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#444581 - 25/07/2003 00:07 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
W W Offline
Member

Registered: 09/01/2002
Posts: 1227
Loc: Cobar 31.50S, 145.83E, 243m ...
Yes we had some very strong wind & of course a dust storm frown but that was easy to put up with once the rain got here,that rain could just get us into summer now,bit of green pick about so that will keep it going laugh

Pleased you had some rain even though it was not nearly enough laugh laugh next time

Heather :cheers:

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#444582 - 25/07/2003 14:49 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
mcg Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/11/2002
Posts: 213
Loc: Hunter Valley
Hi laugh
It will all end up OK i'm sure :cheers:

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#444583 - 28/07/2003 23:21 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
droughtfarmer Offline
Member

Registered: 09/03/2003
Posts: 103
Loc: great southern WA
Well all Iam back wish i could say from holiday but the real reason is my computer blew up or something like that,anyway things sound like they have improved for most i believe there are quite a few still in drought.Talked to a dairy farmer from sail said it was pretty bad there and i believe bad winds cut crop off in SA.Things are good in the west now and I would say a good average season.By the way who wants to take a stab at wheat prices for the coming harvest APW $215 FOB is my guess

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#444584 - 29/07/2003 12:16 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
W W Offline
Member

Registered: 09/01/2002
Posts: 1227
Loc: Cobar 31.50S, 145.83E, 243m ...
Thanks mcg

Pleased all is going well for you

You sure do have to laugh laugh laugh
Things are slowly getting better I am sure of that,we are at least getting some rain in dribs & drabs which is a whole lot better than what we were getting this time last year

Hope everyone who needs it is getting some rain,just makes you feel that little bit happier wink

Sorry to hear about your computer Drought Farmer

Heather :cheers:

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#444585 - 30/07/2003 14:04 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
Fine Elsewhere Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 02/09/2002
Posts: 1876
Loc: Albany.W.A.
Hi All, Slowly the rain filters over Oz - what a long drawn out season this has been for so many of you - but good to sense a few more smiles each week!
I've had a rotten time with my computer - had probably the most interesting week of weather over the last fortnight and have been sat here with no computer (motherboard burnt out) & phone, electricity & electric fences (2 separate units) all got knocked out by lightning a couple of Sundays back... when we've had great rains, snow out east, gales & huge seas, & i was sat here doing the last quarter GST return manually --not my best fortnight!!!
Heather i tried to send u a PM & email with sincere appols for my misreading of that virus warning - hope you got one or the other, as i sent them from a friends farm & their systems about as poor as mine. This thing has driven me & my very understanding "nerd" mad over last few days, couldn't get a mainboard to fit the case, got new case, put it all together with my old hard drive & troubles continued! Got into WZ & couldn't access maps & models, the mouse froze on the screen & so it goes on - the things only just going now - takes ages to get some i'net paths to open etc & i think its only keeping going because of me keeping a 10lb block splitter next to the desk & threatening any minute to bury it through the whole system!!!
Anyway that's life, good to hear things are improving MCG, yes its strange this damned love of the land thing isn't it, there's probably a 100 better places to put your money but we seem to keep getting dragged back into buying a bit more - my only advice it to look hard for a property with a very good water supply & seeing the troubles that are emerging over river “water rights” over your way, i think i'd be looking for springs & soaks more than rivers?!? IMO water is going to be the key for any agricultural venture in the next 50 years, cos whether this is a weather cycle or whatever, blind Harry can see that we are in a period of very unstable moisture supply & its very hard to grow either plants or animals without water......
All that aside, its great to read some good news, as Droughtfarmer has said things are looking good over here now for a lot of the Ag areas – fantastic year for us here. Anyway if I disappear for a while again, please don't think I've got the “huff” or “dropped of the perch”, it will probably be a block splitter solution for this rotten PC – I'm not really a computer person, but find block splitters can fix a number of things when you are in the right frame of mind!!!
:wave: FE

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#444586 - 14/08/2003 23:06 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
DNO Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 09/02/2003
Posts: 489
Loc: Ellesmere, Qld
Hi FE and others. Well none of the rain has filtered over to this part of Oz, but thats life.
We are gradually reducing stock numbers here with trucks going out every week now. All going south to where the good money is for the softer type cattle. Live export prices have been a bit ordinary so far, so trying to keep the cattle suited to that market for as long as we can.
It's a critical time of the year now. We know we have enough feed to last till about October, and often we could expect storms in Oct, so do you gamble on the storms, and have good bullocks next year, or play safe and sell the steers a bit young now? We had to wait till New Year for our first storm this year, and Feb before we got any real relief rain. We have decided to lighten right off while the cattle are in good condition, and good money is available for them. Whether its the right decision or not, only time will tell.
Land prices have been booming here in the last 12 months. Downs country in this area, 2 years ago was selling for $50/acre, and today, it is selling for upwards of $90/acre($1500-1800/beast area). Hard to see how they can buy for that and make money, but I suppose people were saying that 40 years ago when it was $1.50/acre.
Hope the rain is not too far away for all of you that need it.
I was wondering why you have been so quiet FE till I saw you pop up in the fishing thread in in WZ, and that explained it all. Computer problems... Yeah right wink Hope they keep biting.

