Season 2021. Seasonal and management information for Western Australian farmers

Page last updated: Tuesday, 19 January 2021 - 3:38pm

This page provides seasonally relevant information on conditions and management options for January to March 2021 in the agricultural areas of Western Australia. Contact the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) for local information.

See rangeland season information for pastoral areas.

News

  • Landholders: high winds have already lashed much of the Grainbelt this summer – see the DPIRD media statement Take action to protect paddocks from wind erosion, which has links to further articles on soil erosion and land management advice.
  • Water supplies: The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) has resumed carting water into the Lake Grace and Esperance water deficiency declaration areas, and continues to monitor and manage other community water supplies. See the Land and water management section for more information.

Quick links

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Livestock and pasture situation

We recommend confined paddock feeding when pasture biomass falls below 500kg dry matter per hectare. Confinement feeding has the benefit of more efficient use of supplementary feed, and avoids removing pasture ground cover that protects the soil from erosion.

Livestock management

Sheep nutrition and water

Cattle nutrition

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Sheep and cattle health and animal welfare

Crop situation

  • Harvesting has finished in most areas. WA grain production was outstanding in this dry season, with an estimated 16.5 million tonnes delivered. This is aove the 5-year average of 15.3 million tonnes (CBH source).
  • Soil-water graphs: for up to date graphs of plant available soil water, and for more infomation on the models behind the maps in either a cropped or fallow paddock. Plant available soil-water graphs show the amount of soil water accumulated from the start of summer (1 November) through the grain growing season can be used to support seasonal decisions.

Crop management

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Land and water management

Plan for and invest in reliable on-farm water supplies.

The National On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme

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Climate situation and outlook

See the Seasonal climate outlook newsletter for a full set of situation and forecast information.

For January to March 2021, the DPIRD seasonal forecast is for a neutral (40 to 60%) chance of exceeding median rainfall for the majority of the South West Land Division (SWLD). With higher chances (60 to 80%) for the Central West forecast District, eastern parts of the Central Wheatbelt and along the south coast. The most probable rainfall decile for the Central West District and along the south coast is 8 to 10, and decile 4 to 7 elsewhere in the SWLD.

Situation and resources for the next few months:

Climate resources

  • Australian CliMate online app - Climate analysis for decision makers. Question focused analyses for exploration of weather data across Australia. CliMate is also available for iOS and Android devices.
  • Windy.com to see animated global weather conditions affecting Western Australia.

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Support services directory

A range of Federal and State assistance measures are in place to support farmers and pastoralists experiencing hardship, as a result of seasonal pressures.

The Support Services Directory harnesses a range of financial, water and welling support, as well as links to Regional Counselling Services and 24/7 crisis care.

Western Australia does not have a drought declaration system so no formal declaration needs to be made to access these services.

The Federal Government’s National Drought Policy and National Drought Agreement aims to build resilience to climate variability and dry season pressures, specifically through bolstering risk management practices and enhancing long-term preparedness. See the national On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme.

Note: the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation administers the WA component of the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme.

SUPPORT SERVICES DIRECTORY

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Service (link)

Description

Contact

Farm Hub

A website that harnesses information about Commonwealth and State/Territory assistance (includes Drought Loans, Farm Investment Loans, Farm Household Allowance).

 

Farm Household Allowance

Assists farming families experiencing financial hardship with income to maintain their household.

13 23 16 or 1800 612 004

Drought Loans &

Farm Investment Loans

Low interest loans for businesses to improve the strength, resilience and profitability  of their businesses (provided by the Regional Investment Corporation).

1800 875 675

loans@service.ric.gov.au

Rural Financial Counselling Service WA

Free financial counselling service to assist primary producers.

1800 612 044

admin@rfcswa.com.au

Farm Debt Mediation Scheme

Assists farm and pastoral businesses and financial institutions to resolve disputes about business financial arrangements, through a low cost and non-legal form of mediation.

1800 198 231

rbdu.loans@agric.wa.gov.au

Farmer Assistance Hotline

Income support programs for farmers and rural small businesses.

13 23 16

CWA of WA Drought Assistance

Funds for household expenses.

9321 6041

info@cwaofwa.asn.au

WATER SUPPORT

Service (link) Description Contact

National On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme (WA)

Rebates of 25% up to a maximum of $25 000 for the purchase and installation of new water infrastructure and equipment to eligible commercial livestock farmers and pastoralists

1800 780 300

ruralwater@dwer.wa.gov.au

Community Water Supply Program

Grants of up to $100 000 available for community water supply development and improvements in dryland agricultural areas receiving <600mm average annual rainfall

1800 780 300

ruralwater@dwer.wa.gov.au

Management of Strategic Community Water Supplies

Network of strategic community water supplies in WA dryland agricultural areas to provide emergency stock water

1800 780 300

ruralwater@dwer.wa.gov.au

Water Deficiency Declarations

Emergency water for livestock provided by the State government carted to a central point, coordinated via local shires

1800 780 300

ruralwater@dwer.wa.gov.au

Farm Water Supply Planning Scheme

Rebates of up to $1000 for commercial broadacre farmers experiencing water shortages to fund an audit of farm water supply and potential improvements

1800 780 300

ruralwater@dwer.wa.gov.au

WELLBEING

Service (link) Description Contact

Lifeline

24–hour crisis support, suicide prevention and mental health support services

13 11 14

Regional Counselling Services

Counselling for individuals, couples and families experiencing challenges to help them cope, improve wellbeing and identify options

Click here for local counselling services

Regional Men’s Health Initiative

Provides support and education services to regional men, communities and health services

9690 2277 (office hours)

menshealth@4blokes.com.au

Women’s Information Service

Provides information and referrals regarding health, finances, legal matters, counselling and domestic crisis

1800 199 174

wis@dlgc.wa.gov.au

OTHER INFORMATION

Service (link) Description Contact

Western Australia’s rural health, financial & information services support directory

Contacts for a range of 24 hour support, financial and family counselling, health, emergency and ancillary services.

 

Grant funding opportunity to manage pest animals and weeds

The Australian Government is inviting local councils via a restricted competitive process to apply to deliver projects under the Communities Combating Pests and Weed Impacts During Drought Program - Biosecurity Management of Pests and Weeds - Round 2 in selected Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 2019 to 2021.

1800 020 283

support@communitygrants.gov.au

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Contacts

Contact your local DPIRD office to find out who can help you on any of the topics above.