The Condobolin Argus – 10 years old

With The Condobolin Argus’ 10th birthday nearly upon us, first week of May, it seemed appropriate for a trip down memory lane to revisit some of the issues and events that have been critical in making The Argus the influential and relevant community newspaper it is today.
With so many editions archived in the depths of the Argus library, the task of revisiting important stories and campaigns seemed daunting at first, though with much perseverance, the team at The Argus has managed to compile a fairly concise list of ten achievements it feels have been most relevant to the Lachlan Shire community.
They are (in no particular order):
Joining the battle to keep the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station up and running.
In March 2009, The Argus reported on the NSW Labor Government’s decision to close the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station (CARAS). A surge of public protest culminating in a rally in Condobolin’s main street reversed that decision.
Helping prevent the closure of Target Country in Condobolin.
In January 2003, The Argus confirmed Condobolin Target Country would remain open despite pressure to close the store. The Argus supported the store during the resulting six month trial period through a ‘shop local’ campaign.
Helping to promote the Condobolin skate park project.
The Argus has been supporting the Condobolin skate park project for a number of years. The project is finally becoming a reality with the final draft becoming available for public comment following Lachlan Shire Council Meeting on 20th April.
Supporting the RTA’s ‘Three Shires’ initiative to help reduce the region’s road toll.
This project aims to increase road safety throughout the Lachlan, Forbes and Parkes shires. Part of this project has been the wheelie bin initiative, encouraging children to decorate wheelie bins in an effort to highlight road safety. The Argus played a large role in encouraging people to take part in this project, and now also has a very happy looking bin.
Providing full yet sensitive coverage of breaking news including human tragedies.
For example on the 2nd of December 2005, a ten-seater Piper Chieftain light plane crashed on Neil Baxter’s property ‘Craig End’. Unfortunately, the incident resulted in the loss of several lives and resulted in an Australian Transport Safety Bureau inquiry. The Argus printed continuous coverage of the incident from the crash to release of the inquiry.
Coverage of natural disasters.
The Argus has been instrumental in keeping the community aware of various fires and floods which have affected the region over the past ten years. With the real time news delivery available with the internet, The Argus can now deliver information to readers as soon as natural disasters unfold. This was most recently demonstrated during the floods in Ungarie last month.
Promotion of local tourism initiatives, particularly ‘Utes in the Paddock’.
Owing to the Argus’ commitment to improving tourism in the Lachlan Shire (and perhaps due to the fact our editor is one of the artists) Utes in the Paddock has become a ‘must see’ on any visitor’s to do list. Beginning in 2007, The Utes in the Paddock Project now includes 15 ute artworks and has been nominated for a NSW Heritage and Cultural Tourism Award and People’s Choice Tourist Experience Award.
Coverage of Aboriginal issues and events in the Lachlan Shire.
The Argus has strived to help ‘close the gap’ on Indigenous inequality though a focus on providing fair and unbiased reporting on events and issues important to the Wiradjuri community. The Argus has frequently reported positively on Aboriginal tourism, educational and employment initiatives.
Promotion of major events such as the Condo 750, Tattoo,  Condo B & S and our Australian Idol Shannon Noll.
The Argus has thrown its support behind various community oriented events over its ten year history. This promotion has been in the form of editorials, advertorials and extensive advertising features before, during and after events.
Support of local Charity Organisations
When major charity events and fundraisers happen in the Lachlan Shire, The Argus is always in the thick of the action, lending its promotional power to the event. Various charities and charitable organisations.

Support for Community much more than just words in a newspaper.
Born out of a large gathering of members from right across the community forming the view more could be done to promote our region, The Condobolin Argus actively pursues promotional opportunities in may different ways.
The paper looks to attract staff with high level skills and talents that offer its community additional benefits. One staff member worked tirelessly on submissions and promotion for the Professional Bull Riders event. That event attracting large crowds enhancing business for the local community. Yet another staff member successfully competed the local Show Girl promotion being awarded State Runner Up at the Royal Easter Show, thereby doing a magnificent job of promoting our region.
Focus for The Condobolin Argus is very firmly on assisting local community to promote itself, diligently managing advertisers funds to employ high level skills providing a holistic service. One portfolio sponsored by The Condobolin Argus in this way is that of ‘Community Promotions Officer’.
All of this has only been made possible by your strong support over the past ten years. Thank you for helping us to provide this service to our community.
To help your local community newspaper celebrate its 10th birthday and plan for many more, please drop on by the office at 93 Bathurst Street Condobolin during the first week of May -We’ll have some birthday cake.