Ed

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#444587 - 15/08/2003 02:44 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
Fine Elsewhere Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 02/09/2002
Posts: 1876
Loc: Albany.W.A.
Hi Ed, i really feel for you mate - i've been there before, & IMO nobody can tell you what's best - thats whatever you decide at the time under the conditions you are facing, but i agree with your strategy, get the numbers down & play safe. Becos of the cost of area behind the fence with deer fencing 1.8m over here, i used to run right up to bust point all the time then had a bad season that we didn't believe could ever happen down here on the coast, i tried to hang on, bought feed in at ridiculous prices, stock lost condition, nobody to buy them, i couldn't sleep at night......NEVER, Never again! I've been understocked for the last 2 years & haven't bought in 1/10 of grain & pellets that we used to buy, & this year i haven't feed out anything but hay - never had so much spare time!!! i've been very happy to forgo that extra income in that overstocking risk area ( & please note Ed I'm not suggesting that your over stocked). The lesson i really learnt was that as the stock drop in condition the cost of feed increased, & their condition just would not pick up enough to slaughter – every thing goes the wrong way.
Our farming year has been fantastic this year & ground is filling with water, pasture good & heavy all over the farm, but the tourist park is very quiet & venison sales to the restaurant trade is well down as overseas visitors are badly down.
I hope & pray that your October rain comes mate, haven't heard from Heather either, i thought this last lot might have given them some run off, but the map tonite didn't show much out their way?
Your land price situation is quite hard to follow in such conditions. Over here properties just keep getting bigger as people leave the various ag industries – in our area diary farms are getting hit now with the change in regulations. A big milk company announced a cent rise (28.5 to 29 cents) per litre in payment to diary farmers today, & at the same announced that the retail price would have to go up 5 cents as a result??? Really shows who makes the profit from the rural sector!
:wave: FE

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#444588 - 16/08/2003 12:48 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
DNO Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 09/02/2003
Posts: 489
Loc: Ellesmere, Qld
Hi FE,
Yes the poor dairy farmer is really getting a grueling ATM. We pay $4.30 for 3 litres milk here so there seems to be a lot of 'value adding' there somewhere.
We got 8mm spoiling rain last night. Not very impressed with a yardfull of cattle in the yards, and 3 roadtrains waiting on the bitumen unable to get here to load them. Fortunately the rain stopped, and the trucks got in this morning, and are now loaded and safely back on the bitumen.
Looks like we'll send more next weekend now as this rain will damage the grass.
I find managing the pasture reserves a very interesting, and challenging aspect of my job. In this area, we get just as many drought or light years as we get good years. Its a fact of life here so we have to try to work out the best ways to get through the light years, and enjoy the good ones.
I was reading through some old threads some time back and someone suggested starting a Drought Management thread. I think that would be interesting, because everyones idea of a 'drought' is different, and each individual enterprise has different ways of dealing with it.

Ed

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#444589 - 18/08/2003 11:31 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
W W Offline
Member

Registered: 09/01/2002
Posts: 1227
Loc: Cobar 31.50S, 145.83E, 243m ...
Hi All

At long last we have had some rain last week we had 46.2mm,best part was we had runoff & got our house tank/dam 3/4 full so we can now go off the bore water

We are still "grinnin" wink wink

Heather :cheers:

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#444590 - 24/08/2003 10:50 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
W W Offline
Member

Registered: 09/01/2002
Posts: 1227
Loc: Cobar 31.50S, 145.83E, 243m ...
We have had another 32.1mm of rain out of this system

Heather :cheers:

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#444591 - 24/08/2003 13:28 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
Boy from the Bush Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 15/08/2002
Posts: 67
Loc: Mungindi, 180km west Goondiwin...
Had 28mm lastnight out of this system. This will give the wheat a good pick up, it was really needing it with areas that are dead from lack of moisture. Very windy here atm but great to see rain

Justin laugh :cheers:

