BATHURST Merino Association is going ahead with its Annual Ewe Competition and hopes are high that further COVID outbreaks won't interfere with these plans.
The judges that I named in this column will not now be available and replacements are being contacted.
Entrants in The Lagoon, Rockley area may form the basis of this year's event and it's obvious that medium to large scale flocks of Merino breeding ewes are much harder to find as many have swung to beef and sheepmeat breeding.
This year's event will take place on Friday, March 5 with no bus being involved; passenger vehicles to meet at the McDonald's rear car park.
Lunch and dinner will be available, with prices and details as they come to hand.
Weather or not
THE coolest summer for many years has continued into January with heavy coats and beanies being needed for stock work in yards and paddocks.
No-one would be silly enough to make public forecasts that are best left to trained meteorologists, but a cool, wet summer is a welcome change from the traumas of last year.
Livestock specialists are warning of tailor made conditions for the deadly Barber's Pole sheep worm and they know the time-honoured routine: move the mob up hill as quickly as they will go and watch for pale skinned animals that have lost their energy.
Millions of sub clover seeds have germinated in moist conditions.
Pessimists are sure this is too early and we'll all be rooned, while optimists wonder if the green conditions can continue right through autumn.
At this stage, the optimists are well in front in the 2020s and they are punting on a few good pastoral years.
We hope that this week will mark a return to more typical summer sunshine.
A WIDESPREAD shortage of shearers and shed staff across the nation has caused contractors in some districts to be many weeks behind schedule.
Contractors Association secretary Jason Letchford is quoted: "No-one is working at capacity; I know of a producer who shears 100,000 sheep a year and puts it out to tender to get the best price. The last I heard, he had no-one to shear his sheep."
What goes around often comes around, doesn't it?
Australian Wool Innovation director Don McDonald says producers who have good infrastructure (including toilets), well improved sheds and good accommodation for remote jobs will get their flock shorn.
As one of our leading younger Merino stud breeders tells me: "There's a lot more to breeding modern Merinos than concentrating solely on wool cut."
Perhaps the modern shearer remembers where the tough sheep live.
ANNUAL weaner cattle sales started with a bang at Casterton and Hamilton last week with the best steers reaching $2100 and European accredited cattle gaining a premium of about 30c/kg.
Of real interest was a result from the Mortlake sale where 3750 weaners were sold, light steers broke the 600c barrier and the sale averaged 491c/kg across all steers and heifers.
A Hamilton agent commented on the closeness of prices between Angus and Hereford calves and said apart from the mountains, "where else can you find and buy good Herefords?".
Jumping for joy
ON the social side: Miss Minnie Hotham celebrated her fourth birthday last Friday and she demonstrated her family's brand new trampoline on her birthday.
A bit late, but happy birthday Minnie from your neighbours Jack, Ashie and Teila.
WE called in at Elizabeth and Doug Dagg's plant and vegetable nursery at 1008 Browns Creek Road (a few minutes from Blayney) on the weekend and admired their large range of potted plants, shrubs and seed potatoes that are on discount to the public.
Keen gardeners will enjoy the range and quality on offer and the friendly advice and service from the experts.
This nursery is well worth a look and prices are right.
OUR friends at the Village Store in Perthville are planning to celebrate Australia Day with an event at the shop front and a fundraising effort to assist a very worthy cause in the village.
Last year's celebration brought lots of residents and visitors to the area and they are looking forward to our own get-together on our National Day.
Full details of the day's celebrations will be included in this column for next week as well as on Facebook.
US President Donald Trump gave a good example of how not to leave office after his loss of a knife-edge election.
Like all of us, it often takes 30 years to establish our reputation and about five minutes to lose it.
How fortunate is our country to have its present political leaders and Opposition leaders who heatedly debate policy and then shake hands before they go home?
President Trump had great political results with his country's economic and employment policies and his peace talks in the Middle East were positive, but he will be remembered for the nonsense that he incited in the Capitol last week.
THE doctor told George that his blood test is remarkably similar to a potato chip - high sodium, high cholesterol and lots of toxins.
"LOOK at you, you've got so big," is something we must only say to children. Adults may be quite offended.
FIVE doctors were shipwrecked on a tiny island for weeks. Rescue aircraft flew over many times, but not one doctor could write HELP legibly.
WHATEVER you do today, please do it with the confidence of a four-year-old in a Batman T-shirt.