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 leaf blotches at different sites on successive leaves.
    27 September 2016

    Scattered leaf spots that have an abiotic cause such as droplet freeze damage, spray solvents or topdressed fertiliser burn.

  • Pustules become black in colour towards the end of the season.
    17 April 2015

    Stem rust is a fungal foliar disease of wheat that can cause up to 90% yield loss and also reduces grain quality in susceptible varieties.

  • Yellow-orange pustules are arranged in stripes along the leaf veins.
    3 May 2016

    Stripe rust is a fungal foliar disease specific to wheat that can cause up to 60% yield loss and reduce grain quality, particularly when susceptible varieties are infected early.


  • Roots of affected plants are blackened and brittle and break easily, and are black to the core not just on outer surface.
    17 April 2015

    A fungal root disease that can cause severe yield losses of wheat and barley especially in medium- to high-rainfall areas.


  • Plants infected as seedlings are spindly with multiple tillers
    20 May 2015

    Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) is a seed and mite-borne virus that infects cereals (including wheat and barley) and grasses.

  • Lesions near leaf tips cause leaf yellowing and withering.
    3 May 2016

    Yellow spot is a stubble-borne fungal leaf disease of wheat caused by Pyrenophora tritici-repentis.

  • Fallen tillers caused by adult beetles chewing stems in spring.
    17 April 2015

    A pest of cereals and perennial grasses, adult and larval African black beetles can cause economic damage to wheat and barley crops during autumn and winter on the south coast of Western Australia

  • White heads that are either scattered or in patches in spring
    4 February 2015

    Mice are seasonal pests that can affect any crop. Usually they favour paddocks with high stubble retention.

  • Roots can assume a noodle-like root thickening appearance. Affected primary roots are thin and poorly branched with fewer and shorter laterals with brown discolouration
    6 September 2016

    Soil-borne pests infecting roots and reducing yield of cereals. Can only be properly diagnosed via a pathology test.

  • Rutherglen bug adult
    17 April 2015

    Sap-sucking insects that can damage crops and pastures that emerge in warm conditions. Often associated with mintweed after summer rain. Adults can contaminate canola at harvest.


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