THE local ram selling season is well underway and most ram auctions will be held during October.
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A quick look at on-property sales shows almost total clearances and excellent averages at most venues.
Plain bodied, long stapled rams with clear heads, muscular frames and good wool and meat tests have been the order of the day and many bidders are looking for impressive ASBVs (sheep breeding values).
At most of these sales, we now should count on $3500 per head to buy a suitable flock ram.
I guess that good flock rams at our local venues will be bought for a bit less than that.
SOME of my friends who operated successful sheep and wool producing properties in the Central Tablelands are now semi-retired and many of them tell me "thank god; I'm over the wool industry".
This disappoints me as all of us were involved in the game for a lifetime and I hope that our interest will be maintained.
The wool industry is unrecognisable from where it was 20 years ago, with many breeders realising the importance of knowing how to breed the correct type of lifting, bubbly skins.
To a mulesing contractor, these skins were quite obvious on Banavie, Nerstane, Koepang and Lorelmo bloodlines in the early 1980s and these types are now widespread in modern Merinos.
Please excuse my rambling, but I'm not over the wool industry at 81 years.
RECENT RURAL NOTEBOOK COLUMNS:
LOCAL Land Services (LLS) keeps a pretty low profile nowadays, but its television advertising campaign for control and eradication of weeds that are challenging to farmlands deserves praise.
Film clips of parthenium weed, Chilean needle grass, serrated tussock and other weeds will make identification of these plants much easier for all of us.
First-time buyers of farmland have been told that serrated tussock is alpaca grass and some are impressed by all the lovely golden "little canola" that is really a mongrel weed called St. John's Wort.
LLS deserves a big thank you for its excellent weed control video.
WE are all rejoicing on some warm, sunny days and access to some areas is a bit better just before the next downpour.
Livestock markets are remaining strong and transport access to loading ramps on some properties must be restricting stock numbers at saleyards on sale days.
Forecasts of ongoing wet weather at least until summer are certainly keeping the prospects of dust storms and dry river beds very quiet.
But as we watch the huge volume of growing crops and grasses, we know that this will all dry off one day.
This land Australia is our home but it's also a very dry continent.
BATHURST lost three of its much-loved citizens in recent weeks.
Sheila Toole and her late husband Matt conducted the Wyoming property at Limekilns for many years and raised their family there.
Olive Cook and her late husband Harry operated successful market gardens on Macquarie River flats and their family grew up in Bathurst.
Geoff Bestwick was a member of one of our pioneering farming families and in latter years he was much loved as a school bus driver in an area south of Bathurst City.
Each of these people is remembered as a vital member of our Bathurst community.
THE countdown to Christmas has already started and the last of the COVID restrictions for the general public has gone.
Of course, we will still have to wear masks and do RATs before we can visit old friends and family members in retirement villages and hospitals.
Christmas shopping lists will contain all the usual goodies, but this year I hope that online purchases will be minimal.
Our local shops that have battled through the restrictions of the COVID years and provided jobs for our young people deserve our buying support.
Just to talk face-to-face with our local people in the shops in our home towns should be an incentive to buy locally for Christmas.
SOME things to think about:
In the blink of an eye, everything can change. So forgive often and love with all your heart. You may never have that chance again.
Every animal that lives within 30 kilometres of Mount Panorama will lift its head at 11.15am this Sunday as the start of the Great Race sounds like a huge swarm of mad hornets.
THE wool market continued to slide in week 13 despite a far lower offering of only 28,000 bales.
Even though the Aussie dollar devalued three per cent against a very strong US dollar, thus making our wool look cheaper in US dollar terms, this did not seem to buy in any demand.
In fact, in US dollar terms, the wool market was 4.8pc cheaper for the week and dropped to 1255ac/kg or 1.9pc less in Australian dollar terms.
One Chinese topmaker was very active for the week and purchased 33pc of all merino fleece and 19pc of skirtings.
European and Indian activity is intermittent.
Crossbred wool remained unchanged as one Chinese operator was active.
Week 14 has an offering of 38,000 bales to be sold on Wednesday and Thursday.
OUR old friend was 80-odd and had recovered from a triple heart bypass. He asked his specialist to write a note to say that he was okay for romance. He added: "Please don't address it to the missus; just say To Whom It May Concern."
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