ENTRIES are finalised for this year's Bathurst Merino Association Maiden Ewe Competition to be held on properties on Friday, March 5.
In order of judging, the entrants are: Andrew Larnach, Terry Dolbel, Mark Kamper, Robyn Keates, the Owens family, Frances and Jeff McSpedden, Alex Thompson and Tony Mutton.
Full details, bloodlines, property names and times of judging will be included in Rural Notebook in coming weeks.
The presentation dinner will be held at the Bathurst Harness Racing Club from 6pm on the night.
Cost structure for the event is as follows: $70 for bus seat, lunch and dinner; $40 for bus and lunch; $30 for presentation dinner only.
Bookings are essential with Kirby on 0401 402 351; email email@example.com.
It's more than money
ORGANISERS of merino ewe competitions across the country must be finding it harder every year to locate breeders of good quality young ewes.
To see the change in livestock enterprises across our district that was once renowned for the quality of its wool clip is a reality check.
The well-run properties don't have a problem in finding reliable contractors to get the shearing, crutching, lamb marking, fencing and stock transporting done, but inadequate sheds and yards and slow payment of accounts often cause delays.
Every producer has their chosen supplier and contractor and reliability is right to the forefront.
We all realise that the person who goes from supplier to supplier to look for the very last dollar is never in the line-up when valued customers are mentioned.
What goes around always seems to come around when we least expect it.
OTHER RECENT RURAL NOTEBOOK COLUMNS:
Land of plenty
OF interest to long-time district residents is the offering of the 3000-acre property "Oakhill", 374 Clear Creek Road, 20 minutes from Bathurst Post Office.
Chris Hagney, Raine and Horne Bathurst, will auction the property at a date to be advised.
Mr and Mrs Ray Williams operated the property for many years and produced attractive clips of quality Merino wool.
Properties this size in close proximity to Bathurst city are almost non-existent as most larger properties have gradually been subdivided.
Larger than life
THE full colour mural (in Winx's colours) on the grain silos right in the little town of Dunedoo is a great tribute to jockey Hugh Bowman, trainer Chris Waller and the wonderful mare.
Hugh was first apprenticed to Billy Aspros at Bathurst, was champion NSW country apprentice in his first years of riding, champion Sydney apprentice in 1999-2000 and is widely regarded as one of Australia's top jockeys.
He is also established as a large land owner in the Birriwa-Dunedoo district.
LAST week's drive to visit family in Coonabarabran shows the tremendous season being experienced right to that district.
Summer grasses in full head, miles of Fleabane on roadsides and in paddocks where sheep used to graze, lots of unstocked properties and just a hat full of Merino sheep.
To hear reports from the open plains of the Monaro, 80 to 100 millimetres of rain fell with good follow-up last weekend and there is a lot of grazing oats being sown.
Graziers who followed the course of history and retained their breeding livestock are reaping the benefits at this stage with unheard of returns for red meat and restocking animals.
Of course, there were huge feed bills incurred, but a wise farmer tells me: "There are plenty of spruikers that you don't listen to in tough times. Tighten your belt and think with your head."
Side from the south
THIRTY seconds of nostalgia.
South Bathurst had a handy first grade cricket team in 1962-63 and only three members survive: Lindsay Larnach, 89, Rockley Larnach, 87, and yours truly, rising 80.
Jim Pratley was team captain and I know he would say "it's pretty hard to set a field with what's left".
Some good friends will remember those years.
Jim Sweetnam played for that team in a later year.
The Hughes views
WITH the noise that surrounds the outspoken federal Member for Hughes, it seems that his every comment is controversial.
His support of the drugs chloroquine and Ivermectin to treat the early infection of COVID-19 was bound to cause a lot of debate.
In the treatment of both internal and external parasites in animals, Ivermectin has been somewhat of a wonder drug and is still being relied upon to control many animal health problems.
Until our population is widely vaccinated for COVID-19, we must expect to hear of many treatments that may be of use to our control of the pandemic.
WEEK 33 showed an offering of 50,000 bales Australia-wide with an 88 per cent clearance rate.
At the end of the week, the EMI showed a minus 10ac movement.
In a 50,000-bale week, this is an excellent result, and one would like to think that potentially the trading conditions in our wool market are now becoming more "normal" in comparison to the wild and erratic swings that we have been experiencing.
While China is buying the market share (87 per cent) of the wool clip, Italian concerns are now buying the higher end of the market with the need to satisfy their quality needs.
We saw a good selection of superfine Tasmanian wools on offer, which was very well supported by the trade, and Italy was very strong as well.
Other large European processors were in the mix as well and the talk of some orders from India finding their way into the marketplace is positive.
Top price for the week was 3140ac/kg for a 14.3 micron lot which was offered in Sydney.
Sentiment is positive in the merino side of the market now, let's hope partially as a result of the release and implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine in our customers' countries.
Forward markets show a 20ac premium and 40ac premium to cash respectively for 19 and 21 micron from December 2021 to June 2022.
Unfortunately, crossbreds finished the week lower. The bulk quantity orders for these wools that we were used to pre-COVID-19 are limited.
Therefore, poorly prepared clips are being passed over as the buyers "pick the eyes" out of the selection.
Week 34 shows an offering of 48,977 bales Australia-wide and week 35 is looking to be around the 48,000-bale mark as some of the wools that have been "on hold" are now being offered for sale.
Richard Butcher, Nutrien Wool
- BMA ewe competition, Friday, March 5.
- Royal Bathurst Show, April 30, May 1 and 2.
THREE farmers stand together.
The pessimist sees a dark tunnel.
The optimist sees light at the end of the tunnel.
The realist sees a freight train.
The train driver sees three half-wits standing on the tracks.
EVERY week, the priest saw a nicely dressed old couple holding hands in the front pew while Father gave his homily.
After church one Sunday, Father said: "I can't help noticing your love for each other, holding hands during the sermon after all these years."
Little wife said: "It's hardly love, Father; if I don't hold his hands, silly old George will crack his knuckles all through the sermon."