PO Box 5404
Dalkeith 6009
Western Australia
Phone: +61 8 9672 1045
Fax: +61 8 9672 1023

Summary 1925-1990

Glenvar was established in 1925 by Eardley and Hubert Shields. They were aged 20 and 18 respectively. Between them they took on the enormous task of clearing 9000 hectares of virgin sandplain 20km North East of Wongan Hills in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia.

Camps were set up in different areas while the clearing was undertaken until the permanent homestead was established in 1930. The land was cleared initially using tractors and chains and burning the landscape. As the land was cleared it was stocked with sheep. It wasn't until 1950 that clearing was complete.

By this time Glenvar had become a vibrant community of its own with numerous families living on the property and even supporting its own shop. The farm also had a small number of pigs and cows.

In 1966 Graham Shields, the oldest son of Hubert, assumed the role of running the property at the age of 20. This was largely due to family illness. After their marriage in 1969 his wife Lyn also played a large role in the running of the property. Together they intensified the farm into merino sheep. A stud was developed called Talga and sheep numbers reached 20,000 by 1980.

In 1980 a decision was made to concentrate on cropping the property. At the end of that year the sheep were all sold and in 1981, 8000Ha was planted to crop. The crops grown were wheat and lupins. This was found to be the best financial and environmental solution to farming light land in Western Australia. Full cultivation was the method of seeding adopted in the early 1980's and as the decade progressed Glenvar began shifting towards minimum tillage cultivation.


By the early 1990's Barley and Canola had entered the market as options to plant to extend the traditional wheat/lupin rotation. Triple Hitch combines were used to plant the crop and a typical rotation up until 1995 was Lupins-Wheat-Barley/Wheat and then back into Lupins.

This was also the time that Glenvar became one of the first properties in Western Australia to experience problems with herbicide resistant weeds. A redekop system of chaff collection was imported from Canada with the aim of capturing the majority of the weed seeds. Along with other practices the problem was controlled.

In the second half of the decade air seeders were adopted to seed the property. These allowed greater precision as well as the development of a superior seeding bar. This enabled seeding and deep ripping to occur at the same time. Canola was also introduced extensively into the rotation. Swathing was undertaken in addition to chaff carts to aid with weed control.

In the year 2000 Mike and Kellie, son and daughter of Graham and Lyn, returned home to the family property. At the end of 2000 another valuable tool was developed for weed control in the form of a small baler towed directly behind the header to collect the entire residue including the weed seeds.

2002 onwards

In 2002 a property, Gunwarrie, in the south of Western Australia was purchased and Kellie moved to this property as it's manager.  Graham and Lyn moved to Perth on a permanent basis, leaving Mike as manager of Glenvar.

Machinery (and employees to a certain extent) were shared between Glenvar and Gunwarrie, especially for their respective harvests, made possible by the different climates of the regions of the two farms such that Gunwarrie's harvest was only ready to begin as Glenvar's harvest was finishing. 

2004 saw the return of sheep to Glenvar due to increased sheep prices and the successful experimentation of sowing lucerne on salt affected land.  Sheep are being successfully grazed on this previously non-productive land and clover has also been added to the pasture mix.  This pasture mix has also been included in the crop rotation for already productive paddocks on the property.

In 2004, Glenvar Lupin Mulch was seriously launched onto the market and long term employee, David Baljeu, changed his role on the farm to manage this business on a full-time basis.  The product was further developed to include Glenvar Lawn Maximizer and the market has been very receptive to both products.  David has since purchased the business and it now runs under the name of DSATCO Mulch.

2005 onwards is a significant planning and growth period for the team at Glenvar. The structure of the business is being transformed to enable greater efficiencies in farming practices.

Glenvar strives to be a professional agribusiness operation maximising opportunities in broadacre cropping and value adding enterprises through growth and innovation strategies.

Minimum tillage is being continued in an effort to ensure a sustainable future of farming on Glenvar. Extensive measures are being undertaken to control chemical resistant weeds including the ongoing development of the process of towing a baler behind a harvester.

The team at Glenvar are continually investigating and adapting to leading edge production techniques to ensure they remain Leaders in Innovative Agriculture.