of real importance.
We have bred a sheep with all the fertility and meat qualities of a crossbred, but it grows a good fine-medium merino fleece.
Wool markets will recover as health and financial problems recover from the COVID pandemic, but no-one can guess how long this will take.
Our country has not suffered the worst effects of the crisis and we must be grateful for the efforts of our country's leaders.
OTHER RECENT RURAL NOTEBOOK COLUMNS:
Action from the auctions
SOME comments from recent local stud auctions:
- Karoo, Gilmandyke and Millah Murrah Angus had excellent clearances, top prices, and averages and each has a loyal following of return buyers.
- Kerin Poll sold every ram and several buyers from our district bought significant numbers. One Orange family spent $100,000 on 24 rams.
- Winyar Merino Stud at Canowindra had a top sale, with the top price of $7500 being paid by Chris and Trish Arrow of "The Cottage", Wyagdon.
The Collinsville, Banavie, Charinga influence in this year's rams was appreciated by wool quality specialists. Many of the highest price rams were polls by Charinga 4.
Leading from the front
THE past week has seen a threatened upheaval in the NSW Coalition government seem to settle down and the issue of SEPP legislation as it applies to koala habitat turned into a cartoonist's dream.
From my corner, it seems that the Liberal Party, both federal and state, has softened its stance on environmental and energy generation as community attitudes gradually change.
The staunch old Country Party approach to these types of policy now seems outdated and supporters have to operate in the modern era, whether we like it or not.
State Nationals leader John Barilaro is a high profile, outspoken leader, and he could never be accused of not leading his party.
We wonder if his style is popular with his party, but he is showing how to lead at this stage.
On our local scene, we see strong leadership from mayors and heads of community organisations and it is important to remember that every organisation was set up for the common good.
New faces are needed at times and the road map out of COVID should provide an ideal time for longtime leaders to hand over the reins.
It's a healthy warning
FARMERS across our district can almost hear the grass growing and some say that they can carry as many livestock as they can close the gate on.
After many years of hand-feeding with grain and hay, it's great to see our country spring back to life.
With the changed conditions, livestock health problems have changed rapidly and pulpy kidney and cattle bloat have come to the fore.
Local Land Services livestock specialist Brett Littler gave a practical interview on ABC Radio recently and he stressed the importance of feeding out some hay to cattle as a balance to lush legume pastures.
He made the point that cattle may be safer from bloat if set stocked for the spring months to avoid the flush of feed that rotational or cell grazing will provide.
JCB has been at the forefront of the manufacture of earthmoving machinery for many years and its development of a hydrogen powered excavator is cause for us all to stop and think.
The 20-tonne machine, powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, has been testing at JCB's quarry in the UK for more than 12 months.
Power for the prototype is generated by reacting hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell to create the energy to run electric motors.
The only emission from the machine's exhaust is water.
THE wool market responded in a positive direction to a smaller offering this week of only 20,000 bales, with all micron categories gaining ground.
From 17 to 20 micron merinos, all gained between 40c/kg and 50c/kg.
Crossbreds also saw gains of around 50c/kg.
The Northern Market Indicator finished the week on 955c/kg, up 36c/kg.
Next week will see 33,558 bales on offer nationwide.
This volume will really test the market as 30,000 bales a week seems to be about all the trade can handle at this point in time.
Mark Horsburgh, Nutrien Wool
- Today: Windy Hill Poll Dorset sale at Browns Creek.
- Wednesday, September 23: Bella Lana Ram Auction at Dripstone.
- Wednesday, September 23: Tattykeel Poll Dorset Stud sale; 1pm on property.
- Friday, September 25: Tattykeel Poll Dorset Flock Ram Sale; 1pm on property.
- Tuesday, September 29: Richmond Merino Rams at Quandialla.
- Wednesday, September 30: Tattykeel Australian White sale; 1pm on property.
GEORGE had been in for surgery and complained that he'd heard the surgeon use a four letter word while the patient was anaesthetised. The word was "oops".
IF we were put on earth to help others, what were the others put here for?
"AND I really had to insure my face for $2m," the supermodel told a lady friend.
"So when you got the payout, what did you spend it on?" the catty friend asked.