Several forecasters, including the department’s Statistical Seasonal Forecasting system (SSF), are predicting below average rainfall for winter and spring.
Western Australian agricultural businesses are adept at managing seasons with below average rainfall, with 11 below average rainfall seasons recorded since and including the year 2000.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is liaising closely with agricultural businesses, consultants, grower groups, farming organisations and regional communities to ensure appropriate support is provided.
This page will be updated regularly over the coming months to provide timely and relevant advice, tools and networks as the season progresses.
Climate and weather tools
The department has several climate and weather tools to assist both short and long term decision making:
- Weather stations - real time data form more than 170 weather stations around the state, including weather summaries, charts and Doppler radar rainfall and wind images
- Seasonal climate information - includes rainfall forecasts, plant available soil moisture maps, potential yield calculator and frost risk maps
- Rainfall to date tool - graphs tailored to location
- Potential yield tool - calculates potential wheat yield to location
Land and water resources
- It is not too late to grow cover crops to protect bare sandy paddocks from wind erosion (new link)
- Diagnosing wind erosion risk
- Managing wind erosion
- Field pea stubble: Wind erosion control and grazing management
- Surface water management to prevent water erosion
- Roaded catchments to improve water harvesting in drier conditions
- Excavated tanks (farm dams) for reliable water storage
- Changing land use on unproductive soils inthe northern-eastern agricultural regions
- What to do with emerging weeds (new link)
- Wheat losses from delayed emergence - research and modelling to assess the likely yield penalty from delayed plant emergence
- When to reseed canola – is reseeding canola worth the cost?
- Canola yield penalty with delayed sowing - research and modelling to assess the likely yield penalty from delayed plant emergence
- Breakeven yields of wheat and canola
- Crop nitrogen decisions
- Grain and Graze
- Livestock health alerts (new link)
- Strategies and tactics for sheep producers (new link)
- Managing sheep in the dry spring: for agribusiness professionals (new link)
- Managing sheep in the poor season (updated information)
- Growing weaners (new link)
- Sheep weaning best practice (new link)
- Sheep management and reproduction (new link)
- Supplementary feeding and feed budgeting for sheep
- Feeding confinement
- Animal Welfare resources and publications
- CBH Outturn sites for stockfeed
- Emerald Grain feed register - contact your closest office for more details
Financial and wellbeing support
Services are available to assist people through this difficult period:
- Farm Debt Mediation
- WA rural health, financial and information support directory
- Rural Financial Counselling Service WA or freecall 1800 612 044 - free financial counselling services to assist primary producers
- Regional Men’s Health Initiative or call +61 (0)8 9690 2277
- Farm Household Allowance call 13 23 16 – a household support payment from the Australian Government
- Farm Business Training or 1800 198 231 – targeted training to improve business management provided via the department.