Many a seasoned agent remarked that last Monday at the Dubbo sheep and lamb sale may have been one of the worst if not the worst day they had ever spent in a saleyard.
With hail the size of golf balls (and bigger occasionally) plus torrential rain, thunder and very local lightning, this was really a day when Mother Nature displayed her most awesome power.
The progress of the sale was halted on at least one occasion as all and sundry sought shelter.
Lambs offered after the deluge certainly lasted their gloss and agents and buyers struggled to regain any rhythm after the deluge.
The market was quotes as firm to slightly dearer but from my observations this possibly only applied to lamb sold prior to the storm.
To exacerbate the situation, the yarding was described by many a good judge as one of the plainest seen at Dubbo for a long time.
To make matters worse many cars and other vehicles were seriously damaged by the hailstorm.
The rain, while not widespread with places like Gilgandra receiving only a millimetre or two, will allow for some farming to take place and with more rain forecast many gaps on the weather charts may be filled.
Surprisingly a recent update from the Bureau of Meteorology advised 87 per cent of Queensland is now drought stricken.
A contact in south-east Qld advises his area is now in the zone of one in 50 years.
The late Barry Callinan was for many years a highly respected agent in this area.
Like most parents our fervent wish is for our children to be successful. He would have been overjoyed to see his son Matt appointed domestic sales manager for R J Fletcher, a company with which he had, in his own working life, a long and very successful relationship.
Barry on many occasions expressed with strong conviction the strength he felt Roger, his family and company had delivered to the sheep and lamb industry in general and Dubbo in particular.
Barry and Donna are to be congratulated on this wonderful appointment for their son.
My thanks to Bruce Bryant, of Peter Milling and Co, and Jason Hartin, or Hartin Shute Bell, for their extensive coverage of the Narromine Store sheep sale on Wednesday, March 15.
The yarding consisted of 7880 head mostly on the plainer side but nevertheless achieving some very successful results when one takes into consideration the quality of the offering.
Buyers who achieved a result on the day attended from Forbes, Albury, Trangie, Mudgee, Dubbo, Aria Park, Wagga and there was some good local support .
Processors completed strongly on their suitable lines.
Some quotes include: 1st cross ewes, March 2016 drop, Feb shorn $180. The balance of the 1st cross ewes sold from $121 to $140. Store lambs sold in the range of $68 to $117 . A line of 1st cross mix sex lambs, Oct/Noc 2016 drop, Jan shorn reached $90.
Merino ewes July/Aug 2016 drop, May shorn, mixed NSM $176. Old merino and dohne ewes which had failed a scanning test sold from $80 to $83. One pen of merino wethers only being Aug/Sept 2016 drop, Feb shorn reached $64.