The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) 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).


  • Pale yellow, iron deficient leaves, most showing prominent green veins (right), compared with dark green healthy leaf (left)
    6 May 2015

    Iron deficiency is rare but can be a problem in high-rainfall areas on peaty or calcareous soils, or after heavy lime application on most soils.


  • Deficient plants are smaller, pale and poorly tillered.
    6 May 2015

    Many sandplain soils in WA were molybdenum deficient in their natural state.

  • Affected plants are paler, weak and more susceptible to leaf disease. Discoloured leaf tissue can be bright yellow.
    17 April 2015

    Potassium is a major nutrient that is increasingly required as soil reserves become depleted.

  • After lesions form on middle leaves, pale lines develop on new growth.
    26 June 2015

    Most soils in Western Australia (WA) were zinc deficient in their natural state.

  • 28 September 2016

    Oats are more competitive with weeds than most other crops but weed control is still critical, particularly in hay crops as weeds can cause downgrading or rejection of export hay.

  • 16 November 2016

    Soil acidity is a major constraint to farming in Western Australia.

  • 9 September 2016

    Western Australian grain exports are worth around $4 billion to the Western Australian economy each year and represent the fifth largest industry in the state after petroleum, iron ore, gold and al

  • 28 September 2016

    The oaten hay market in Western Australia has developed significantly in recent years.

  • 3 May 2016

    Zadoks growth scale is a a 0-99 scale of development that is recognised internationally for research, advisory work and farm practice, particularly to time the application of chemicals and fertilis

  • 16 November 2016

    A small decrease in soil pH represents a large increase in soil acidity.

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