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#444592 - 05/09/2003 21:22 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
Wishful thinking Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 15/06/2003
Posts: 5
Loc: Mullewa WA
Hi all

It has been a long time since Ive been on. In that time it seems that everyone has picked up a little. I dont know whether to feel guilty or happy, August was very good to us and it looks at this stage that we may have one of our best years ever smile .
we had almost 90 mm of rain for Aug. which is highly out of the ordinary, We'll need one more good one though so heres hoping it turns up soon and goes everywhere its needed.
catch you all again one day :cheers:

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#444593 - 06/09/2003 00:09 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
Fine Elsewhere Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 02/09/2002
Posts: 1876
Loc: Albany.W.A.
Hi Wishful, Yes the whole Ag area is looking good from what i hear, now talking about grain storage being tight this season that might even be a record grain year - what a wonderful problem to have to face wink wink The only trouble seems to be that pocket of station country in the Murchison. Anyway its great to hear you are having a lot better time up there, & the way the systems have come thru so far this year, i think you will get a bit more in September - its absolutely wonderful here & right up right thru the Great Souhtern, even though a few were a bit late getting going from Brookton east, but i was up there recently & they are right now.
Hope it all finishes off well for you anyway, & would be good to hear from Drought farmer, Flame & the others in between?
:wave: FE

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#444594 - 06/09/2003 09:15 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
DNO Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 09/02/2003
Posts: 489
Loc: Ellesmere, Qld
Hi all,
We are just hanging in over this way. The stock we have left are still in good condition and just holding with lick blocks. We will probably sell more this month before they start slipping. We are down to about 30% of 'normal' stocking rate ATM.
We have been getting excellent prices for the sale stock, so all in all, not too bad for a light year so far. But we are coming to the crunch part of the year, from now till first benificial storms. If we only knew how long that will be. :wave:

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#444595 - 28/09/2003 22:17 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
Wishful thinking Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 15/06/2003
Posts: 5
Loc: Mullewa WA
Hello all

Well harvest is rapidly approaching us over here. in the last two weeks the whole countryside has changed colour dramatically. I reckon 3 weeks will see us into it. The crops are looking pretty good, about the only thing I would have preferred is a decent rain about 2 weeks ago. Cant complain though we are currently waiting for oats to dry so we can get started on bailing. Ive never done much hay before so were hoping it works out. In the end i think we will end up with way too much hay for us to use, so I'm just hoping we can find a market for it. Anyway that is about the latest update, I hope the weather is doing what you want it to wherever you are.

bye for now :cheers:
WT

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#444596 - 20/10/2003 20:14 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
tony m Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 11/05/2003
Posts: 326
Loc: Menai (Sydney) Lat.-34.S; Long...
Hello every one :wave:
My name is Tony M from Menai (Sydney).
This is my first time on the Ag-weather forum.
I am 42 and even though i am a "City Slicker"
my soul is in the bush. My Parents and Grandparents come from rural backgrounds. My mother came from the Griffith district and her background were into broad-acre irrigation; specialising in rice(long and short grain) and other crops(winter cereal; barley and wheat) and also sheep/lambs. As a kid i used to love visiting the relatives there. I was nearly destined to become a rice farmer and my Dad was going to send me into a Agricultural College(at Yanco) I wish some-times i had of pursued it.

My Grandfather was one of the pioneers in the Griffith districts and the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area(MIA) scheme after the WW 1. with also other relatives too.(sharefarming etc)

As a kid i wanted to become a farmer or to become a diesel train driver.(Half the fun going to Griffith from Sydney was travelling on the train and watching the big locomotives; like the large stout nose of the 44 class or the bulldog 42 class locos)
In the end i become the latter option and joined the railways in 1977 at 16 and become a "trainee locomotive engineman" in 1980. I only stayed for another three years,(1983)and had the travel bug and went around Aust. for about seven years(on and off) doing all sorts of jobs but i did get myself a tractor-backhoe ticket and a truck licence.To stop a long story short i joined Telecom in 1990(for life and was looking for a country transfer)but got retrenched 2 years ago(2001) and now back on the railways at Port Botany as a shunter/train examiner.(My train driving jobs are over) but even so my "soul" is not really in this job either.

I would still like to buy a farm(maybe only a dream) but do not know how to start and i ask myself am i to old to start?? ie 42 years of age.
I probably like a grazing property and into sheep and fattening lambs(nice green hills southern NSW) because i think it would be too much over my head for cereal cropping etc.

Because i know next to nothing about the industry; how could i get a "start" into the knowledge of sheep lamb grazing industry?
Do they have mature age TAFE courses; or maybe a share farmer/grazier. How does the industry work these days?

