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

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

  • Flower Power is an online tool to predict wheat flowering times of up to three different varieties at the same time and the risk of frost or heat stress in your location.

  • Frost occurs on clear nights in early spring when the air temperature drops to 2°C or less.

  • Frost is difficult to manage. It has a significant economic and emotional impact on the whole community.

  • Taking experimental measurements can be labour intensive and time consuming, in addition the methods chosen must be repeatable (regardless of operator) with small degrees of error.

  • Image 1: Frost damage at booting vs healthy head

    All winter grains susceptible to frost. Wheat is more susceptible then barley at flowering, but it is not known if barley and wheat have different frost susceptibilities during grain fill.

  • 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.

  • A new guide has been published to assist cereal growers to identify frost damage and consider crop management decisions.

  • The department is a key partner in the Grains Research and Development Corporations' (GRDC) National Frost Initiative (NFI) which aims to provide the Australian grains industry with targeted resear

  • Harvesting a frosted crop brings another layer of complexity to an already busy time of year.