Raised beds to alleviate waterlogging

Raised beds are a long-term option for preventing waterlogging and increasing crop yield on target areas.

The department recommends that raised beds be part of a whole farm water and salinity management program.

Preventing waterlogging with raised beds

Permanent raised beds are widely used to grow broadacre crops in irrigation country in the eastern states of Australia. They are a practical and economic means of managing particular waterlogged sites in wetter areas of the Western Australian grainbelt.

Raised beds allow excess water to drain out of the beds (horizontal drainage) into open collector drains which then discharge off the paddock.

Are raised beds suitable?

Raised beds are an option when:

  • the probability of waterlogging is 50% or more in the wettest months (usually June to August), when the emerging crops are most susceptible
  • there are shallow water tables
  • soils are shallow sand, high gravel content soils and loam over clay soils where the waterlogging frequency is greater than 50%
  • hill slopes are less than 3%.

Salinity is likely to be higher on sites suitable for raised beds, because of shallow saline watertables and evaporative concentration.

We recommend that you get professional advice before installing raised beds or committing to the required machinery.

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Page last updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2017 - 1:02pm