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Celebrating our Name Change
Luther Road Loxton - PHONE 8584 4883
up for harvest
by Stephanie Gropler
Ten-month-old Alice Hansen
will experience her first harvest
in coming weeks, with the first
truck load delivered to silos
at Viterra's Loxton site last
Wunkar farmer Nick Hansen said he
is expecting to begin reaping oats in
coming days, followed by barley and
wheat if weather permits.
"My barley is looking like it will
have to finish off for another week or
so," he said.
Crops were hurried along during last
week's burst of warm weather, after
Loxton recorded eight consecutive
days over 30 degrees, reaching a maxi-
mum of 38.5 degrees last Wednesday.
Mr Hansen began seeding oats in the
first week of May.
"I got a late start this year, which
was very frustrating at the time, but...
it looks like it is going to pay off now,"
Despite a good start to the season
for many local farmers, there were
a number of factors that dampened
prospects of an above average harvest,
including frost damage and the beet
western yellow virus which affected
many canola crops.
"I am sure once the header starts
going through the crop, I will get a
really good look at it. But, I didn't get
catastrophically wiped by frost," Mr
Loxton experienced a wet start to
the year, recording 33mm of rain on
February 14 and 67mm of rain on
"A lot of people, with all the mois-
ture in the soil, and because they have
such big acres now; they starting seed-
ing in early April," he said.
"It was that wet and they have that
many acres to put in, so they had a
punt and unfortunately it didn't pay
Loxton has received a total of
250.2mm this year so far, 22.7mm
more than the same time last year.
Mr Hansen said it was a frustrating
for many farmers, especially because
the start of the season looked like "it
"It changed around quite quick. I
never would have thought we would
have such a tough patch," he said.
Mr Hansen has about 4000 acres of
grain planted this year and said a rain
later in the season "would have gone a
"It would have been nice to snag
a rain on the October long weekend.
That would have made a huge differ-
ence," he said.
"It has definitely thinned the crops
out. They had the potential to thicken
up a lot, but they have shut down.
"Rain now will help some stuff, but
it is almost to the point don't even
worry about rain."
The duration of harvest for the
Hansen family is expected to be highly
dependent on the weather in coming
"The way it is drying out, it means
it will thrash through the header. You
will be able to reap it faster. It could be
three weeks, all going well," he said.
Viterra operations manager of the
eastern region Jack Tansley said Viterra
opened a scope malt barley segrega-
tion at the site in response to early
barley deliveries graded as malt.
"Across the eastern region more than
3400 tonnes have been delivered into
the Viterra system," he said.
"Subject to harvesting conditions,
deliveries will pick up over the com-
This harvest will see Viterra employ
over 330 casual staff in the Murray
Mallee and South East region.
Crunch time for year 12s
Loxton High School year
12 students will sit their
final exams in the next few
weeks, with the first exam
kicking off on Monday.
English studies students are
first off the rank, with their exam
on Monday morning.
Senior pathways co-ordinator
Michael Zdanowicz said he felt
"very confident" that the year 12
students would preform well.
"We wish them the best. They
have been a pleasure to work
with during their five years here
and they really deserve good
results, they have worked hard,"
he said. "A number of staff have
spoken to me and spoken about
the strength of the group."
Year 12 student Tim Trewren
said it was all starting to "really
"For me, it feels like we
should have a whole term left.
But now, everyone is talking
about graduation and it is begin-
ning to feel like we are really
finishing," he said.
Tim is hoping to be accepted
into a medicine degree at the
University of Adelaide or a sci-
ence-based degree and is look-
ing forward to the end of the
"I am a keen swimmer, so I
am looking forward to starting
my swimming regime," he said.
Classmate Natasha Ormay
said she was thankful her four
exams were "pretty spread out"
and was looking forward to
studying in Adelaide next year.
"I am hoping to do a double
degree in civil structure engi-
neering and finance, which is a
five year course," she said.
Andrew Crambrook will have
his chemistry, physics, maths
studies and specialist maths
exams in the next fortnight.
"I am looking at studying
externally through Charles
Darwin University and study
secondary maths teaching, so I
can stay here (in the Riverland)
and keep doing a lot of stuff I
am involved with," he said.
The trio said they had been
busy studying and were not
relying on last minute cram-
Loxton High School students Andrew Crambrook (left), Tim Trewren and Natasha Ormay will begin
their final year 12 exams next week.
Fighting for rail line's future
The future of
the rail line from
Loxton to Tailem
Bend was front and
centre at a meeting
and Government last
Member for Chaffey
Tim Whetstone met with
Genesee and Wyoming
Australia and Federal
for Infrastructure and
Jamie Briggs to discuss
opportunites for the
future of the line.
"I want to make it very
clear that I want a future
for rail in the Mallee,"
said Mr Whetstone.
"I came up with a cou-
ple of ideas. They were
buoyed by those ideas
that I put to them.
"I see no reason why
rail can't be part of the
Riverland and Mallee's
future (but) there's a
need to put concrete
ideas in front of business
Mr Whetstone said
consequences of losing
rail were obvious.
"We know that if
rail does close more
money would need to
go to roads and mainte-
nance of roads," he said.
"There's potential for
another 8000 trucks on
the tow line if it closes."
Mr Whetstone said he
left the meeting feeling
positive Genesee and
Wyoming will undertake
a feasibility study on two
proposals he put to it.
by Emma Walter
the Loxton Pioneer
arrived in town, with
an installation team
expected to start on
site by Monday.
For the working
group, the works signal
the result of many years
of hard work.
"It works out to be
four years to the month
when we had the public
meeting to really start
looking at developing a
new town playground,"
said member Rosemary
"It's absolutely amaz-
ing to be so close now to
seeing it reach fruition.
"The installation team
are expected to take
around three weeks to
get the playground in and
so we're looking at this
being ready to be used in
time for Christmas.
"And wow, what a
great Christmas present
Mrs French said
locals may have already
noticed the barbecue
shelters being erected at
the site by members of
the Loxton Rotary and
Fencing and other
landscaping works will
also begin soon.
Meanwhile, the cycle
track has generated a
buzz around the commu-
nity, taking shape over
the past few weeks.
"The working group
thanks the community
for their support and
donations to date," she
"We are all absolutely
thrilled with how every-
one has gotten behind
Anyone interested in
making a donation is
urged to contact Mrs
French on 8584 7576
or call in to the Loxton
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