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  • Hero image
    Riley Pippa and Eliza Vivian in a canola crop on the family farm at Kaniva.
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    Kaniva farmer Shane Vivian, with his wife Sammie and children, from left, Pippa, Eliza and Riley, is heading for a successful season.

AgLife: ‘Kind’ conditions boost harvest outlook


Promise of a successful harvest across much of the Wimmera this summer continues to gather momentum as burgeoning crops respond strongly to regular spring rain.

Farmers, many who have experienced a hit-and-miss environment in the past few seasons after a long dry, have welcomed a return to consistent moisture levels.

Kaniva district in the west Wimmera is an example of one farming area heading for a successful season, pending a continuation of favourable conditions.

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Kaniva farmer Shane Vivian, who with his family runs a mixed cropping, livestock and trucking enterprise, said the season was going well.

“We had a great start before a bit of a scare with a dry July,” he said.

“But rain in August and now September has been kind to us. 

“The weather forecast throughout spring has always been positive, but getting a wet spring for a change is something we’re not used to.

“Really our only concern is that if we have wet weather it isn’t that good for our hay. But, we can’t have both and the truth is we’d rather have a good cropping season.

“Conditions for our livestock has also been handy and while some prices might have taken a hit, especially with wool, the position is generally good.”

The farm business, Vivian Grain, covers between 7000 and 8000 hectares and is a prime example of a family farming operation.

Mr Vivian and his wife Sammie and their three children, his brother Tyson and his wife Carin, also with three children, and his parents Peter and Sharon, are all part of the farm business.

Vivian Grain also employs three full-time staff members.

Mr Vivian agreed that farming, despite coming with years of uncertainty and drought, provided a healthy lifestyle and environment. “To be able to bring up kids in farming is great,” he said.

“We all know that when work is there to be done it has to be done, but there are advantages in being your own boss and having the flexibility to enjoy other parts of life.

“Farming life is getting busier. The industry is constantly coming up with new technology and that creates work because everyone is striving to do their best – always looking for that next thing to grow that better crop or breed that better sheep. 

“But that’s farming life and I wouldn’t change it.

“Kaniva is also a reasonably reliable farming area, suited for mixed-type cropping and sheep, which means it opens a few doors for everyone.”

Border issues

Mr Vivian said the Victorian and South Australian border situation due to COVID-19 had created complications for people living and working in the area.

“We don’t have property in South Australia, but some do and they had trouble at the start,” he said.

“It has taken a lot of work to get that all through.

“We do get a lot of parts and buy machinery out of Bordertown, but that can always be freighted across. 

“I also picked up sheep from South Australia and as long as I had a COVID test and paperwork with a freight permit I was fine.

“As far as our business goes, it hasn’t affected us too much. 

“But from a personal side, our kids normally go to Adelaide for medical appointments, which has made it hard.”

The entire September 30, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire September 30, 2020 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!