The Western Australian grains industry is set to receive a boost this grain season from the installation of 11 additional automatic weather stations across the Grainbelt.
Agriculture and Food Minister Dean Nalder said the additions to the State's 145 weather station network would provide grain growers with valuable localised information to understand their crops potential.
Soil moisture probes will be installed in coming months to complement the weather stations, as part of the $10 million eConnected Grainbelt project led by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) and funded by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program.
Mr Nalder said the installations were located on eDemonstration sites hosted by grower groups, which would provide feedback to the project on how weather data could be better applied to help growers to grow more productive and profitable crops.
"Grain growers have told us it's all very well to have this information, what is important now is how to interpret the information and integrate it into easy-to-use decision-making tools," he said.
"This is a unique opportunity for growers to have a say in the development of new, cutting-edge digital technology that best meets their needs and adds value to their cropping operations."
The weather stations, located from Yuna in the north to Grass Patch in the south to Moorine Rock in the east, provide real-time information including rainfall, temperature, humidity, evaporation rates, and wind speed and direction.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the eConnected Grainbelt project would enable the agricultural sector to meet growing demand and strengthen regional communities where agriculture was a major economic activity.
"The project is connecting growers to the information they need to make appropriate decisions that are tailored for their paddocks, their business, and the variable conditions they face each season," Mr Redman said.
"Royalties for Regions is helping to play a significant role in developing profitable industries for the sustainability of regional WA."
The weather data is available on the Department of Agriculture and Food's website or through the department's Weather app.
The $10 million eConnected Grainbelt Royalties for Regions project is part of the $300 million Seizing the Opportunity Agriculture initiative
An eDemonstration site is a place where growers, consultants and industry can gather to learn about, compare and contrast all of the decision support tools, systems and technologies available for on farm decision making
14 grower groups will host the weather stations and soil moisture probes at no cost at 11 eDemonstration sites, including:
Corrigin Farm Improvement Group (Corrigin)
Facey Group (Wickepin)
Far East Agricultural Research Group (Moorine Rock)
Merredin and District 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 Inc (Northam)
Yuna Farm Improvement Group (Yuna) and Mullewa Dryland Farming Initiative Group (Mullewa)
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6400
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700