New executive committee for CWFS


• Central West Farming Systems recently held their annual general meeting, where the new executive committee was voted on. The meeting was well attended. The new executive committee is as follows: Mr Roger Todd – Chairman, Mr Paul Adam - Vice Chairman, Mr Peter Stuckey - Vice Chairman, Mr Matthew Duff, Mr Chris Jones, Mr Mat McRae, Mr Lawrence Higgins, Mr Graham McDonald, Mr Neil McMillan, Mr Bruce Patton, Mr Jim Cronin, Mr Ian Menz, Mr Tom Kirk, Mr Glyn Owen, Ms Leonie O’Driscoll. By Caroline Den Drijver, Trials Agronomist.

Ag Station holds seminar on advantage of perennial forage shrubs

By Dominic Geiger

An information seminar discussing the    principles of  incorporating perennial   forage shrubs in grazing  systems was       held at the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station last Wednesday.
The forum discussed research gathered from studying 100 native shrubs and showed how they could be used to improve soil quality and provide benefits for livestock and be incorporated into livestock enterprises.
Speaker Dr Dean Revell said the seminar was focussed on showing how these shrubs interacted with pastures and livestock across southern Australia.
“We’re focussing on managing animals when they have a diverse diet,” he said.
“The underlying premise in this is diversity of diet and managing landscapes and the environment with native plants.”
Richard Maccallum, from NSW DPI, said the work he’d been focussing on with the shrub known as ‘Old Man Saltbush’ had helped provide a good source of green feed for livestock all year round.
“We’ve been using alley farming with Old Man Saltbush so we’ve been able to put strips of it in conventional paddocks and grow pasture and crops in the rest of the paddock,” he said.
“It’s a sustainable production system that can also produce very high quality meat.
“This is because Vitamin E is present in saltbush and it allows the meat to hold a red colour longer.”
Dr Revell said many of the plants being discussed at the seminar have proved to help digestion in stock and help fight against infections.
“Some of these plants have natural compounds that beneficially affect the micro-organisms within the guts of livestock,” he said.
“If you get a better gut reaction you can reduce the burden of worms.”

High quality rams make appearance at Dorper Information Day

By Dominic Geiger

A Dorper Information Day was held at the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station last Friday.
The seminar featured speakers from the New South Wales Department of Industry and Investment and the Dorper Sheep Society Australia.
Organiser Graham Pickles said the seminar was targeted towards people who were considering starting a Dorper enterprise.
“We are also providing more information on the Dorper ram trial, which is the first ever in the country,” he said.
“We’re demonstrating how to exercise quality control over the breed; it’s an educational event.”
Wicas Cronje, an internationally renowned Dorper Inspector from South Africa, was on hand to give a demonstration on how to give rams rankings.
“I am impressed with the standard of rams I have seen here today,” Wicas said.
“For a first time you have done very well.
“Today I have been separating the rams into stud, flock or cull categories.”
Graham said the Dorper industry has come a long way since appearing in Australia 12 years ago.
“To go from nothing to 12 and a half percent of the Australian sheep stock is something amazing,” he said.
“It’s the fastest growing breed in the world.”

