Climate, land & water

Western Australia’s agriculture sector needs access to productive soil and water resources for growth and profit. However, the sector must compete with increasing resource demands from all sectors of the community, and the pressures of a changing climate. The Agriculture and Food division of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development supports agriculture by providing long-term management solutions, practical risk management strategies and tools to maintain and improve resource conditions, to meet the needs of industry and stakeholders. Agriculture and Food is also pioneering soil and water investigation of the state’s undeveloped areas to establish new irrigated agricultural industries.

Articles

  • Waterlogging is a common problem in the agricultural soils of south-west Western Australia in the wetter months of winter.

  • Waterlogging in the higher rainfall areas (more than 450mm) of south-west Western Australian crops and pastures is a common cause of reduced plant growth in winter, especially on duplex soils.

  • Frost risk occurs virtually every year across southern and eastern agricultural regions. Actual occurrence of frost is determined by location and landscape factors as well as climate.

  • Waterlogging causes soil structure collapse in sodic soils, because the clay particles holding soil particles together disperse.

  • Summer crops can be grown for various reasons including replacing a ‘missed’ cereal crop, control herbicide resistant weeds, filling a summer feed gap for livestock or for watertable control.

  • Raised beds are a long-term option for preventing waterlogging and increasing crop yield on target areas.

  • Drains in most waterlogging-susceptible cropped areas pay for themselves within a few years.

  • Waterlogging in some years and some environments in the high rainfall areas of south-west Western Australia can cause significant reductions in plant growth.

  • Claying to ameliorate soil water repellence involves the application and incorporation of clay-rich subsoil into water repellent topsoil to overcome the repellence.

  • Soil compaction is rearrangement of soil particles and reduction in macro-porosity and total pore space by stresses.

Filter by search

Filter by topic