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).


  • Yellow areas on upper leaf surface

    A fungal disease infecting foliage of canola, it mainly affects seedlings and is rarely found beyond the rosette stage.

  • Blackening of sub-crown internode in extreme cases

    A fungal root disease that is not common in Western Australia (WA) but can build up to damaging levels in continuous wheat crops.

  • Grains are replaced by brown-black balls

    A fungal disease affecting seed heads, which can cause yield losses and delivery penalties.


  • Brown-black discolouration of glumes ranging from slight lines through to large areas covering most of the glume.

    A physiological condition associated with the presence of a rust resistance gene in some wheat varieties. Yield impact unknown.


  • Light brown pustule on upper leaf surface that darken with age

    A fungal leaf disease specific to barley that can spread rapidly within and between crops causing yield losses of up to 45% in susceptible varieties.


  • Florets are replaced with a mass of dark brown-black powdery spores that blow away.

    A fungal disease affecting seed heads, which can cause yield losses and delivery penalties.


  • Dark brown spots that elongate and produce dark brown net-type streaks

    Net-type net blotch is a stubble-borne fungal foliar disease occurring more frequently in the medium and high rainfall areas of the WA wheatbelt. It can reduce grain yield and quality.

  • Roots stunted, short and stubby with few laterals.

    A widespread fungal root disease that attacks seedlings but which rarely causes large yield losses.


  • Light flecking on younger leaves that become more severe on older leaves

    A physiological condition associated with the presence of rust resistance genes in some wheat varieties that causes leaf damage. Yield impact is unknown.


  • Yellow stripes that turn brown and eventually die.

    A very rare fungal disease that is most often found in irrigated barley.


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