Report card on sustainable natural resource use in agriculture in Western Australia

The Report card on sustainable natural resource use in agriculture - status and trend in the agricultural areas of the south-west of Western Australia (2013) was produced by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) to document information on condition (or hazard) and trend in condition of the natural resources that support agriculture.

Western Australian agriculture has made progress in some areas, such as managing wind and water erosion, but there is a decline in condition of other resources, based on resource condition indicators.

Report card on sustainable natural resource use in agriculture

The report card summarised the status (condition or hazard indicator level) and trend of the agricultural resource base in the agricultural areas of the south-west of Western Australia (excluding native vegetation and reserves) in 2013.

The condition of our natural resources is a complex interaction of numerous processes, driven by three primary factors: climate, land characteristics and land management.

Land managers have no influence on climate, little influence on land characteristics, and considerable control over the impacts of land management practices.

This report deals with several natural resource themes individually (for example, soil acidity, salinity and water repellence), but it is important to note that the processes within these themes are often linked. Land managers need to consider the system as a whole, and how this system could respond to a given management action. Without a systems approach to management, an action to solve one constraint to production may lead to another.

In 2013, the situation and outlook for our natural resources was mixed; although we have made progress in some areas, such as managing wind and water erosion, the status and trend in many indicators of resource condition is adverse.

This report:

  • summarises the status and trend in condition and key messages, at an individual resource theme level and regional level
  • describes the process for determining condition, risk and trend
  • highlights factors which affect sustainable use of this resource
  • discusses the implications of these findings on the agricultural industries
  • provides recommended actions where appropriate.

The report can be downloaded as separate chapters or as the full report from the top of this page.


Summary (PDF 930kB)

Section 1. Introduction (PDF 2.3MB) 

Section 2. Natural resource themes

2.1 Soil acidity (PDF 3.8MB)
2.2 Wind erosion (PDF 3.3MB)
2.3 Water erosion (PDF 4.5MB)
2.4 Soil organic carbon (PDF 2MB)
2.5 Soil compaction (PDF 1.6MB)
2.6 Water repellence (PDF 2.3MB)
2.7 Dryland salinity (PDF 2.6MB)
2.8 Nutrient status (phosphorus) (PDF 1.5MB)
2.9 Nutrient export (phosphorus) (PDF 1.3MB)
2.10 Acidification of inland waterways (PDF 1.6MB)

Section 3. Concluding discussion (PDF 350kB) and Appendix (PDF 1MB)


This report is an initiative of DAFWA. Significant contributions to this report have also been made by The University of Western Australia and Precision SoilTech. Their support is gratefully acknowledged.

Contact information

Tim Overheu
+61 (0)8 9892 8533
John Simons
+61 (0)8 9083 1128
Paul Galloway
+61 (0)8 9083 1127
Page last updated: Tuesday, 2 August 2016 - 11:59am