Canola crop to help grow community space

Shannon Beattie
By Shannon Beattie
November 28 2021 - 10:00pm
The Scaddan Country Club community crop consists of 80 hectares that this year was sown to canola at the end of April. Photos by Tom Curnow.

AN extended space to benefit the entire town - that's the project towards which the funds from the Scaddan Country Club community crop will be going.

The 80 hectare crop sits adjacent to the country club, which includes a bowling green and a golf course and has been in the community's hands since the mid-1980s.

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For about 30 years it was utilised for both cropping and livestock, with the sheep used to graze the golf course, but that changed in 2015 when the now infamous bushfires tore through the town.

Scaddan Country Club president David Campbell said after the golf course was burnt and they lost all of their fences, they decided not to restock.

"These days there is so much more potential and a little less work, although that might be a figment of our imaginations, in just cropping," Mr Campbell said.

"We've chosen to just crop the land in a wheat/canola rotation and we got lucky this year, jagging it right and landing ourselves with incredible canola prices and great yields."

This season, the crop was sown to T3510 canola on about April 30 and grew exceptionally well for a year which was described by farm manager Gavin Egan as "a reasonable start but an incredibly dry finish".

"There wasn't a great deal of summer rain but then May, June and July were very good, however August and the first half of September we got bugger all," Mr Egan said.

"With that in mind we're all quite surprised at how well it's yielded, having averaged above two tonnes per hectare."

When the fires went through the area in 2015, the country club itself was only slightly damaged.

The funds raised from the community crop will go towards the extension of the country club so that it can benefit more of the town.

However, the Scaddan Community Hall was totally destroyed, robbing the town of its communal meeting point.

"The insurance funds from the hall have gone into a pool that the Shire of Esperance is holding and that money, along with other donations, are going to go toward extending the Scaddan Country Club so that it is more multi-purpose," Mr Campbell said.

"We want it to be able to be used by lots of different groups and for several functions to be able to run at the same time in order to better serve the community's needs.

"That extension was supposed to have been done years ago and for one reason or another it hasn't happened, but the good news from this year's community crop is that we now have even more funds to go towards building a new Scaddan community centre."

Having only taken on the role of community crop farm manager this year, Mr Egan was keen to get the younger generation more involved in the project and the town itself as a result.

"It hasn't been like that in the past, so rather than just one person doing all the work, I've been trying to share it around with whoever it fits in with," he said.

"I'm trying to make it into more of an actual community crop, that the whole community gets involved with, rather than it just being a paddock that one person deals with.

"It's important to have somewhere socially for the younger generation to be able to catch up, it's somewhere for them to go and helps to keep that association with the town."

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