Inaugural Dorper Trial & Sale

Australia’s First Ram Paddock Performance Trial and Sale is well under way at Condobolin Agricultural Research & Advisory Station (CARAS).
79 Rams from 7 studs between the ages of 120 to 210 days were entered in to the trial on August 9th 2010. The rams will be run in the same paddocks at CARAS  under the supervision of facility manager Dean Patten  with help from Allan Casey Sheep Breeding Specialist, Industry and Investment NSW and Megan Rogers District Sheep Officer Forbes LHPA. The ideal reseach facilities at Condobolin and the expert staff supervising the trial ensure both scientific rigure and quality assurance required for an innovative trial of this type and will allow genuine comparision of genetic improvement with subsequent trials.
Over the course of the eight month trial objective measurements (weight, eye muscle, fat depth etc) will be regularly recorded. During the course of the  trial the rams will also be visually classed by Internationally renowned Dorper Inspector Wicus Cronje (of South Africa) and all rams will then be ranked using a combination of the performance derived measurement and the visual classing of the rams against the Dorper Breed standard. The performance traits and rankings are reported in a sale catalogue and the rams sold on their performance merit, achieved by running all rams under the same paddock conditions, for the first time buyers will be comparing apples with apples.
This trial is presenting a great opportunity to work closely with Dept of I&I specialists and gather more information that can be freely dessiminated about the Dorper Breed, Allan Casey has developed an Index for ranking the rams performance during the trial period as well as a new index for evaluating shedding ability, this has been done in conjunction with the Dorper Society of Australia. It was recognised that visual classing, objective measurement and Lambplan all have limitations when used on their own, however the paddock performace approach largely removes these limitation and allows genuine comparison of genetic performance, which is of great value not only to ram buyers but also to the ram breeders! It is anticipated that this trial and subsequebnt trials, will be a tangible means of identifying elite traits and significantly improving the Dorper breed, while maintaing the unique Dorper characteristics.
The information presented about these rams will set a new benchmark in transparency for buyers who will be able to select rams from different studs that have all been raised in the same environment.
The Rams will be put up for Auction on June 10th 2011 and sold by Landmark from CARAS, also on Auctionsplus. Detailed catalogues will be online at the Dorper Society website in May 2011.
Participating studs in this trial are Amarula Dorpers. Brockburn Dorpers, Burrawang Dorpers, Burrawang White Dorpers, Castlebar White Dorpers, Uley White Dorpers and Winrae Dorpers.
A second trial is under way and 100 rams will be heading for CARAS in late January with the sale of that intake being planned for early December 2011.

Forage shrubs; a valuable part of the feed-base puzzle

Ian Menz – District Agronomist, Industry and Investment NSW, Condobolin.

On March 23, a information field day will be held at the Condobolin Research and Advisory Station. This field day will be providing information on the advantages of forage shrubs within a livestock farming enterprise.
Following is a brief description of the projects that have been running at the station for a number of years and of some of the topics to be covered on the day.
Livestock, with correct management, can perform well with diverse plant mixtures, selecting a wide range of plants in their diet. A missing component in many grazing systems has been perennial shrubs, but they offer benefits that complement other forage sources on a farm including annual pastures and other perennials.  The ‘Enrich’ project, supported by the Future Farm industries CRC and Meat & Livestock Australia will be holding forums designed to help farmer groups, NRM or catchment groups, farmers and advisers to see the benefits of incorporating forage shrubs into mixed farming systems.
Researchers from across Australia have been assessing the traits and grazing value of a large number of shrub species, especially Australian species, both in the field and in the laboratory. During the forums we will present the proposition that, for a ‘typical’ farm in the low-medium rainfall crop-livestock zones of southern Australia, the inclusion of perennial forage shrubs at about 10-20% of farm area can increase whole-farm profit by 15-20%.
Forage shrubs reduce supplementary feeding over the summer/autumn feed gap and, importantly, allow deferred grazing of other parts of the farm at the break-of-season, thus allowing better management and more pasture to be grown elsewhere.
Perennial Australian shrubs, grown in a mixture, can provide out-of-season feed, contribute to protein and mineral nutrition, improve the efficiency of digestion by livestock and even help control gut parasites. There is a suite of additional benefits to improve natural resource management, such as controlling dryland salinity and/or wind erosion, providing shade and shelter for livestock and pastures, and improving biodiversity.
Some of the topics to be covered at the forums include:
Opportunities to improve your feedbase and increase profits by managing livestock with perennial shrubs (Dr Dean Revell, CSIRO).
Thoughts and experiences of changing farm practices (Cameron Tubby, producer from Morawa, WA).
The ‘other’ benefits of shrubs to livestock: Shrubs provide more than just energy (Assoc. Prof. Phil Vercoe, UWA).
Shrubs work well with pastures (Dr Jason Emms, SARDI).
Practical issues to consider when using shrubs (Bruce Maynard, producer from Narromine, NSW).
What shrubs, where? (Dr Jason Emms, SARDI).
Integrated into the forum program will be a visit to one of the Enrich programs 16 regional sites, so attendee’s can see some shrubs first hand and start to envisage how they can be used. Other region-specific research efforts and grower group activities will also be presented. Attendance is free and lunch and morning and afternoon tea will be provided. Attendees are encouraged to stay afterwards for a BBQ and drinks.
Forum date and time: 9:00am – 4:00pm.
Condobolin, NSW – Agricultural Research and Advisory Station – 23 March, 2011
For more information, contact Nathan Phillips., 08 9333 6700 or
Richard Maccallum 02 6895 1002.

Is Condobolin’s Ag Station to be threatened with closure again?

