- Wheatbelt grower groups selected to host eDemonstration sites to advance grains technology
Fourteen Wheatbelt grower groups have been selected to host 11 automatic weather stations and soil moisture probes, as part of a project to develop new technology to benefit the Western Australian grains industry.
Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said there had been such an overwhelming response to the expression of interest to participate in the eConnected Grainbelt project, that six additional sites had been chosen, with some groups sharing a mutually beneficial location.
The recipients include:
- Corrigin Farm Improvement Group, Corrigin
- Facey Group, Wickepin
- Far East Agricultural Research Group, Moorine Rock
- Merredin and Districts Farm Improvement Group, Merredin
- Mingenew Irwin Group, Mingenew
- South East Premium Wheat Growers' Association, Esperance
- Southern DIRT, Kojonup and West Arthur Trials Group, Darkan
- Stirlings to Coast Farmers, Mount Barker and Gillamii Centre, Cranbrook
- West Midlands Group, Dandaragan
- Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management, Northam
- Yuna Farm Improvement Group, Yuna and Mullewa Dryland Farming Initiative, Mullewa.
Mr Baston said more than $550,000 had been allocated to establish the eDemonstration sites and support the groups' commitment to advance the development of new grains information technology.
"While these groups and surrounding districts will benefit from the real-time weather information generated by the weather stations and soil moisture probes, they have also been charged with providing direction on how this information could be used more effectively," he said.
"More than 1,000 grain growers associated with the successful grower groups from throughout the Wheatbelt will be engaged in this project, which will also evaluate a range of electronic decision making tools to improve grain growers' productivity and profitability."
All weather stations and soil moisture probes will be installed before the start of the 2016 growing season at no cost to the grower group.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the eConnected Grainbelt project, made possible by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program, would have far reaching benefits for regional communities and Western Australia.
"This technology will empower growers with information and decision making tools to manage risks and boost the profitability of their grain production businesses," Mr Redman said.
"Royalties for Regions is building a progressive, innovative and sustainable agriculture and food sector for Western Australia to remain competitive in the global market."
- The 11 eDemonstration sites will complement the Department of Agriculture and Food's (DAFWA) existing State-wide network of 135 weather stations
- The $10 million eConnected Grainbelt Royalties for Regions project is part of the $300 million Seizing the Opportunity in Agriculture initiative and is led by DAFWA
- Real-time weather information from the weather station network is available at https://www.agric.wa.gov.au
- For more information on Royalties for Regions projects, visit Bigger Picture - Regions
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 5400
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700