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

  • Spray-topping or pasture topping is the application of a sub-lethal rate of herbicide when grasses are coming into head and flowering.

  • 'Crop-topping' is the late application of herbicides to prevent weed seed-set.

  • Spray-topping is a very effective method for managing annual grass seed set in pastures.

  • The term 'residual' applies to a number of herbicides that have a long lasting activity in the soil. These herbicides are often applied directly to the soil prior to planting crops, pre-emergent.

  • In Western Australia's Mediterranean-type climate, the survival of pests and diseases over summer is often critical in determining pest outbreaks and disease epidemics in broadacre crops.

  • The most accurate way to estimate the weed population of a paddock is to count the number of plants in an area of known size at a number of locations.

  • In Western Australia, competition from 7-90 capeweed plants per square metre in a wheat crop can reduce crop yield by 28-44% and net return by 25-76%.

  • Doublegee or spiny emex is a significant weed in Western Australia. It is a vigorous annual herb with a strong tap root and a long, fleshy, hairless stem.

  • Preventing weed seed set provides an opportunity to control weed seed set in the pasture, late fallow, late stubble and in-crop phases.

  • This management strategy provides an opportunity to control weed seed set in the pasture and during harvest.

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