By Dominic Geiger

The Shadow Minister for Primary Industries and Energy Duncan Gay has accused the NSW Government of planning to shut down twelve agricultural stations, including the one at Condobolin, as part of spending cuts to the primary industries sector.
Mr Gay said the NSW Liberals & Nationals received a copy of a ‘Cabinet in confidence’ document prepared by high ranking officials from Treasury, the Department of Premier & Cabinet and the Department of Industry & Investment, which details plans of the proposed closures.
The document states a previous review “identified a cluster of 12 research stations which are subscale relative to other sites, based on the number of projects and employees supported.”
A spokesperson for Steve Whan, Minister for Primary Industries, said the document in question had already been rejected and “no research stations were ever considered for closure by Cabinet, the Minister or the Premier.”
Minister Whan said the document was just a Treasury bureaucrat’s proposal for savings, which was put to a budget committee.
“I argued (against the proposal), and I won the argument,” he said.
“If Duncan Gay is ever given the privileged to govern, I challenge him to make public every savings plan that is produced by treasury bureaucrats, because anyone who has run
Government is exposed to all manner of savings proposals as a matter of course.”
Mr Gay refuted these claims, and said the document was “still current” and nothing in the document had been “ruled out.”
“These plans are still very much under consideration,” he said.
“The (Condobolin Agricultural Station) is incredibly important considering the work they do with broad acre farming and climate change, so I’m ruling out closure of these areas if we see a Coalition Government.”

March 2009, the NSW Labor State Government announced closure of the Condoblin Agricultural Research Station (CARAS). A surge of public protest culminating in a rally in Condobolin’s main street reversed that decision.

2010 stubble loads – what’s the value?

By Ian Menz, I&I NSW District Agronomist Condobolin

The 2010 season has produced a load amount of stubble which we have to be able to manage before sowing next season’s crops. Producers have a number of options open to them on how to manage these stubbles: lower harvest height, mulching, incorporation or the final option burning.
A question that many producers face each season is what to do with the crop stubble from previous year. To answer this question, several factors need to be taken into account and there is no one rule that will work in every situation and for every year. The aim of this article is to outline some of the issues with stubble and its management, and to promote some thought and discussion on the topic.
Why is stubble important?
Trials have shown that stubble cover of greater than 30% leads to an increase of stored moisture during the fallow of 18%. Soil loss will be decreased by 70% of bare soil levels. To increase the percentage of fallow rainfall stored in your soil at planting to 20 – 25% requires standing stubble cover of 70%.
Stubble is a useful way of providing protection to the soil from wind and water erosion. The impact of summer storms, and the impact of driving winds is reduced by standing stubble (with ground cover >30%)
Stubble also insulates the soil from sun and wind, it lowers the soil temperature, reducing evaporation and maintaining surface moisture.
Stubble can be a useful stock feed source. Roughage gained from the straw, combined with the grain and weeds (weed management is important to conserve soil moisture for the following season) in the paddock can keep stock going over the summer months.
Stubble releases nutrients into the soil as it breaks down. These nutrients, approximately 25% of the nutrients used by the crop, can be used by another crop. For example stubble from a 2t/ha crop contains 17kg N/ha, 2kg P/ha, 24kg K/ha and 4kg S/ha.
There are many types of soil microbes and bacteria that use organic matter as food. They recycle nutrients; glue soil particles together, make tunnels, and perform a host of other useful tasks that help make a productive soil. Keeping the stubble encourages them to multiply and build up the soil structure.
If stubble is to be incorporated, it needs to be done as close to harvest as possible, to give the stubble time to break down within the soil before sowing. If this incorporation is delay the nutrients within the stubble maybe tied up and may not be available at the beginning of the next sowing season.
Stubble breaks down faster in summer than winter, and faster in wet than dry conditions. Stubble breaks down faster in the soil, than on top of the soil. Therefore if conditions are not suitable, there still may be a heavy stubble load, causing issues at sowing.
In the case of very heavy stubble, burning maybe the only option, this is an undesirable option as a large proportion of the value of the stubble is lost to the atmosphere. If burning is the only option, the burn should be as late in the season as possible. The will result in a cold burn and will give a chance for some nutrients to be return to the ground. Burning can provide some advantages in that some weed seeds and leaf diseases maybe destroyed. In paddocks, which have a history of high weed and disease, burning maybe a management option?
Issues with keeping stubble
There are a few potential problems with keeping stubble. The main problem is the inability of some sowing equipment to easily work through heavy stubbles. Clearance issues and tine blockages can be common in the stubble from heavy crops. Long straw blocks easier than short straw. For these reasons many farmers choose to disc in the stubble early or to burn heavy stubbles.
Having stubble on the surface creates quite a different environment for crop growth. Although stubble retention improves soil fertility in the long term, it may tie up plant nutrients (particularly N) in the short term.
Stubbles can also be a cause of disease carryover. Crop stubbles can decrease the vigour of crop seedlings, making them more susceptible to disease. Crop rotation is necessary to reduce the effect of diseases; crops should not be sown into their own stubble.

