Grains

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has significant direct investment in grains research, development and extension capability and activities, research infrastructure and policy development.

The Western Australian grains industry is a major contributor to the agrifood sector and the Australian economy. WA produces on average 13 million tonnes of grains (cereals, oilseeds and pulses) each year. Grain exports generate more than $4 billion (five year average) for the WA economy each year – making it the largest agricultural sector in the state, and the fourth largest export industry overall after iron ore, oil and gas, and gold.

WA exports about 80% of its annual grain production to more than 50 countries worldwide. Indonesia is WA’s top wheat export market worth over $0.5 billion per year. WA is the world’s leading supplier of premium malting barley to China, the major supplier of wheat for the Japanese udon noodle market, and a major feed barley supplier to the Middle East.

In the 2014/15 season it is estimated the WA grains industry exported a total of $3.7 billion of cereals and $790 billion of pulse, pasture and oilseeds. The major contributors to these exports were wheat ($2.7 billion), barley ($905 million), canola ($710 million), oats ($83 million) and lupins ($77 million).

Articles

  • Western Australian agriculture experiences variability in its winter growing season (May–October): late starts, early finishes and 'dry seasons' with rainfall low enough to cause serious plant and

  • The whole farm nutrient mapping procedure described here applies to pastures in the greater than 600mm rainfall zone of south-west Western Australia.

  • Climate change is putting pressure on wheat yields in south-west Western Australia (WA) in several ways: lower annual and autumn and spring rainfall; later starts to the growing season; higher temp

  • 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.

  • One-off deep cultivation can reduce the severity of soil water repellence.

  • The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development provides up-to-date information about the coming season and its potential impacts on cropping and agriculture.

  • Rainfall to date graphs show the amount of rainfall accumulated from the start of the grain growing season and can be used as a tool in the seasonal decision-making process.

  • Climate change in south-western Western Australia is a reality. There have been increased temperatures, decreased annual rainfall and increased climate variability.

  • The extreme weather events tool uses data from DPIRD's extensive weather station network to map extreme temperatures, either below or above a specified threshold.

  • Permanent raised beds are a practical and economic means of managing some waterlogged sites in wetter areas of the Western Australian grainbelt.

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