Late rains lift Kulin com­mu­nity spir­its

Countryman - - NEWS - Dorothy Hen­der­son

As the baled hay is stacked on the fam­ily farm north-west of Kulin, Brad Smoker says that rain re­ceived in Oc­to­ber may have af­fected its qual­ity, but he is heart­ened by the boost that timely rain will give to the crops still ripen­ing in the pad­docks.

Mr Smoker, his par­ents Lin­ley and Lind­say Smoker and his wife Rynelle run the 4000ha farm, with the help of em­ploy­ees Corey Weguelin and Aaron Robin­son.

Car­rolup oats was grown on 150ha, cut as hay and des­tined for ex­port to Japan.

Mr Smoker said the fam­ily hoped to start har­vest soon, with wheat, bar­ley, canola and oats in the mix.

“While the 60mm of rain we re­ceived may have de­creased the qual­ity of the hay, that has been com­pen­sated for by the re­sult­ing in­crease in grain size and po­ten­tial yield for the other crops,” he said.

Mr Smoker said he was happy with the si­t­u­a­tion on the farm in the lead-up to har­vest, but even more de­lighted by the pos­i­tive out­look in the Kulin area.

“There is a vi­brant feel in the com­mu­nity pre-har­vest; there are plenty of bar­be­cues be­ing held, the at­mos­phere is a tes­ta­ment to the strength of the com­mu­nity,” he said. “It is abuzz with life. There are plenty of vol­un­teers to help with com­mu­nity events, and cricket and ten­nis are in full swing.”

Mr Smoker said that his en­thu­si­asm for the area and its fu­ture led him to throw his hat into the ring dur­ing the re­cent lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions — a move that saw him elected to the Kulin Shire Coun­cil.

Mr Smoker is joined by Michael Luc­ch­esi — two younger farm­ers keen to see their com­mu­nity re­main strong, re­gard­less of the out­come of the 2017 har­vest.

Pic­ture: Dorothy Hen­der­son

Brad Smoker with Car­rolup hay on the fam­ily farm at Kulin.

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