Correspondent Report from Yass

The Colonist

14 November 1838

A Correspondent at Yass gave us the following account of that part of the country:-

The disease which prevailed amongst many of the flocks this spring has, since the late rains (which have fallen within the last fortnight) nearly disappeared.

Indeed, I know of but one instance in which it has shewn itself latterly, and that is on the Doomat.

As respects the condition of the stock, I do not believe there is a fat bullock in the district, there are some in very fair condition to look at but when you come to kill them, there is no fat on the kidneys or inside and they are sadly deficient in weight. The same may be said as to the wethers.

Lambing flocks are all in bad order owing to the want of water and feed, and many of the ewes died in lambing - those that have escaped are now likely to improve rapidly as the feed is now luxuriant, and the water abundant. I do not think the lambing throughout the district will average above fifty per cent.

There has been a large quantity of wheat sown in this district this year, more than usual the double quantity, the rain which has fallen, I should say abundantly, within these three weeks has partially saved the late crops and those early ones which had been eaten down by the sheep or cattle; but I have not seen one field of wheat which promises to yield an average crop, most of the persons with whom I have spoken on the subject hope for half a crop.

Wheat is now fetching 15s per bushel, and it is very difficult to be had at that, in fact there is very little wheat in the district.

Shepherd’s wages are 25l. a year with rations, but men are not to be hired insufficient numbers.

Another letter from a settler sixty miles beyond Yass, says:- "Our lambing season has been a capital one, something more than ninety percent all round, and in some flocks a lamb for every ewe almost."