Would any one in the industry would know (on the Ag-weatherforums.)

Thanks for your help.
Tony M MENAI SYDNEY :cheers:

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#444597 - 20/10/2003 20:17 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
tony m Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 11/05/2003
Posts: 326
Loc: Menai (Sydney) Lat.-34.S; Long...
Hello every one :wave:
My name is Tony M from Menai (Sydney).
This is my first time on the Ag-weather forum.
I am 42 and even though i am a "City Slicker"
my soul is in the bush. My Parents and Grandparents come from rural backgrounds. My mother came from the Griffith district and her background were into broad-acre irrigation; specialising in rice(long and short grain) and other crops(winter cereal; barley and wheat) and also sheep/lambs. As a kid i used to love visiting the relatives there. I was nearly destined to become a rice farmer and my Dad was going to send me into a Agricultural College(at Yanco) I wish some-times i had of pursued it.

My Grandfather was one of the pioneers in the Griffith districts and the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area(MIA) scheme after the WW 1. with also other relatives too.(sharefarming etc)

As a kid i wanted to become a farmer or to become a diesel train driver.(Half the fun going to Griffith from Sydney was travelling on the train and watching the big locomotives; like the large stout nose of the 44 class or the bulldog 42 class locos)
In the end i become the latter option and joined the railways in 1977 at 16 and become a "trainee locomotive engineman" in 1980. I only stayed for another three years,(1983)and had the travel bug and went around Aust. for about seven years(on and off) doing all sorts of jobs but i did get myself a tractor-backhoe ticket and a truck licence.To stop a long story short i joined Telecom in 1990(for life and was looking for a country transfer)but got retrenched 2 years ago(2001) and now back on the railways at Port Botany as a shunter/train examiner.(My train driving jobs are over) but even so my "soul" is not really in this job either.

I would still like to buy a farm(maybe only a dream) but do not know how to start and i ask myself am i to old to start?? ie 42 years of age.
I probably like a grazing property and into sheep and fattening lambs(nice green hills southern NSW) because i think it would be too much over my head for cereal cropping etc.

Because i know next to nothing about the industry; how could i get a "start" into the knowledge of sheep lamb grazing industry?
Do they have mature age TAFE courses; or maybe a share farmer/grazier. How does the industry work these days?

Would any one in the industry would know (on the Ag-weatherforums.)

Thanks for your help.
Tony M MENAI SYDNEY :cheers:

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#444598 - 21/10/2003 00:06 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
Fine Elsewhere Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 02/09/2002
Posts: 1876
Loc: Albany.W.A.
Hi All, yes tonym that is a very interesting background & i can certainly understand how you get that "call" to the land. At first i was tempted to post you a PM in response to your questions, but i think the benefits of the forum are sometimes lost when we do that as often others can add something very constructive or give an equally helpful alterative view...
as a member of a fifth generation farming family, when i was young i was determined NOT to go farming, but at 40 yoa, i was forced by health problems to leave the rat race (& good income) & i gave into my "call" back to the farm - but boy it was hard & we had the help & backing of farming knowledge from both my own & wife's families...so from my experience, here is my advice to you.
Firstly, be realistic in what you are looking at from a financial point of view. At 40 yoa, you may still have a family dependant on your earnings, & while it may fulfil your dreams, going into something new might really test your finances - be careful. As an old friend of mine once told me, halve your anticipated income & double your anticipated expenditure - if the result is still viable you might do alright wink
Secondly, a lot of farming today involves heavy capital expenditure for both land & equipment - IMO grain farming in particular from scratch would be very difficult.
Thirdly, try to spread you income base & risk - my adult daughter has a boyfriend who is very keen to do something on the land, & after a lot of investigation, i have suggested to him that he look at aquiculture & specialty (exotic) fruit mix. My reasons for suggesting this is that:-
1) there will be an increasing demand for fish meat worldwide.
2) ocean fishing has a quickly diminishing future.
3) it is not as capital demanding as other areas of farming.
4) you do not require a lot of land, BUT will require access to a good clean water supply.
5) it is the type of industry that you can set up & run part-time whilst still working "off farm" but change to being full time as your venture succeeds.
6) it is the type of industry that can be run in conjunction with some other "small farm" activity ie specialty fruits etc.
IMO the future will see a lot of "on farm" value adding to the products from many small farming outfits - such as small packaging & processing, cheese, fruit processing etc. - ie: i did a small trial run of "brandied cherries" this year that worked very well from both production & marketing aspects.
7) try to have some off farm income source that is totally separate from your venture, this might be you or your wife working off farm at times or having some other small business venture.
Anyway these are just a few of my personal ideas - yes do some study either at Ag college or fisheries or whatever - not only will you learn, but you get to see how others are doing in that industry! my final word of advice - stay well away from adding tourists to your small farming operation - takes up too much time & capital (we have just been hit with 2 successive years of huge public liability insurance premiums which has almost crippled some of our operations).
i hope other members might give you some other alternatives - theres some well experienced graziers about here who have been at the game for a long time, some croppers (who might now not speak to me for weeks!!) and there are some who have taken the country life on smaller farms & i know have enjoyed the lifestyle, but have done it very hard to keep going - enough from me..
:wave: FE

