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

  • Grain insects are not permitted in export grain or grain for sale and there is a zero tolerance for insects in export hay. Protecting against field and stored grain pests is therefore critical.

  • Cultural practices from paddock preparation to seeding rate and sowing date help promote plant establishment and survival.

  • Harvesting oats is usually done by direct heading of standing grain as soon as the crop is ripe which will help reduce grain shedding.

  • Identifying the option that will lead to the greatest returns for a grower is a complex problem. Yield will be one of the key determinants of returns, but grain quality is also a consideration.

  • The oat industry delivers nearly $200 million to the state economy each year through oats for human consumption and feed.

  • Cereal smut and bunt diseases are caused by fungi which parasitise the host plant and produce masses of soot-like spores in the leaves, grains or ears.

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

  • Western Australia exports on average 48% of Australia's oaten hay, exporting around 300 000 tonnes worth over A$88 million in 2012/13.

  • 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.

  • Growing oaten hay on frost-prone paddocks minimises the frost risk as it is cut soon after flowering, avoiding the frost-sensitive period.

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