Windrowing Canola

Ian Menz – District Agronomist, Industry & Investment NSW, Condobolin.

Canola growers have been faced with an interesting year for canola and mustard production. There was a great start to the season with good sub soil moisture which allowed for the planting of a large area of canola and mustard across the district.
Now that the crops have completed flowering and are podding up well, they will start to mature, so, it is time to consider when to windrow. Some advantages of windrowing include: reduced losses to shattering by wind and hail, reduced harvest losses, earlier harvest due to uniform ripening, time flexibility as the timing of harvest can be programmed to suit the grower.
Correct timing of windrowing canola is necessary to maximise oil percentage and minimise yield losses. Windrowing too early can result in lower than optimal yield and oil, while windrowing too late can result in shattering losses. Canola has reached physiological maturity when 40-70% of the seed sample has changed colour- green to red-brown or brown-black. Seed moisture content between 35-45% may also indicate physiological maturity.
When the crop has reached 40% seed colour change seems to be the industry accepted standard point at which windrowing should start. As stated before, this the point when 40% of the seed has changed colour- green to red-brown or brown-black. By randomly selecting 100 pods in a representative area across the paddock, an assessment of level of seed colour change can be made. Pods should be collected in the top; middle and bottom of the plants as seed colour will differ with different parts of the plant.
This season may have seen a staggered germination or areas which were re-sown after locust damage. In this situation windrowing should be timed to start when the majority of the crop is at the correct stage.
The end of flowering occurs at the point when approximately 10% of flowers remain on the plant. This will be seen as a slight yellow colour over the paddock. Windrowing normally starts 20 to 30 days after the end of flowering. Once windrowing is complete harvest usually commence approximately 5-20 days after windrowing. This time will vary depending on the weather, variety and the moisture content (seed moisture should be around 7%).
Canola is much more difficult to store than cereals. It requires a lower storage temperature and must be aerated to preserve its quality and prevent insect infestation. The most appropriate storage conditions are to maintain temperature of the seed below 20C and seed moisture below 7%.
I am located at the Research Station and can be contacted the following number on 02 6895 1012 or 0427 008 472.

Annual Field Day and Stripe Rust in Wheat

Neil Fettell speaks on National Variety Testing at the CARAS 2010 field dayThe annual Condobolin Research and Advisory Station Field Day was held on September 22. This year, the field day had a focus on livestock, National Variety Testing trials, Grain & Graze, grazing shrubs and the on going research work into cereal and pulse crops.
The morning session provided farmers the latest information on animal health and the NLIS changes for sheep and goats, and the latest information on the locust situation within the Lachlan LHPA region.
Information was also provided on the Grain & Graze trials conducted on the station as well as a review of the Enrich trial which involves the management of native shrubs for grazing potential.
Many of the research trials conducted on station were visited in the afternoon with a very informative session involving the Water Storage trials, the National Variety Testing trials (canola, pulses, wheat, barley and oats) and a forage variety trial. Farmers inspected the row spacing, time of sowing and seedling depth trials conducted through the agronomy projects on station.
On another note it is good to drive around the district and see that the crops are advancing well. I have noted stripe rust has been an issue this season and a large proportion of the districts wheat crops have been sprayed with an application of fungicide to control stripe rust.
Many of the district crop were able to grow to growth stage 39 or flag leaf emergence with seedling protection provided by seed dressing. The importance of this seed dressing has been evident in allowing some breathing time, when concerning the need and timing to apply a foliar fungicide treatment.
Professor Colin Welling stated at the Cereal Rust Workshop held at Condobolin Research Station in August, it is not necessarily the product you use but the timing of the use of that product. It is important to apply at the correct growth stage and time to maximise the green leaf area of the plant.
Now, that harvest is fast approaching, it is time to start considering the varieties which you may be considering growing next season. It is important to think about the rust resistance rating of the variety, when selecting a new variety, as varieties which are more susceptible to stripe rust may require more foliar fungicide application during next season, if conditions are favourable to stripe rust.
So the take home message is to grow more resistant varieties, apply a seed dressing to provide seedling protection and to monitor crops for early detection and apply foliar fungicide as early as possible if necessary.
I can be contacted at the Research Station on 6895 1012 or 0427 008 472.

