The farm misses out on best of the rain
DRY AS A BONE column in Bush Telegraph by Gerard Walsh - A lighter look at rural life
THE rain of the past week is a bit like the dairy industry in the old days, there are the haves and the have-nots.
We are in the have-not group with 28mm on the farm at Greymare since the rain started.
There was 50mm at Wheatvale, or at least parts of it, on Sunday night which means one thing - we may be able to buy some more hay down the track.
Last year, we bought two truck loads of corn stubble off the Wheatvale plain after earlier buying some forage sorghum from closer to Cunningham.
The main thing is someone is getting the rain and that means that the drop in cattle prices in Warwick is at a end, at least for now.
We sold cattle for a second successive week on Tuesday, haven't sold on successive weeks for years.
Readers might be surprised when I write I was happy with last week's prices. We averaged 138.6 cents a kilogram for heifer calves which weighed 163.6kg and made $226.
I wouldn't have even yelled if our agent told me we only made a dollar a kilogram at a sale where 2000 cattle were offered.
The reality is we had a good season for three or four months of the summer and that extra feed shows in the condition of the calves.
Our calves had a bit more condition than I gave them credit for.
There is only one true test of cattle and that is the auction system.
I didn't go to watch the sale either week, being there doesn't boost the price.
My thoughts go out to producers who don't have income on the side like me (job) who are desperate for rain and didn't get much.
Back in the spring, we had less rain at the start of the season than other areas but then had one extra fall just before Christmas which has kept us going up to now.
While the seasons are getting warmer, it will probably still be warm enough in April to take advantage of the general autumn rain we hope falls across the area.
There is no better test of the condition of the grass than the cattle themselves. Since going on to a loose lick, the cattle are following the ute like kids in town who hear the bell of the ice cream man. We are spending around $4 a head per week on loose lick.
Seems like my fears of a speeding ticket from a month ago haven't materialised.
We sold 14 cattle last Tuesday and I will allocate the money from two head to pay my $417 ticket for being 14 days overdue with ute registration. Pay the bill when it comes, don't put it aside, forget it and pay the price.