Esperance Downs Research Station and Esperance Office

Page last updated: Wednesday, 14 September 2022 - 8:42am

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The Esperance office and Esperance Downs Research Station (EDRS) are located 750km southeast of Perth. They are situated within the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia. The Esperance office was opened in 1989 and is 10km north of Esperance on the southern edge of the Esperance Sandplain.

Esperance Downs Research Station is located 28km NNW from Esperance. Established in 1949, the research station covers 956 ha, with 650 ha of arable sandplain soils; sandy topsoils with ironstone gravel layers over a sandy clay subsoil,  125ha of native vegetation and 305ha non arable.


Esperance staff primarily work on applied grains research for broadacre crops in the Esperance Region. The office also supports DPIRD activities focusing on Indigenous Economic Development, Fisheries and Agriculture Resource Management, and Biosecurity. Grains research projects are co-invested with funding organisations such as Grains Research and Development Corporation. Research at EDRS is focussed on the agronomy and pathology of wheat, barley, canola and pulses along with soil amelioration to lift water holding capacity and nutrient availability on problematic soils. Past research also included a saltland rehabilitation program (surface water management, groundwater drainage, planting of native trees, shrubs, saltbush and perennial grasses) to halt and reverse salinity on the research station.

  • Best bet soil amelioration strategies
  • Time of sowing trials for different grains
  • High rainfall zone canola canopy management and nutrition
  • Pre-harvest sprouting wheat
  • Barley pest and disease management
  • Deep sowing systems
  • Nitrogen cycling and losses
  • Clay delving to overcome waterlogging
  • Sanding sodic clay soils


Esperance Office

The Esperance office site is made up of 58 ha with 32 ha arable that is leased out. Buildings, sheds and offices are on 4 ha of land

  • Ten plant, grain and soil laboratories including
    • Soil labs with fume cupboards, soil drying ovens, storage facilities
    • Grain labs with grain quality testing equipment, falling numbers analyser, plant drying ovens, cool room, storage facilities, threshing room and equipment
    • Animal labs with microscopes, fridges, freezers, postmortem facilities, storage facilities. Adjacent are animal shed with sheep yards.
    • Rainfall simulator for grain quality research
  • Two glass houses
  • Bird Proof and vermin proof storage sheds
  • Shed with pallet racking and forklift access
  • Secure Aviary capable of holding 300 birds
  • Biosecurity Workshop
  • Small Meeting room with video conferencing facilities for up to 11 people, and mapping room.
  • Large Conference room for up to 35 people with kitchen and audio visual facilities.
  • Offices to accommodate 35 staff

Esperance Downs Research Station

The Esperance Downs Research Station is the major site for Esperance Sandplain field trials. Surplus land is leased.

  • Field Research Team provide research support to DPIRD as well as external clients (grower groups, universities, private companies) across the southeast from Beaumont (east), to Kumarl (north of Salmon Gums), to Ravensthorpe (south west) and Lake King / Hyden (north west)
  • Capacity for crop, pasture and livestock R&D
  • Office building with tearoom, office accommodation for 6 staff
  • Barn which includes seed preparation facilities, and is repurposed in spring for annual field day
  • Sheds for vehicles, machinery and hay, vehicle workshop.
  • Fertiliser bunker and grain silos.
  • Chemical Shed and washdown facilities
  • Shearing shed and attached sheep yards, as well as separate cattle yards.
  • Staff houses.
  • Water supplied from two dams with improved catchments, overhead stand at barn and chemical shed if power on.
  • Commercial cropping tractors, seeders and sprayers.
  • Mobile plot irrigator.
  • Precision plot seeders and harvesters.
  • Fertiliser applicators to suit a variety of applications.
  • Esperance Mallee satellite research sites at Grass Patch and Wittenoom Hills.
  • Trials seeking specific conditions are located on farms within 100km of the Research Station.


South East Premium Wheat Growers’ Association (SEPWA) and Association for Sheep Husbandry, Excellence, Evaluation and Production (ASHEEP).


For more information on the facilities and R&D opportunities available at DPIRD Esperance please contact:

P: +61 1300 374 731 (1300 DPIRD1) or +61 (0)8 9083 1111