Hay Day a success

Speakers from the Hay Day held at Condobolin Agricultural Research and Advisory StationA large crowd of 70 interested farmers, contractors and industry members gathered at the Condobolin Agricultural Research and Advisory Station on September 8th to attend the Hay Day, hay and fodder conference.
A range of speakers addressed issues concerning the production of hay and silage, hay fires, transporting of hay, feed testing. The crowd was informed of the up to dated market trends and quality assurance issues concerning fodder care. Lucerne and vetch production was addressed, along with advice on the cutting, conditioning and curing of material.
There was a range of trade displays for the attendees to find more information about the latest products available. How to increase production and safely store hay for the future. A number of local hay contractors provided a display of hay making equipment and various types of hay bales produced from different material.
The day was a great success because of the large number of attendees and the hard work done behind the scene by the organising group, many thanks to all. Contributed.

News in Brief


Former Condobolin resident Merryn Spencer was recently awarded the Women out West (WoW)award for Outstanding Young Entrepreneur which recognizes a young woman entrepreneur whose innovative spirit inspires youth with her vision, leadership and achievement.


Condobolin RSL currently have some great prizes up for grabs as part of their Father’s Day Raffle. 1st prize is a BBQ, 2nd a lawn mower and 3rd an outdoor setting. Tickets are $1 available from the bar.


Attention all artists! Parkes Shire Library invites you to lend your creativity and talent to the theme of “Elvis”.
The Parkes Elvis Art Exhibition held in conjunction with the 2011 CountryLink Parkes Elvis Festival challenges artists to capture the essence of Elvis, or one of his movies or song titles.
Paintings, drawings, collage, mosaics, sculptures and leadlight are all eligible for entry.
The exhibition will be officially opened on Wednesday 5th January 2011 and will be open every day of the Festival. The exhibition will be held in the Coventry Room next to Parkes Library. Entry is free and all artworks will be for sale.
Entries close on 21st December 2010. Visit or or contact Shellie Buckle at Parkes Library on (02) 6861 2039.


style magazine is giving you the opportunity to provide much needed support to those suffering from severe flood damage in Pakistan.
From the 30th of August to the 1st of September, with every subscription of style magazine purchased, style will donate $6.55 to Unicef.
This provides 3 water containers for transporting and storing fresh water. For $35 you will receive a 12 month subscription to style magazine and help provide clean water to those suffering.


A free field day is being held at the Condobolin Agricultural Research and Science station on Wednesday 22nd September from 9 am – 4 pm.
The program includes: Animal Health and NLIS changes for sheep and goats; crop challenges such as rust, mice and locusts; storing water, enrich trial, wheat and barley variety testing, phosphorus fertiliser, mustard, canola, pulses and much more. A BBQ lunch will be provided for $5 per person and includes free publications and information from extension staff.
For more information call Joy on 02 68951025.


Greater Western Area Health Service will sign a significant partnership agreement with the Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service (CAHS) on Wednesday 8th September 2010
Signatories to the partnership will be Greater Western AHS Condobolin Health Service Manager, Mr Kevin Ryan and Chief Executive Officer Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service, Mr Cecil Lester. Also attending will be Greater Western AHS Area Manager Aboriginal Health, Ms Linda Williams and the Chair person of the Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service Sheree Brandy.
Ms Linda Williams, said the Condobolin Local Aboriginal Health Partnership is based on a historic partnership formed in 1995 between the NSW Department of Health and the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW.
As part of the partnership arrangement, local service agreements will be entered into which will assist in providing culturally appropriate and quality health services to the Aboriginal community of Condobolin, through joint planning, community development and clinical service delivery.
The agreement will be signed at 11 am at the Condobolin Aboriginal Health Service premises.

Condobolin Hay Day

Condobolin Hay Day

Hay there! Chris  Hocking, Haydon Jobson, Brett Honeysett and Roger Todd show an interest in the Condo Show promotion of the upcoming Hay Day   at the Condobolin Agricultural Research and Advisory Station on September 8th.

