Crops

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development continues to support the growth and international competitiveness of all crop industries in Western Australia.

With a 2400 kilometre span from its tropical north to its temperate south, WA supports a broad range of cropping industries from rain-fed winter cereals through to irrigated horticultural crops.

In the 2012/13 year the WA cropping industries exported a total of $3.9 billion which comprised: $3.1 billion of cereals, $859 million of pulses, pastures and oilseeds, $142 million of horticultural crops. The major contributors to these exports were wheat ($2.7 billion), canola ($756 million), barley ($377 million), lupins ($42 million), carrots at $48 million, oats ($12 million), and strawberries at $5.5 million.

Articles

  • Waterlogging in the higher rainfall areas (more than 450mm) of south-west Western Australian crops and pastures is a common cause of reduced plant growth in winter, especially on duplex soils.

  • Claying involves adding and incorporating clay-rich subsoil into water repellent topsoil to overcome the repellence.

  • Soil water repellence is caused by an accumulation of waxy organic matter in the soil surface. It is worse in sandy textured topsoils.

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

  • Agricultural lime is any product that is used to increase the pH of soil. In Western Australia, the three main sources are limesand, limestone and dolomitic lime.

  • Carbonate from calcium carbonate (or magnesium carbonate) neutralises acid in the soil.

  • Convert to 100% neutralising value (NV) for equal comparison and discount to allow for differences in particle size and speed of reaction.

  • Management of weeds, disease and nitrogen nutrition are ongoing challenges that limit yield potential.

  • Water repellence results in uneven wetting of soil in autumn which can result in patchy and staggered crop and pasture emergence. Sandy soils are particularly susceptible.

  • Furrow sowing forms micro-relief, small ridges and furrows, into which water can be harvested.