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#444599 - 21/10/2003 01:24 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
DNO Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 09/02/2003
Posts: 489
Loc: Ellesmere, Qld
Hi Tony M,
I agree with FE that you want to work on the most pessimistic scenario when you are working out your cash flows etc. First year will be very bad for high expenses and low income.
Also, (up here anyway)financial institutions wont look at a high risk first farmer unless you have at least 60% equity to put into the venture.Thats property, stock & plant.
I have been trying unsuccessfully to get myself into a grazing property for the last 15 years, and it has always been out of my grasp. And now land prices here are such that it's just not possible for me. Things may be a bit different down your way though.
For me, having my cattle on agistment is a more realistic option. Far less risk. It fulfills my dream of breeding my own good cattle, but I dont depend on it for my income, more as a hobby. I have a bit of expendable income from my job, that is tax deductable if I put it towards the agistment bill, and if the cattle return a profit, its a bonus. If they dont, I dont starve or have the banks chasing me. If things get really dry and agistment isnt available, I sell the lot and start all over again.
It's not ideal, but maybe an option like that might be available to you if you can't comfortably get into a place of your own.
I think the Ag Dept(Pasture Protection Board I think they are called in NSW) should be able to help you with info on the productive potential of the country, and also with industry best practices for whatever enterprise you are interested in. If you look up their website, they should point you towards good reference material. Enough from me.

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#444600 - 21/10/2003 19:32 Re: Chewing Straw - Over the back fence.
tony m Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 11/05/2003
Posts: 326
Loc: Menai (Sydney) Lat.-34.S; Long...
Thanks fellas(Fine Elsewhere and Down Not Out)
They are good positive ideas and some down to earth advice.

I suppose if i get my own "spread" i will probably get a smaller one to start with and go from there. I realise the income won't be very grand in the first few years and i suppose this more of a semi-retirement(smaller income) or grazing property spread possibly for agistment.
I did a little bit of cattle work when i was in the Northern Territory years ago(after leaving the railways first time) with my senior cousin(Tony Doyle) who was managing a couple of large properties in the N.T. (Rockhampton Downs east of Tennant Creek and Mountain Valley east of Katherine). This was all back in the mid 1980's.
It was good for a working holiday but working with the large beasts inc. Brahmas was not really my "cup of tea"(great fun though) so i suppose i would rather work with the sheep if i wanted to do it fulltime.

I am now on the cross roads(or T intersection) of my working life. I could move out of Sydney and move up to the far North Coast NSW or sunny QLD but probably become a "vegie" up there and and my wife does not really do that(we have no kids though) or the other option is to buy a grazing property within 3-5 hours south of Sydney; and the reason being my wife wants to stay a few more years in Sydney(at her reasonably good paying job) and commute every weekend down to my "spread" till she moves down permanantly (and she stops working fulltime.) We would sell our home in Sydney(Menai) and downsize to a small home unit for her or even rent for a while.

I then would try my "luck" with sheep grazing(wool and fattened lambs) as a smaller income the first couple of years to supplement her income and my small nest egg which has been put away.(super& equity etc).I could also get some paid employment doing some seasonal/temp or casual work driving the tractors/backhoes or tip-trucks to help if needed (and probably have too if the finances get tight.)

But again this really a option thought at the time(maybe only a dream) but it would be much better than getting " dragged down in the mud" here in the Sydney "big-smoke" My health also has gone down a bit after leaving Telstra(2001) and i have toyed the idea with my local doctor GP and he said a "country change might really help you." Any suggestion from the doctor is good enough for me.

By the way; i have seen the trout farm up at Ebor NSW(betwwen Dorrigo and Armidale) and a great idea. Also have seen similar on the Sun. ABC "Landline"

Well Fellas; enough said, What do you think of my thoughts and ideas? do you think this would be possible or just a "pie in the sky"?? :rolleyes:

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