Condo hosts cereal rust workshop

On Thursday August 19 a Cereal Rust Workshop was held at the Condobolin Research and Advisory Station for Advisors and Growers. The meeting was well attended with around 35 growers and advisors from across the Condobolin and Forbes district in attendance.
The guest speakers for the morning session was Associate Professor Colin Wellings, Sydney University, Plant Breeding Institute, Cobbitty, Peter Matthews, acting Technical Specialist (Cereal Farming Systems), Temora and Ian Menz, District Agronomist at Condobolin.
The session covered the history of cereal rust within Australia and how the disease has developed since being detected in Australia and the origins of different pathogens within Australia at the present time. Colin presented the findings from last seasons rust survey and the likely risks to cereal crops in 2010.
Concurrent sessions were conducted, providing information on rust reaction and variety selection. Colin displayed the disease reaction to different stains or pathogens of rust on many of the current wheat varieties, as well as identification of rust on plants. In this session, the take home message was variety selection as it is important to select a variety with a high resistance level.
Peter and Ian of Industry and Investment NSW conducted an information session on the disease effects and condition required for the disease to develop as well as providing information on current fungicide treatments. In this session the timing of fungicide application was noted as the take home message.
It is very important to carry out regular crop monitoring to achieve early detection of disease. It may be necessary to apply one, two or even three application of fungicide to maintain the protection of the flag, minus one and two leaves, which are the “money leaves” of the plant. The use of seed dressing was also discussed as this provides early seedling and plant protection to delay foliar fungicides application.

Dorpers come first with ram trial

The Dorper Ram Paddock Performance Trial and Sale, CondobolinWicus Cronje, a highly respected Judge, Inspector and Classer of Dorpers in  South Africa, was on hand on Monday at the Condobolin Agricultural Research and Advisory Station (CARAS) for the very first Dorper Ram Paddock Performance Trial and Sale.
This inaugural Dorper (including White Dorper) Ram Paddock Performance Trial & Sale has been modelled on the South African “Veld Sales”.  These are rapidly gaining prominence as the preferred means of identifying high performance rams. The Paddock Performance Sale is a unique genetic evaluation process using both phenotyping (classing) and objective measurement to select elite rams in the absence of environmental variation.
President of the Eastern Region Dorper Society, Graham Pickles of “Burrawang” Ootha,  approached Dean Patton, Manager at the Condobolin research station with the idea to manage the trial under independent conditions and with expert staff and ideal facilities.
Graham said, “This is most valuable type of ram trial and sales, all these stud animals are raised under the same unsupplemented paddock conditions as opposed to the traditional national sales method where the sheep are fed on high protein diets.”
“With the latter, the buyer has limited means of determining the impact of these environmental variations on his purchase. This is the first trial of its type for any sheep breed to be conducted in Australia.”
Dean said, “I am very pleased that we can accommodate these rams at the Condobolin ARAS.”
“This trial is important to the Research Station as it increases the diversity of industry funded activities on the station.
Dorpers have increased in popularity in this district considerably over the last 10 years.”
“I believe there are many opportunities this type of sheep contributes to the industry.”
“I look forward to working with the Dorper stud breeders over the next twelve months.”
“I have a long term view that there is a need to compare alternative sheep enterprises in this environment and we are ideally situated.”
“While many local groups are interested in such a comparison, funding sources are limited so I hope this project strengthens our case to undertake further livestock research at the Condobolin ARAS.”
According to the breeders, the trial will resolve the inefficiencies of the existing ram sales by removing environmental variation; by utilising a skilled sheep classer, Wicus Cronje;  and by using the latest objective measurement technology, then combining all these into a single assessment.
Wicus said, “This process has been running in South Africa for a very long time and is the way rams will be sold in the future – everyone gets treated exactly the same and the buyer knows what they get in the end. It is all about quality control and having an independent [CARAS] involved is a very good thing.”
On Monday, the rams, aged between 100 and 120 days old were inoculated, visually assessed and electronically ear tagged for recording of the performance testing  and put into the data base for LAMBPLAN.
Sheep Genetics LAMBPLAN is a world class tool to objectively benchmark sheep performance across breeding flocks. It assists in the identification of high performance sires where environmental circumstances vary, creating the potential for ram buyers to achieve higher rates of genetic gain.
Nick Pagett of ‘Winrae Dorpers’, Bourke said, “We’re very interested in what is happening as it is the first of its kind – it will be exciting to find out about the results when they come through.”
Over the course of the eight month trial objective measurements (weight, eye muscle, fat depth etc) will be regularly recorded.
At the conclusion of the trial the rams will again be classed and all rams will be ranked using a combination of performance derived by measurement and the classing of the rams against the breed standard of excellence. Rams remain anonymous during the course of the trial to remove the potential for bias. This will then be followed by a sale.

