Investment in technology to assist with critical decision-making will help ensure Western Australia's agricultural sector remains internationally competitive into the future.
The Liberal National Government has invested $23 million through Royalties for Regions in Doppler radar technology to help transform the way Western Australian farmers do business.
Premier Colin Barnett said today marked a milestone for the project with construction of the first Doppler radar tower at Newdegate completed.
Mr Barnett said Doppler radars would allow farm businesses, for the first time, to observe real-time rainfall and wind events across their properties.
"Access to timely information is important for farmers to assist them to make informed, tactical decisions throughout the season," he said.
"Doppler radars will provide data on rainfall and significant wind changes across an area up to 200 kilometres from the radar location."
Research supporting the Doppler radar project has estimated that, based on more timely spray applications alone, radars could produce a return of more than $6 for every $1 invested.
The Newdegate Doppler radar will be operational by the end of October and radar information will be delivered to farmers through the Bureau of Meteorology's website. The bureau and the Department of Agriculture and Food are currently working on applications to deliver information directly to farm businesses.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the investment by Royalties for Regions in Doppler radars was important in being able to provide more precise weather information for farm businesses and rural communities.
"The information delivered through Doppler radars will not only benefit farmers, but also the wider community, with emergency services able to access radar coverage and other data during severe weather events," Mr Redman said.
Doppler radars will also be installed at South Doodlakine and Watheroo, with all three expected to be operational by mid-2017.
The Department of Agriculture and Food's extensive network of 172 automated weather stations will be a critical part of the successful utilisation of the Doppler radar technology
This technology enables innovative insurance products to be developed to better protect farm business incomes from the vagaries of climate
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700