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STOCI AND STATIION. (By "Baranah.") During the past week there has apparently been a lull in what was rapidly. becoming an epidemic of thunder storms in the agricultural areas. In the pastoral country the Onslow district alone recorded rains as the result of scattered thunder storms. They did not bring general relief, but some very use ful gaugings included lfinderoo 150, Boolaloo 182, Mt. Stuart 154, Yarra loola 110, Red Hill 142, while Yanrey, The Range, Mardie and Balmoral also recorded rain. More and heavier falls are needed in this part of the back coun try before the relief can be regarded as lasting. The effects of the heavy rains in the south were noticed last week, when the yarding of sheep and lambs at Mid land Junction was heavier with the re sultant decline in values, whilst in addi tion to the consignments that came for ward to Midland Junction, quite a measure of private selling direct to but chers haS taken place, With the result that a short market today, with num bers well below normal trade require ments, will probably not affect the market greatly owing to the heavy stocks which butchers have on hand. Comparing pre sent sheep prices with this time last year we find a substantial and unfavourable comparison. Wethers that were bring ing 21/ are not making much more than 17/ this year and only about 1/ of this difference can be attributed to lower skin values. Mutton is definitely easier therefore and apparently the market is taking longer to respond than had been expected. At the same time it is difficult to see where supplies of fats are coming from during March, April and May, and for those who are fortunate enough to be able to continue to hold on to their fats, the prospects seem good, but they may possibly be up set by an over supply of mediocfe quality sorts, forced on to the market. Dairying Progress. A visit to the South-West proper is an education today for anyone who has not seen it and realised its progress in recent years. The country from Boyup Brook south and west and thence up through Collie to the Perth-Bunbury line reveals that not only has the sheep population advanced considerably, but that the dairying and pig raising in dustries have made remarkable strides. The incentive to pig raising in the form of organised marketing and the regular attendance of keen bacon buyers could hardly have been greater; and probably the marketing organisation could not be improved on anywhere in Australia. Pig raising as an accompaniment to dairy ing is therefore an important feature in the South-West today. So far as dairy ing itself is concerned, we' only need to go back to 1924-25 to see that this State's production of butter was then 2,962,6301b. Today, one month's produc tion in the flush periods would almost equal that quantity and during the past fiscal year the State's production had advanced 15,202,3171b. This has beet brought about, not by an increased num ber of milk cows, for actually the num ber of milk cows in the State has de clined by 5,000 during the past two years, but it is due to the increased use of superphosphate, pasture improvement, increased areas under pasture and last, but by no means least, the all important study of breeding with the use of good bulls and the assistance of purebreed and grade herd testing facilities. Merino Rams for the Pastoral Areas. Now that rains have fallen over such a large area of the pastoral country it is to be hoped that relief will not be long in coming to Onslow, the West Gas coyne, the Murchison and the unfavoured portions of the East Gascoyne, where a break in drought conditions would be invaluable. When these rains come there will .certainly be a revival of interest in the pastoral ram trade, but unfortun ately not to the extent that many breed ers hope. It has to be borne in mind that so many flocks have been sadly de pleted by the drought and while losses have been sustained in the ewe flock the rams have been fed, so that many station owners, even when they get rains, will not require rams, whilst others, eve. if they do need them, will only reqfire very small drafts indeed. The first consignments to be delivered for the New Year have just left the breeders' properties as a result of the rainq last month. The largest draft was one of 100 Peppin blood rams which the Boolardy Pastoral Co., of Cranmore Park, Walebing, sent to the Mulga Downs Pastoral Co., Ltd., of Mulga Downs, Roe bourne. Mr. H. F. Cooke, of Hagley, Tammin, was also responsible for the de livery of 100 flock rams, but these went away in two consignments--75 2-year old Bungaree blood rams goihg to the Murrum Pastoral Co., Ltd., Namble Station, Leonora; and 25 to C. Bloxam, of Adelong Station, Menzies. The fourth consignment was drawn from the Gnow angerup district. Messrs.' Richardson Bros., of Mianelup, Gnowangerup shipped a draft of 50 2-year old rams of Collinsville blood to the Robe River Pastoral Co., Yarraloola Station, Onslow. More consignments will follow, especially for the Eastern Goldfields, but overhead costs usually result in most of these rams, which are invariably of Bungaree or Koonoona blood, being drawn direct from the parent studs in South Australia. - Stud Pigs from the East. Some little tinie ago it will be remem bered that Mr. LH. B. Blythe, of Man manning, who met with such conspicuous success with his pigs by winning the Governor's cup at the last Royal Show, sent a consignment of gigs to Victoria. Following that comes advice of an im portation by him from that State. Dur ing the past week there arrived to his order two high class pedigree Large White sows, which were purchased from Messrs. I. E. and F. Hawtin, of Ross moyne, Colac West. By the same boat came another consignment of highly bred Large Whites from. the same stud, these being imported by Mr. J. L Michael of Round Hill, Moora, one of our most successful Large White breeders. His draft comprised one young stud boar and two high class stud sows. Both con Ssignments appealed for their type and landed well after their long journey. Judging from the keen interest that is being displayed in pig raising, not only in the dairying country but in the wheat belt too at the present time, it is likely that many more breeders will take ad vantage of any suitable opportunity to import high class pigs to raise the 4tand ard of their stud herds. The sales that they are effecting at present are Itady and the values sound, and it is proving an encouragement to them as competition makes herd improvement necessary and the importation of fresh blood from high class studs is an im portant factor. Pedigree Dairy Cattle Movements. Late in the season though it is, quite a few interesting sales of pedigree dairy cattle have been reported recently by breeders in different parts of the agri cultural areas. The Jersey breed has been prominent and numerous sales have been reported. Mr. D. Bradford, of Kapara, Narrogin, recently delivered a young bull in Kapara Starbright to Mr. G. Stewart of Darkan and another in Kapara Gay Duke to Mr. H. Harrison of Bokl, while in the eastern wheatbelt, Messrs. Wilkins Bros., of Queereding, Bruce Rock, delivered the young bull Queereding Oliver to Mr. H. Medlen, of Williams. The West Australian Mission ary College at Carmel followed their re cent importation with the sale of one of their young bulls Wamco Pirate, to Mr. J. W. Cotterill of Gingin.