On farm grain storage – be informed this harvest

On Farm Grain Storage Workshop, CandobolinWith the continuing winter rains many grain growers from across the state will be considering the possibility of storing grain on farm this harvest.
From  23rd to 27th August NSW Partners in Grain will be holding a series of Grain Storage Workshops to provide essential knowledge and skills to those businesses planning on farm grain storage.
Philip Burrill from the Queensland Department of Industry and Forestry will present along with Jo Holloway from the NSW Department of Industry and Investment. Philip and Jo are grain storage experts and will address topics including choosing the right storage option for your business; key storage strategies for cereal grains, pulses and oilseeds; stored grain pest identification and insect control options. A large number of grain storage equipment suppliers will also be in attendance at each of the workshops to answer your questions.
NSW Partners in Grain have developed this workshop to maximise the value for participants. We have created a forum where all your grain storage questions can be answered at the one place.
For more information about these workshops, contact Ingrid Taylor on 0427 458 863 or visit

Research Station Field Day, Hay Day and Rust Workshop

By Ian Menz – District Agronomist

The rain over the last month has been excellent with Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo and many other regions receiving above average rainfall for the month.
Now we need a mild spring and a good grain filling period to occur.
The Research Station will be hosting a number of information days in the next month. A free Cereal Rust Workshop for Advisors and Growers will be held at the Condobolin Agricultural Research and Advisory Station on August 19. The session will run from 8.30 am to 12.00 noon, places are limited so RSVP on 68951025.
Associate Professor Colin Wellings from Sydney University, Plant Breeding Institute, Cobbitty will be presenting an update on the 2009 rust survey.  Colin will detail what pathogens were found in the 2009 survey and the likely risks for cereal crops in 2010. He will also demonstrate varietal reactions and identification methods relating to cereal rusts.
Condobolin Agricultural Research and Advisory Station will host a “Hay Day” on September 8, 2010; the day will run from 9.30am – 4.00pm. The day is being hosted by I&I NSW, Australian Fodder Industry Association, Condobolin and District Landcare and Lachlan Catchment Management Authority.
The day will cover many aspects of fodder production, such as Hay Fires (why and how the fires occurred), hay additives and preservatives for safely storing high moisture hay. There will be sessions on variety selection (lucence and cereals), when to cut or strip cereal crops, transporting and quality testing of fodder. For further information and registration, please contact me at the Research Station or your local Landcare officer.
The Annual Condobolin Agricultural Research and Advisory Station field day will be held on September 22, 9.00am til 4.00pm. This year field day will cover NLIS, Locust and challenges for the 2010 crops. There will be information sessions on the National Variety Trials, Canola and Mustard as well as many aspects of the cereal research conducted on station.

News in Brief


Spaces are limited at the free Animal Health Workshop scheduled at the Condooblin Agriculture Research Station for Thursday 22nd July. Presented by Katharine Marsh District Vet Lachlan LHPA and Megan Rogers, Livestock Officer Industry and Investment NSW, the topics include: sheep lice management, winter worm control, new NLIS sheep and goat requirements, OJD and managing flystrike. RSVP 0268952152 or


The Arts Out West sponsored art and craft network meeting is on again  on Thursday July 15, from 10.30am at the Condobolin Community Centre. Anyone involved in arts and crafts in the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shires is invited to share concerns and ideas, swap contacts and support each other. FREE. All welcome. Light lunch provided. RSVP Heather Blackley 68953301 or AOW 63384657.


There is an upcoming Football (soccer) Development Camp for junior players in the Far West region. The camp will be held from the 13th – 15th July and is open to male and female footballers who turn between 10 – 14 years of age in 2010. The camp will also act as the selection trails for the 2010 FWAS Football Squad.
More information please contact the Far West Academy of Sport (FWAS) in Warren on (02) 6847 3638.


An ‘Its ewe time’ forum to be held on Tuesday 13 July in Dubbo, NSW, at the RSL Club, will showcase a range of practical ‘take home and do’ information and the latest in R&D findings to help producers capture market opportunities.Call MLA soon on 1800 675 717 to book a seat at your closest forum.

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